Prof. Lyons' biography and research focus, plus details of the Lyons Lab
David Lyons received his BSc (Neuroscience, 1999) and PhD (Developmental Biology, 2003) from University College London. He then undertook postdoctoral work at Stanford University in the Department of Developmental Biology with Prof. William Talbot (2004-2009). In 2009, Dr. Lyons joined the Centre for Neuroregeneration through a BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship. Dr Lyons was awarded a Research Prize from the Lister Institute in 2012 and a Senior Research Fellowship from the Wellcome Trust in 2014.
We use zebrafish to dissect the molecular and cellular basis of nervous system development. Our current focus is on elucidating mechanisms that orchestrate the formation of myelinated axons. Myelinated axons are essential for normal nervous system development and function, and disruption of the myelin sheath and associated axons is associated with many human diseases including Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
Our lab uses zebrafish for two principle reasons: their amenability for live cell imaging and high-resolution cellular analyses, and their ability to be used to carry out large-scale genetic and chemical screens.
Zebrafish embryos are transparent and undergo rapid early development (myelin is formed from just two days after egg fertilization). These facts coupled with the relative simplicity of the early nervous system and the availability of transgenic lines that drive fluorescent reporters in a variety of cell types, make the zebrafish ideal for live in vivo imaging of entire developmental processes. We are currently using these approaches to study cell behaviour and cell-cell interactions during central nervous system myelination in vivo (see Publications below).
We are currently also embarking on a new forward genetic (gene discovery screen), using a transgenic reporter of myelination, to identify the molecular basis of central nervous system (CNS) myelination by oligodendrocytes in vivo, a process about which surprising little is known. In parallel we carrying out chemical compound based screens as an additional approach to identify the molecular basis of CNS myelination, and as part of collaborative drug discovery projects (see Collaborators below).
- David Lyons, Principal Investigator
- Marion Baraban, Post-doctoral Fellow
- Silvia Benito, Research Technician
- Jenea Bin, Research Fellow
- Katherine Cole, Research Technician
- Jason Early, Research Associate
- Rafael Gois de Almeida, Research Fellow
- Linde Kegel, Post-doctoral Fellow
- Marja Karttunen, Research Associate
- Anna Klingseisen, Research Fellow
- Sigrid Koudelka, Research Fellow
- Dau Suminaite ,Post-doctoral Fellow
- Matthew Swire, Graduate Student
- Jill Williamson, PhD Student
- Professor Catherina and Dr. Thomas Becker (CNR, University of Edinburgh)
- Professor Peter Brophy (CNR, University of Edinburgh)
- Professor Jonah Chan (University of California, San Francisco)
- Professor Abdel El Manira (Karolinska Institutet, Sweden)
- Professor Charles ffrench Constant (CRM, University of Edinburgh)
- Professor Robin Franklin (Cambridge University)
- Dr. Don Mahad (CCBS, University of Edinburgh)
- Dr. Richard Poole (University College London)
- Professor Mikael Simons (Max Planck Institute, Goettingen)
- Professor William Talbot (Stanford University, USA)
- Dr. Claire Wyart (ICM, Paris)
- Biogen (Cambridge, MA, USA)
Our work is funded by the Wellcome Trust, the Lister Institute, the European Commission, the UK Multiple Sclerosis Society, Biogen, donation made through shift.ms and studentships from Portugal's Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) and the UK's Medical Research Council.
- Koudelka S, Voas MG, Almeida RG, Baraban M, Soetaert J, Meyer MP, Talbot WS and Lyons DA. Individual neuronal subtypes exhibit diversity in CNS myelination mediated by synaptic vesicle release, Current Biology (2016) 26(11): 1447-55.
- Redmond SA, Mei F, Eshed-Eisenbach Y, Osso LA, Leshkowitz D, Shen YA, Kay JN, Aurrand-Lions M, Lyons DA, Peles E, Chan JR. Somatodendritic Expression of JAM2 Inhibits Oligodendrocyte Myelination, Neuron (2016) doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2016.07.021.
- Almeida R and Lyons DA (2015). Intersectional Gene Expression in Zebrafish Using the Split KalTA4 System, Zebrafish doi:10.1089/zeb.2015.1086. (Front cover).
- Baraban M, Mensch S and Lyons DA (2015). Adaptive Myelination from Fish to Man, Brain Research doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2015.10.026.
- Nawaz S, Sánchez P, Schmitt S, Snaidero N, Mitkovski M, Velte C, Brückner BR, Alexopoulos I, Czopka T, Jung SY, Rhee JS, Janshoff A, Witke W, Schaap IAT, Lyons DA, and Simons M (2015). Actin Filament Turnover Drives Leading Edge Growth during Myelin Sheath Formation in the Central Nervous System, Developmental Cell (2015) 34(2):139-51.
- Mensch S, Baraban M, Czopka T, Ausborn J, El Manira A, and Lyons DA (2015). Synaptic Vesicle Release Regulates Myelin Sheath Number of Individual Oligodendrocytes In Vivo, Nature Neuroscience 18(5): 628-630
- Snaidero N, Möbius W, Czopka T, Hekking LH, Mathisen C, Verkleij D, Goebbels S, Edgar J, Merkler D, Lyons DA, Nave KA, Simons M (2014). Myelin Membrane Wrapping Of CNS Axons By PI(3,4,5)P3-Dependent Polarized Growth at the Inner Tongue, Cell 156(1-2):277-90.
- Almeida RG and Lyons DA (2014). On the Resemblance of Synapse Formation and CNS Myelination, Neuroscience 276C: 98-108.
- Czopka, T, ffrench-Constant C, and Lyons DA (2013). Individual Oligodendrocytes Have Only A Few Hours in Which to Generate New Myelin Sheaths In Vivo, Developmental Cell (2013) 25(6):599-609.
- Lyons DA and Simons M (2013). Axonal Selection and Myelin Sheath Generation in the Central Nervous System, Current Opinions in Cell Biology 25(4):512-9.
- Almeida RG, Czopka, T, ffrench-Constant C, and Lyons DA (2011). Individual Axons Regulate the Myelinating Potential of Single Oligodendrocytes In Vivo, Development 138: 4443-4450.