Prof Catherina G Becker
Prof. Becker's biography and research focus, plus details of the Becker Lab
- 2017 - Present Deputy Director of CDBS.
- 2015 - 2017 CNR Centre Director.
- 2005 - 2015 CNR Director of Postgraduate Training.
- 2005 - Present Senior Lecturer, Deanery of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh.
- 2000 - 2005 Group Leader, Centre for Molecular Neurobiology Hamburg (ZMNH).
- 1998 - 2000 Postdoc, Centre for Molecular Neurobiology Hamburg (ZMNH).
- 1996 - 1998 Postdoc, Dept Dev Cell Biol, University of California, Irvine.
- 1994 - 1996 Postdoc, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich.
- 1993 PhD Neurobiology with honours, University of Bremen.
The Becker group is pursuing 3 main lines of research.
- We are investigating the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying successful regeneration of the zebrafish spinal cord, focussing on the activation of spinal-intrinsic progenitor cells by the lesion and lesion induced neurogenesis (Becker and Becker (2015) Neuronal Regeneration from Ependymo-radial Glial Cells: Cook, Little Pot, Cook! Developmental Cell 32(4):516-27), as well as axonal regeneration (Becker and Becker (2014) Axonal Regeneration in Zebrafish. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 27C:186-191).
- We are using automated chemical compound screen in zebrafish models of motor neurone diseases, mainly spinal muscular atrophy, to identify targets for therapy. My group a founding member of the SMA UK Research Consortium, funded by the SMA Trust with £1.3m.
- We are investigating the molecular factors controlling the development of the spinal locomotor network to identify the fundamental relationship between network and function.
In summary, my research contributes to a better understanding of the factors governing generation of neurons and axonal pathfinding in the CNS during development and regeneration. I use the zebrafish model to identify fundamental mechanisms in vertebrates with clear translational implications for CNS injury and neurodegenerative diseases.
- Thomas Becker, Co-PI
- François El-Daher, Post-doctoral Fellow
- Louisa Drake, PhD Student
- Lizi Lake, PhD student
- Tom Ng, PhD student
- Ana Oprisoreanu, Post-doctoral Fellow
- Nicola Porter, Post-doctoral Researcher
- Tom Gillingwater, University of Edinburgh
- Neil Henderson, University of Edinburgh
- Leah Herrgen, University of Edinburgh
- JP Hugnot, Montpellier, France
- Matthias Kirsch/Ortrud Uckermann, University Hospital Dresden
- David Lyons, University of Edinburgh
- Serge Muyldermans, VUB, Brussels
- Dirk Sieger, University of Edinburgh
- Urszula Slaswinska, Warsaw, Poland
- Judith Sleeman, University of St Andrews
- Kevin Talbot, University of Oxford
El-Daher F, Becker CG (2020) Neural circuit reorganisation after spinal cord injury in Zebrafish, Current Opinions in Genetics, in press
Becker T, Becker CG (2020) Dynamic cell interactions allow spinal cord regeneration in zebrafish, Current Opinions in Physiology 14:64–69 DOI: 10.1016/j.cophys.2020.01.009
Becker CG, Becker T, Hugnot JP (2018) The spinal ependymal zone as a source of endogenous repair cells across vertebrates, Progress in Neurobiology, in press DOI: 10.1016/j.pneurobio.2018.04.002
Cardozo MJ, Mysiak KS, Becker T, Becker CG (2017) Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - Developmental Signals in Spinal Cord Regeneration. Developmental Biology, DOI:10.1016/j.ydbio.2017.05.011
Becker CG, Becker T (2015) Neuronal regeneration from ependymo-radial glial cells: cook, little pot, cook! Developmental Cell 32 (4), 516-527, DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2015.01.001
Becker T, Becker CG (2014) Axonal regeneration in zebrafish, Current Opinion in Neurobiology 27, 186-191 DOI: 10.1016/j.conb.2014.03.019
Oprişoreanu AM, Smith HL, Arya S, Webster R, Zhong Z, Wehner D, Cardozo MJ, Becker T, Talbot K, Becker CG (2019) Interaction of axonal Chondrolectin with Collagen XIXa1 is necessary for precise neuromuscular junction formation. Cell Reports, 29(5):1082-1098.e10 DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.09.033
Caldwell LJ, Davies NO, Cavone L, Mysiak KS, Semenov SA, Panula P, Armstrong JD, Becker CG*, Becker T* (2019) Regeneration of dopaminergic neurons in adult zebrafish depends on immune system activation and differs for distinct populations, J Neurosci 12;39(24):4694-4713 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2706-18.2019
Tsarouchas TM, Wehner D, Cavone L, Munir T, Keatinge M, Lambertus M, Underhill A, Barrett T, Kassapis E, Ogryzko N, Feng Y, van Ham TJ, Becker T, Becker CG (2018) Dynamic control of proinflammatory cytokines Il-1β and Tnf-α by macrophages is necessary for functional spinal cord regeneration in zebrafish, Nature Communication 7;9(1):4670 DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-07036-w
Wehner D, Tsarouchas TM, Michael A, Haase C, Weidinger G, Reimer MM, Becker T*, Becker CG* (2017) Wnt signaling controls a pro-regenerative extracellular matrix in functional spinal cord regeneration, Nature Communications 25;8(1):126 DOI: 10.1038/s41467-017-00143-0
Boyd PJ, Tu WY, Shorrock HK, Powis RA, Groen EJN, Thomson SR, Thomson D, Graham LC, Wishart TM, Highley JR, Becker T, Becker CG, Heath PR, Gillingwater TH (2017) Bioenergetic status determines motor neuron vulnerability in spinal muscular atrophy, PLoS Genetics 13(4):e1006744
Ohnmacht J, Yang Y, Maurer GW, Barreiro-Iglesias A, Tsarouchas TM, Wehner D, Sieger D, Becker CG*, Becker T* (2016). Spinal Motor Neurons are Regenerated after Mechanical Lesion and Genetic Ablation in Larval Zebrafish. Development 143:1464-1474
Barreiro-Iglesias A, Mysiak KS, Scott AL, Reimer MM, Yang YJ, Becker CG*, Becker T* (2015). Serotonin Promotes Development and Regeneration of Spinal Motor Neurons in Zebrafish. Cell Reports 13(5):924-32
Wishard TM, Mutsaers CA, Riesland M, Reimer MM, Fuller HR, Hannam ML, Morse R, Young PJ, Lamont DJ, Hammerschmidt M, Morris GE, Parson SH, Skehel PA, Becker T, Robinson IM, Becker CG, Wirth B, Gillingwater TH (2014). Dysregulation of Ubiquitin Homeostasis and β-catenin Signalling Promote Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Journal of Clinical Investigation 124(4):1821-34.
Sleigh JN, Barreiro-Iglesias A, Oliver PL, Biba A, Becker T, Davies KE, Becker CG, Talbot K. (2013) Chondrolectin affects cell survival and neuronal outgrowth in in vitro and in vivo models of spinal muscular atrophy. Hum Mol Genet 23(4):855-69
Reimer MM, Norris A, Ohnmacht J, Patani R, Zhong Z, Dias TB, Kuscha V, Scott AL, Chen Y, Rozov S, Frazer SL, Wyatt C, Higashijima S, Patton EE, Panula P, Chandran S, Becker T*, Becker CG* (2013) Dopamine signaling from the brain augments spinal motor neuron generation during development and adult regeneration via hedgehog pathway activation, Dev Cell 25(5): 478-491
Information for students:
Willingness to discuss research projects with undergraduate and postgraduate students: YES - Please click here