Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences
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Prof David Lyons

Our current focus is on elucidating mechanisms that orchestrate the formation of myelinated axons, associated with many human diseases including Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

Professor David Lyons

Professor of Neurobiology

  • The Chancellor's Building
  • 49 Little France Crescent
  • EH16 4SB

Contact details

Personal profile

  • 2015 - present: Personal Chair of Neurobiology, Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences
  • 2014: Senior Research Fellowship from the Wellcome Trust
  • 2012: Award of a Research Prize from the Lister Institute
  • 2009: joined the Centre for Neuroregeneration through a BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship
  • 2004 - 2009: postdoctoral work at Stanford University in the Department of Developmental Biology with Prof. William Talbot
  • 2003: PhD in Developmental Biology, University College London

Research Theme

Research

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).

Funding

Team members

Collaborations

  • Professor Catherina and Dr. Thomas Becker (CDBS, University of Edinburgh)
  • Professor Peter Brophy (CDBS, 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)

Selected Publications