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).
- 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
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).
- Wellcome Trust
- The Lister Institute
- European Commission
- Multiple Sclerosis Society
- donation made through shift.ms
- Medical Research Council
- Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT Portugal)
- Jenea Bin, Research Fellow
- Katy Cole, Research Technician
- Jason Early, Research Associate
- Rafael Gois de Almeida, Research Fellow
- Anna Klingseisen, Research Fellow
- Sarah Neely, PhD Student
- Dau Suminaite ,Post-doctoral Fellow
- Matthew Swire, Research Associate
- Jill Williamson, PhD Student
- Megan Madden, PhD Student
- 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)
- 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.
Information for students:
Willingness to discuss research projects with undergraduate and postgraduate students: YES - please click here