Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences
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Dr Leah Herrgen

We investigate the mechanisms underlying brain repair in the zebrafish.

Dr Leah Herrgen

Principal Investigator

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

Contact details

Personal profile

  • 2015 - Present     Principal Investigator, CDBS, University of Edinburgh
  • 2009 - 2015           Postdoc, University of Oxford
  • 2008 - 2009           Postdoc, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden
  • 2004 - 2008           PhD, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden

Research Theme


Our overarching goal is to elucidate the molecular and cellular mechanisms that enable or prevent central nervous system (CNS) repair, a fundamental unresolved challenge at the interface of neuroscience and tissue repair biology.

We are approaching this complex task by studying larvae of the zebrafish, a small tropical fish that is hardy and easy to maintain and breed. Importantly, larval zebrafish are almost entirely transparent, which means that we can easily watch cells and molecules in their nervous system in real time under a microscope.

Our current research focusses on the question of how cell death is regulated after CNS injury. We are using RNA sequencing and small molecule screening to identify genes and pathways that control how many nerve cells die after a CNS injury, with the aim of developing therapeutic strategies that can protect these cells. 

Ultimately, understanding the cellular and molecular events that lead to successful nervous system repair in zebrafish may help us to develop novel therapeutic strategies for CNS injury in humans.


Team members


Selected Publications

Key Earlier Publications