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Willingness to take PhD students: Yes

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Science, University of Bremen


Zebrafish have an amazing capacity for central nervous system (CNS) regeneration. They regain function after complete lesions of the spinal cord. Such lesions in mammals are not repaired and functions are permanently lost.

Evidence suggests that ependymo-radial glial cells (ERGs) in the spinal cord are crucial for the regeneration process by generating new neurons and facilitating repair of axonal connections (for review see: Becker and Becker, 2015, Neuronal Regeneration from Ependymo-radial Glial Cells: Cook, Little Pot, Cook! Developmental Cell 32(4):516-27). Recent BBSRC funding allows us to ask two fundamental questions:

  • How can zebrafish replace lost neurons from adult stem cells?
  • What are the signals that promote neuronal regeneration?

To address these questions, we study gene regulation in ERGs that leads to reprogramming of quiescent ERGs for neurogenesis after a lesion, focussing on histone acetylation and we analyse immune signals as mediators of the regenerative response.

By analysing development and regeneration of important cell types in the zebrafish we hope to gain insight into fundamental developmental and regenerative mechanisms in the CNS, and to ultimately increase our understanding of human conditions, such as spinal cord injury. We closely collaborate with the group of Catherina Becker.


  • 2020 - Present Reader and Programme Director, MSc Integrative Neuroscience.
  • 2015 - 2020 Senior Lecturer and Programme Director, MSc Integrative Neuroscience.
  • 2011 - 2015 Lecturer and Programme Director, MSc Integrative Neuroscience.
  • 2005 - 2011 Senior Researcher, Deanery of Biomedical Sciences, University of Edinburgh.
  • 2006 - Habilitation and Venia legendi, Medical faculty, University of Hamburg.
  • 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, University of Bremen.

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