Studying myelinated axon biology using zebrafish

About the project

We study myelinated axon biology in the living animal, using zebrafish as a model. Myelinated axons are essential for normal nervous system development, health, function, and disruption to myelin sheath and associated axons is associated with many human diseases including multiple sclerosis (MS) and motor neurone disease (MND).

Our lab uses zebrafish because one can study myelinated axon biology at multiple scales: we identify new genes required for myelination, and new drug-like compounds that can regulate myelination at a molecular level. Because of the transparency of the animal we can study the cell biology of myelinated axon formation as it happens in the living animal, and the pathologies that emerge when myelin is damaged. In addition, we can study how healthy or damaged myelin affects associated neurons, and neural circuits. It is by studying such cell-cell interactions that we hope to gain insights into disease processes and identify mechanisms that can be targeted therapeutically.


Wellcome, Lister Institute, MRC.


Baraban M, Koudelka S, Lyons DA
Ca (2+) activity signatures of myelin sheath formation and growth in vivo
Nat Neurosci. 2018 Jan;21(1):19-23

Primary location


Principal Investigator

Other people involved

LYONS LAB: Marion Baraban, Post-doctoral Fellow; Jenea Bin, Post-doctoral Fellow; Katy Cole, Research Technician; Jason Early, Research Associate; Rafael Gois de Almeida, Post-doctoral Fellow; Linde Kegel, Post-doctoral Fellow; Anna Klingseisen, Post-doctoral Fellow; Megan Madden, PhD Student; Dau Suminaite, Post-doctoral Fellow; Jill Williamson, PhD Student;

COLLABORATORS: Professor Catherina Becker;  Dr Thomas Becker (University of Edinburgh); Professor Siddharthan Chandran (University of Edinburgh); Professor Peter Brophy (University of Edinburgh); Professor Jonah Chan (University of California, San Francisco); Professor Abdel El Manira (Karolinska Institutet, Sweden); Professor Charles ffrench Constant (University of Edinburgh); Dr Matt Livesey (University of Edinburgh); Dr. Veronica Miron (University of Edinburgh); Dr. Richard Poole (University College London); Professor Mikael Simons (TU Munich); Professor William Talbot (Stanford University, USA); Dr Claire Wyart (ICM, Paris); Biogen (Cambridge, MA, USA)