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Zebrafish research at UCL


Zebrafish research at UCL

About zebrafish research at ucl

The zebrafish is a small tropical fish that has become one of the favoured animal model systems for research in many areas including embryonic development, genetic analyses of disease, neural circuit function and behaviour. One reason for this popularity is that zebrafish embryos are optically transparent and genetically tractable making them ideally suited for studies of cell and tissue behaviour and function. Zebrafish also exhibit sleep, social, hunting and other complex behaviours and progress in understanding the neuroanatomy of the brain is facilitating studies of the neural circuits mediating these behaviours.

On this site, you can learn about the wide range of research projects at UCL that use zebrafish and see many beautiful images and movies from these projects. We appreciate that not all our visitors are trained scientists and so we have public outreach pages that help to explain what we do.


Research groups

There are many research groups using zebrafish for research at UCL and you can find out about some of them here, or continue reading about Zebrafish at UCL.

Zebrafish research at UCL is supported by a team of core staff, who you can read about here.




Latest news

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Many of our images are available for download from Wellcome Images.
Simply search the collection for 'Zebrafish'.
All images and movies are copyright of UCL Zebrafish Group please request permission before using. 





We believe that science is meant to be shared, and not just with other scientists.

Below are a few details of some of the activities in which Zebrafish UCL labs participate in to disseminate science to the public.

A-Level Placements at Zebrafish UCL
Applications for the Wilson/Rihel/Bianco/Tada Lab Zebrafish A-Level Work Experience Programme for 2019 are now closedClick here for more information about the programme.  

Please note this is the only work experience programme we offer so please do not contact us about alternative placements.

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For a full list of Zebrafish UCL publications by year click here, or choose a year below. You can also visit our publication summaries page to find summaries of papers that need less scientific knowledge to understand. 


Recent publications

Sabine Reichert, Oriol Pavón Arocas, Jason Rihel
The Neuropeptide Galanin Is Required for Homeostatic Rebound Sleep following Increased Neuronal Activity
Neuron (2019) DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2019.08.010

Ingrid Lekk , Véronique Duboc, Ana Faro, Stephanos Nicolaou, Patrick Blader, Stephen W Wilson.
Sox1a mediates the ability of the parapineal to impart habenular left-right asymmetry.
eLife 2019;8:e47376 DOI: 10.7554/eLife.47376

Henriques PM, Rahman N, Jackson SE, Bianco IH.
Nucleus Isthmi is required to sustain target pursuit during visually guided prey-catching.
Current Biology (2019) 29:1771-1786. doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.04.064

Lau JYN, Bianco IH, Severi KE.
Cellular-level understanding of supraspinal control: what can be learned from zebrafish?
Curr Opin Physiol (2019) 8:141 doi.org/10.1016/j.cophys.2019.01.013

Young RM, Hawkins TA, Cavodeassi F, Stickney HL, Schwarz Q, Lawrence LM, Wierzbicki C, Cheng BY, Luo J, Ambrosio EM, Klosner A, Sealy IM, Rowell J, Trivedi CA, Bianco IH, Allende ML, Busch-Nentwich EM, Gestri G, Wilson SW.
Compensatory growth renders Tcf7l1a dispensable for eye formation despite its requirement in eye field specification.
Elife. (2019) 8. doi: 10.7554/eLife.40093

Turner KJ, Hoyle J, Valdivia LE, Cerveny KL, Hart W, Mangoli M, Geisler R, Rees M, Houart C, Poole RJ, Wilson SW, Gestri G.
Abrogation of Stem Loop Binding Protein (Slbp) function leads to a failure of cells to transition from proliferation to differentiation, retinal coloboma and midline axon guidance deficits.
PLoS One. 2019 Jan 29;14(1):e0211073. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0211073. eCollection 2019.

Anton KA, Kajita M, Narumi R, Fujita Y, Tada M.
Src-transformed cells hijack mitosis to extrude from the epithelium.
Nat Commun. 2018 Nov 8;9(1):4695. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-07163-4.

Dahimene S1, Page KM1, Kadurin I1, Ferron L1, Ho DY1, Powell GT2, Pratt WS1, Wilson SW2, Dolphin AC3.
The α2δ-like Protein Cachd1 Increases N-type Calcium Currents and Cell Surface Expression and Competes with α2δ-1.
Cell Rep. 2018 Nov 6;25(6):1610-1621.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.10.033.

Roussigné M, Wei L, Tsingos E, Kuchling F, Alkobtawi M, Tsalavouta M, Wittbrodt J, Carl M, Blader P, Wilson SW. (2018)
Left/right asymmetric collective migration of parapineal cells is mediated by focal FGF signaling activity in leading cells.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. pii: 201812016. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1812016115.

Ashlin TG, Blunsom NJ, Ghosh M, Cockcroft S, Rihel J.(2018)
Pitpnc1a Regulates Zebrafish Sleep and Wake Behavior through Modulation of Insulin-like Growth Factor Signaling.
Cell Rep;24(6):1389-1396. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.07.012.

Gaia Gestri, Naiara Bazin-Lopez, Clarissa Scholes and Stephen W. Wilson (2018)
Cell Behaviors during Closure of the Choroid Fissure in the Developing Eye.
Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. doi.org/10.3389/fncel.2018.00042

Anna M. Krasnow  1, Marc C. Ford  , Leonardo E. Valdivia, Stephen W. Wilson  and David Attwell (2018)
Regulation of developing myelin sheath elongation by oligodendrocyte calcium transients in vivo.
Nature Neuroscience .doi:10.1038/s41593-017-0031-y

Singh C, Rihel J, and Prober DA (2017).
Neuropeptide Y Regulates Sleep by Modulating Noradrenergic Signaling
Current Biology, doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2017.11.018

Schoppik D, Bianco IH, Prober DA, Douglass AD, Robson DN, Li JMB, Greenwood JSF, Soucy E, Engert F, Schier AF.(2017)
Gaze-stabilizing central vestibular neurons project asymmetrically to extraocular motoneuron pools. 
J Neurosci. pii: 1711-17. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1711-17.2017

Wolf S, Dubreuil AM, Bertoni T, Böhm UL, Bormuth V, Candelier R, Karpenko S, Hildebrand DGC, Bianco IH, Monasson R, Debrégeas G.(2017)
Sensorimotor computation underlying phototaxis in zebrafish.
Nat Commun. 8:651. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-00310-3.

Hildebrand DGC, Cicconet M, Torres RM, Choi W, Quan TM, Moon J, Wetzel AW, Scott Champion A, Graham BJ, Randlett O, Plummer GS, Portugues R, Bianco IH, Saalfeld S, Baden AD, Lillaney K, Burns R, Vogelstein JT, Schier AF, Lee WA, Jeong WK, Lichtman JW, Engert F. (2017)
Whole-brain serial-section electron microscopy in larval zebrafish. 
Nature. doi:10.1038/nature22356

Chen S, Reichert S, Singh C, Oikonomou G, Rihel J*, and Prober DA* (2017).
Light-dependent regulation of sleep/wake states by prokineticin 2 in zebrafish.
Neuron. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2017.06.001. *co-corresponding

Van Lessen M, Shibata-Germanos S, van Impel A, Hawkins TA, Rihel J, and Schulte-Merker S (2017). 
Intracellular uptake of macromolecules by brain lymphatic endothelial cells during zebrafish embryonic development. 
eLife DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.25932

Barlow IL and Rihel J (2017).
Zebrafish sleep: from geneZZZ to neuronZZZ. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 10.1016/j.conb.2017.02.009




Contact Us

Tube The nearest underground stations are Euston Square, Euston and Warren Street. We are only a few blocks away from any of these stations.

Buses Southbound routes 10, 24, 29, and 73 pass by UCL’s main gate; northbound routes stop at Warren Street station.

1st Floor, Anatomy Building
Gower Street

tel: 020 3549 5652

General & technical enquiries
email: doreen.bailey@ucl.ac.uk
Diz Bailey

Outreach/ Work experience/Academic Enquiries
email: a.barth@ucl.ac.uk
Anukampa Barth


For information specific to a research group...
Wilson lab s.wilson@ucl.ac.uk
Bianco lab i.bianco@ucl.ac.uk
Tada lab m.tada@ucl.ac.uk
Dreosti lab e.dreosti@ucl.ac.uk
Rihel lab j.rihel@ucl.ac.uk
Alexandre lab p.alexandre@ucl.ac.uk
Hawkins lab t.hawkins@ucl.ac.uk
Payne Lab e.payne@ucl.ac.uk
Frankel Lab p.frankel@ucl.ac.uk
MacDonald Lab macdryan@gmail.com