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|Patrick Blader 2018 Election Statement|
INSERM Research Director
Centre for Integrative Biology
Toulouse (CBI), France
-Founding member of the European Society for Fish Models in Biology and Medicine (EuFishBioMed; 2012)
-Elected member of the board of the European Society (2016-present)
- Member of the INSERM committee of scientists (2008-2012)
- Member of the Scientific Council of the French Cancer charity ARC (2013-2015)
- Member of the CNRS section for Development and Cell Biology (2016-present)
- Organization of international, national or regional zebrafish meetings:
5th European Strategic Conference of Zebrafish PIs, Trento, 2018; Southern California regional Zebrafish meeting, Irvine, 2016; Workshop at 8th European Zebrafish Meeting, Barcelona, 2013; COST symposium "Contribution from Zebrafish to Neuroscience", Salamanca, 2012.
- Referee for grant applications of French (ANR, ARC, FRM, INSERM), Canadian (MRC, NSERC), British (BBSRC, MRC) and Belgian (FNRS) research agencies, as well as the Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP).
I have been a zebrafish researcher since my PhD in Philip Ingham's lab at the University of Oxford. After completing a post-doc with Uwe Strähle at the IGBMC in Strasbourg, France, I established my own research group at the University of Toulouse. We have been using a complementary set of molecular, genetic, and imaging strategies to address topics concerning the development and, more recently, the function of the embryonic and larval nervous system. Leveraging our expertise with zebrafish, we recently joined a consortium of human geneticists and molecular biologists to develop animal models for human genetic disorders.
My involvement in structuring the European zebrafish research community impressed upon me the need for a strong International Society as a crucial platform for coordinating zebrafish research worldwide. In this regard, I feel that the recent efforts to include the Asia-Pacific region in the rotation of both the Principal Investigator and General zebrafish meetings should be reinforced. Furthermore, the IZFS should stimulate the interactions between labs working on fundamental questions and those with more applied/medical projects via coordinated efforts between the IZFS and ZDMS. The IZFS should also coordinate the establishment of standardised protocols and tools and their dissemination via journals, such as Zebrafish, as well as the ZFIN website. Indeed, an essential task of the IZFS in the future will be to lobby for continued funding of ZFIN, which provides a crucial service to the international community. Finally, I believe that the IZFS should work to ensure the integration of early-stage researcher more effectively into the zebrafish community and should lead outreach efforts to inform the lay public of the importance of the zebrafish model. If elected, I will work with the other members of the IZFS board to achieve these goals.