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David Lyons 2018 Election Statement
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Professor of Neurobiology
Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences
University of Edinburgh



-          Co-organiser 7th European Zebrafish Meeting, 2011, Edinburgh.

-          Co-director UK Zebrafish Screening Facility, University of Edinburgh, open for projects and collaboration with community.

-          Freely distribute transgenic and mutant lines, >50 laboratories.

-          Ad hoc reviewer at Cell, Nature, Science etc.

-          Ad hoc reviewer for ERC, RCUK, Wellcome, ANR, FCT, FWO, NWO etc.

-          SAB member for academic and industry groups.

-          Advocate for zebrafish research at diverse international meetings, teaching courses, and through interactions with medical charities, politicians, large donors, and anyone who needs to listen.


Candidate Statement:

I grew up (some may question that), scientifically at least, in the zebrafish community. I was hooked upon my first glimpse of our wonderful model organism at UCL as an undergraduate, and so stayed to carry out my PhD, imaging neural progenitor behaviour with Jon Clarke (1999-2003). This was an exciting time for the fish community as the first transgenic lines emerged, and as the field expanded. The family nature of the zebrafish community shaped my approach to science, openly sharing tools and ideas. I was lucky enough to meet the wider family during this time, at Woods Hole over a few years, and in Tubingen during the second large ENU screen. I’m sure I attended our annual meetings then too, but for some reason, the details escape me. Despite flirting with the notion of a postdoc using an invertebrate, I couldn’t desert the fish. Therefore, I spent five happy years at Stanford with Will Talbot, where, when not breaking various limbs, I worked on myelin biology. From Stanford, I moved to the University of Edinburgh in 2009, where my group continue to study myelin, glia and neural circuit formation, health and function. Together with our network of collaborators, we bring together transgenesis, genetics, imaging, drug discovery, electrophysiology and behaviour, and regularly welcome research visitors to our lab. Importantly, we also work with colleagues with expertise in mammalian and human systems, in both academia and industry, spanning discovery and translational research. Indeed, what I would hope to bring to the IZFS board would be experience in bringing zebrafish to such wider research communities. I see the board membership role as coming with an obligation to support, communicate and advocate what we all have to offer.

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