We made it to the 21th century!
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This month Jingjing’s extensive review on “Biochemistry and physiology of zebrafish photoreceptors” has been published in Pflügers Archiv – European Journal of Physiology, the oldest physiology journal of the world (luckily for Jingjing, it is not in German anymore). The review turned into a comprehensive piece of work with a whooping 222 references. Congratulations Jingjing, your paper will be a must-read for everybody interested in zebrafish photoreceptor biochemistry.
The review is open access at
It is our special pleasure to announce the inauguration of the Electrophysiology Facility, the latest addition to the technology platforms of the University of Zurich.
The facility is integrated into our laboratory space in Y13K52. It all started with a meeting of Professors Johannes Loffing (Institute of Anatomy), Felix Beuschlein (Clinic of Endocrinology), and Stephan Neuhauss (Department of Molecular Life Scienes) about two years ago. Now the facility, with the charming acronym e-Phac, is enthusiastically headed by Dr. David Pentos Ribas.
We are happy that we could launch this important core facility and already have our first customers. Check out our service at https://www.e-phac.uzh.ch/en.html.
Farewell to Chiara (Cianciolo – Consentino)
It is time to say goodbye to Chiara.
She was the flame carrier for our kidney projects in our collaborations with Jan Loffing’s lab and even got lure into studying the cerebellum.
We will miss her dearly, her colorful healthy lunches, her sportive spirit, and the many nice conversations we had.
The sweetener is that she will stay in Zurich and has already started a collaboration between our lab and her new boss Javad Nazarian.
Best presenter Award for Domino!
Congratulations to Domino. Last weekend she won the best presenter award at the 12th Swiss Zebrafishmeeting in Leukerbad. Amidst snow covered mountains she convinced the jury with her talk on “Studying the role of CACNAD2D4 in a rare form of retinal dystrophy”.
The prize was sponsored by the European Zebrafish Society (EuFishBioMed).
Best presentation award at the Swiss Eye Research Meeting for Jingjing!
Congratulations to Jingjing. She just won the best presentation award at this year Swiss Eye Research Meeting in Lausanne. The well-deserved award was for her talk on “The Role of Circadian Rhythms in Regulating the Cone Phototransduction Cascade Shutoff in the Zebrafish Retina”. Well done Jingjing.
In February, Filipe Viegas (Filipe Paulos e Cruz Oliveira Viegas to be precise) will start his PhD in our lab. Filipe is a Portugese native from Lisbon. He holds a Master degree in evolutionary and developmental biology from the University of Lisbon and worked previously with Drosophila. We are happy to have him join the team and help us to understand how neurons in the retina are energized.
This February, Marco Garbelli will join our team. Marco holds a Master degree in Molecular Biology of the Cell from the University of Milan. Coming from the lab of my former colleague from (long past) student days Prof. Salim Seyfried, he has already ample experience with zebrafish and imaging. He will now use his skills to understand glutamate signaling in the retina.
In this recent review Jingjing highlights the latest on our favorite Calcium-binding protein Recoverin. This negative regulator of the visual transduction cascade has more to offer than just a calcium-dependent binding to G-protein-coupled receptor kinases. We discuss recent results that hint a functions beyond this well described interaction and highlight functional differences in rod and cone visual transduction. Find the paper in Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnmol.2018.00473/full
Our latest paper by Marion was just published in Histochemistry and Cell Biology. In another tour-de-force analysis, Marion showed that the common histochemical marker for On-bipolar cells (Phosphokinsase C) shows a more complex expression in the retina. Only a subset of bipolar cells are labeled with this marker and the commonly used commercial antibodies recognize more than one Phosphokinase isoform. These data provide a cautionary note on the interpretation of many published and ongoing studies of inner retina cell identification.
Find the paper at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30604284
David Penton Ribas joins our lab as an expert electrophysiologist
David will take over our electrophysiology and cell culture laboratory. We hope that this is the seed of building an electrophysiology core facility that not only our team, but also colleagues from the Science and the Medical faculty can benefit from. We are happy that he is now part of our team- Welcome David!
A warm welcome to our new Team-members!
Maria Andreea Dimitriu, External Master Student in the Neuhauss Lab
Ashwini Kedari, External Master Student in the Bachmann Lab
Irmak Cabas, External Master Student in the Bachmann Lab
Nadja Greter, Internship Student in the Bachmann Lab
Starting in Sommer 2018, Sabina Steiner, will care for the administrative needs of our group. She has not lost her smile after being confronted by the multiple needs of four professors, spanning everything from personnel administration, finances and teaching related work. Keep on smiling, we are very happy to have you on board.
The latest paper in our series combing phylogenetics with a detailed in situ expression histological analysis. Marion’s recent paper focused on protein kinase C variants in the brain. These central signaling molecules are well conserved among vertebrates and Marion provides an unprecedented detailed expression profile over the whole developing brain. Read more and enjoy the beautiful in situ hybridization images in the Journal of Comparative Neurology.
A brief commentary on a beautiful paper from the Baden lab, published in Current Biology, showing that the larval zebrafish retina is structurally optimized to match the visual ecology of their habitat. Enjoy the LSD inspired figure designed by Matthias.
After more than ten years of managing our group Irene Hofmann is leaving the institute to work in Lucerne. She was our most skilled pilot in all administrative issues, helping us to navigate the labyrinth of university administration and always with a rescue plan, when we got stranded. We will miss you dearly and wish you a great start in Lucerne.
Michele Hari is our most recent proud graduate from our Master in Neuroscience Program. We will miss her laugh during lunch time, exercising and partying together and so much more. All the best with starting the next career step.
André Lehnherr, another long time student of us is leaving to bring narcoleptics with a novel mode of action to market. He will start as Medical Science Liaison at Recordati. With André we lose not only a brilliant experimentalist, but also one of the pillars of our lab’s social life. We will miss also his fantastic home brews that easily rank among the best craft beers available anywhere.
Bye Bye Steffi...
It is time for Stephanie Niklaus to move on. After doing her Master thesis and her PhD with us, Steffi was snatch up by Roche Pharmaceuticals. This is a loss for academia, but we are proud that she will bring her expertise in zebrafish genetics and visual diagnostics to the pharmaceutical industry. Our team will lose on the most active members and we will struggle to replace your expertise of basically all we do in the lab. The lab will feel different without you and your treats from Graubünden. We wish you all the best for your next challenge and hope that we both can help to bridge the industrial/academic divide.
Congratulations to Adriana Hotz. Her proposal to use a zebrafish mutant to model epilepsy was awarded the prestigious CandDoc Forschungskredit Award of the University.
Anja Enz recently graduated with her Master’s degree and will start as a junior consultant at Kelly Services soon. Congratulations and all the best for her future endeavors. We will miss one of our most avid sports companions.
Sanne spend six months in the lab to be trained in electroretinography and other fishy business. She is now back in Nijmegen at Radboud University. We will miss you Sanne - it was a pleasure to have you with us! This half a year went way too fast...
There is a nice article ( in german ) about the childern University in the Tagesanzeiger.
Prof. Dr. Stephan Neuhauss is this year again a lecturer at children University. One of his topics: Can fish get a sunburn?
Congratulations to André, after finishing his final PhD exam with flying colors. The event was celebrated in style, lubricated by his other biological interest, namely taming yeast to produce a number of excellent home brews.
All the best for your future, your Neuhauss-team
Congratulations (or Condolences) to Stephan for being elected to become Vice-Dean for Research and Planning of the Faculty of Science, beginning in August 2017.
Good luck and may you make more new friends than enemies.
Steffi defended her thesis with flying colors, leaving her committee speechless.
All the best of fun for the well-deserved extend trip around the world.
We are happy that you will not leave us yet and will come back to finish and write even more papers.
Proud "Doktorvater" and your team
Fish Larvae on Cocaine
Steffi just published the curious finding that cocaine accumulation in the zebrafish eye leads to an increased response of the retina to light. This may be related to changes in light adaptation connected to dopamine signaling. Find the open access link to this single observation see open access at:
Cocaine Accumulation in Zebrafish Eyes Leads to Augmented Amplitudes in the Electroretinogram
Glutamate Transport at the Photoreceptor Synapse Shape Neurotransmission
With perfect timing just before the submission of her thesis, Steffi, Lucia and friends got the long awaited EAAT2 story published. These two paralogs of glutamate transporters represent prime example of subfunctionalization of an ancient gene function. They found that glial-expressed EAAT2a is the main glutamate sink at the cone photoreceptor synapse. EAAT2b in turn is expressed on cone photoreceptors, sporting a large anion leak current, effectively clamping the photoreceptor resting potential. Read the paper for free clicking the link below.
Shaping of Signal Transmission at the Photoreceptor Synapse by EAAT2 Glutamate Transporters.
Niklaus S, Cadetti L, Vom Berg-Maurer CM, Lehnherr A, Hotz AL, Forster IC, Gesemann M, Neuhauss SCF.
Evolutionary Conservation in the Vertebrate Kidney
Our former PhD student Yuya Sugano published yet another paper from our fruitful collaboration with the Loffing lab from the Institute of Anatomy. In this paper he shows that gene expression is conserved between the mammalian distal convoluted tubule and the zebrafish distal late segment. Interestingly some genes enriched in the mouse are not found to be enriched in the zebrafish. Instead, related homologous genes from the fish are enriched, likely fulfilling a similar function.
Comparative transcriptomic analysis identifies evolutionarily conserved gene products in the vertebrate renal distal convoluted tubule.
Sugano Y, Cianciolo Cosentino C, Loffing-Cueni D, Neuhauss SCF, Loffing J.
Pflugers Arch. 2017 Jun 27. doi: 10.1007/s00424-017-2009-8
Congratulations to Irene Ojeda Naharros, our newly minted Dr.sc.nat.
Triple digits of hours tracking fluorescent particles in photoreceptor cells have paid off.
All the best of luck for your postdoc and your growing family!
Selin finished her Master in Genetics this May working on camta1 mutants. We will miss your ready smile and your comedian’s talent that made our lunch breaks. All the best for your graduate school applications.
Ruxandra Bachmann has a new homepage:
We are proud and happy to report that Ruxandra got awarded the very prestigious SNF Förderprofessorship of the Swiss National Science Foundation. From this fall on she will be an independent assistant professor at the Institute of Molecular Genetics. Luckily she will continue to be associated with us via her fish work. Incidentally I started my academic career with the same professorship. Congratulations and all the best for starting your completely independent research team.
Congratulation Dr. Stella Glasauer
Proud „Doktorvater“ with Stella Glasauer at the graduation ceremony in October 2016
The 2nd European Meeting on Phototransduction which took place in September 2016 on the beautiful Monte Verita in Ascona was a full success. The 50 participants from 12 different countries presented and discussed photoransduction in all its depth from biophysical properties to evolution and diseases.
Yuya Sugano was awarded the best thesis prize at the annual meeting of the Swiss society for anatomy. Congratulations to this well-deserved honor.
Some part of the thesis is published in Kidney Int. 2015 Nov;88(5):1047-56 (Sugano et al; The Rho-GTPase binding protein IQGAP2 is required for the glomerular filtration barrier)
cover Journal of Comparative Neurology Vol.524 / No.12
cover in Open Biology 2015 August
SRF Einstein Episode from 21.04.2011 about Zebrafish science in Zurich.