A fundamental question in developmental biology is how myriads of neurons get specified from progenitor cells and become organized into complex functional networks. Little is known on the dynamics of neural lineage decisions, cell polarity and migratory events during nervous system patterning and morphogenesis.
The objective of the EMBO Practical Course is to provide theoretical and practical background on the zebrafish model system for direct assessment of open questions using novel microscopy techniques.

Studies of neural development have reached a high level of complexity in recent years, particularly driven by the need to visualise underlying molecular and cellular processes in the living organisms. The use of zebrafish has proved to be a powerful model system for addressing this challenge, along with the advancing imaging technologies and quantitative image data analysis. Thus, sophisticated optical devices and imaging techniques are increasingly employed in zebrafish for studying a variety of developmental and regenerative contexts; at tissue, cellular and subcellular level. This practical course for PhD students, postdoctoral fellows and independent investigators will offer comprehensive coverage of microscopy techniques employed for characterization and manipulation of single cells within nervous system in developing zebrafish.

List of technologies and model paradigms that the applicants will get experience on:

    Cellular and subcellular 4D in vivo imaging
  • Optogenetics
  • Live imaging of synapse formation
  • Functional imaging of genetically encoded calcium indicatorsIn vivo analysis of interactions between microglia and neurons
  • Cell lineage labelling and cell ablation in the developing retina
  • Electroporation and retrograde tracing
  • Spreading of morphogens within the neural tube
  • Asymmetric cell divisions in the spinal cord
  • Cell tracking using photoconvertible fluorophores
  • Optokinetic response
  • Differentiation of zebrafish neural stem cells in vitro
  • Digital Light Sheet Microscopy (DSLM)
  • Fluorescent Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS)







Karlsruhe Institute of Technology,



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