Alizée wins poster prize at the Neurobiology of Social Behaviors meeting

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Our Zenith student Alizée Kastler won the best poster prize at the «Neurobiology of Social Behaviors» conference in Erice, Sicily, Italy, that took place from 9-14 September 2023.

This workshop is part of a European initiative where labs working on social behavior meet online and discuss data, and they finally got to meet in person in a memorable meeting! The workshop focused on understanding the evolution, organization and regulatory mechanisms of social behaviors in different animal species. Plenty of refreshing ideas and great science!

Well done Alizée and well done Zebrafish!

Phil presents @ Glia2023

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Our Zenith student Phil, recently presented at the 16th European Meeting on Glial Cells in Health and Disease in Berlin, Germany. Phil presented at the session Special Trainee symposium his fantastic talk "Metabotropic glutamate receptors sense neuronal signals and mediate activity-driven myelination in zebrafish". Well done!

ZENITH Hackathon & Symposium


The Zenith Hackathon and final Symposium Meeting took place between 12-16 June 2023 at the Paris Brain Institute and the Sorbonne University in Paris.

For 2,5 days the Zenith students went through intense problem solving with an Hackathon led by our PI Moritz Grosse-Wentrup and fantastic teaching assistants (TAs). Then during the final Symposium Meeting, a group of almost 100 people had the opportunity to hear about the work and vision of a selected number of renowned guest scientists in the field, and to meet our 15 ESRs who presented their body of work accomplished so far. The Symposium really promoted idea exchange and collaboration!

It was an inspiring and intense week! We thank all "Zenithers", invited speakers, TAs and guests for the fantastic spirit! We are very proud of the community we've created with Zenith. More info in our Training section and check some images in our Twitter and Instagram accounts!

Outreach: Alizée @ Pint of Science again!

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Last May, our amazing ESR Alizée Kastler participated once again at the Pint of Science UK events

End to 3 days of pint of science events !! I volunteered again this year and loved every aspect of it ! We invited UCL researchers to the pub to talk about mindfulness, gene therapy and personality. Lot’s of quizzes, prizes and discussions. We even had an occupational therapist lead the audience into a mindfulness exercise. So happy to see it come together so well.


Internship position at CRG - APPLY NOW!

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Our Zenith student Tahnee Mackensen is recruiting an intern to work in the field of zebrafish neuroscience!

Project Title: Understanding the link between splicing and sleep/wake behaviour in zebrafish.

A trainee position is offered in the lab of Manuel Irimia at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona, Spain. It’s a non-funded, full-time position for 3-8 months, to work in the field of zebrafish neuroscience with a Zenith PhD student.

The work uses a variety of approaches to investigate zebrafish behavioural states in a splicing mutants including pharmacological assay, video-tracking and widely used molecular techniques such as PCRs and Western Blotting. The ideal candidate should have:

    • Basic background in life sciences, preferably biomedicine, biology, neurobiology
    • One full year of undergraduate (2 semesters) completed by the time the internship starts
    • High level of English
    • Ideally previous lab experience (not a requirement)
    • Ability to work independently following a period of elaborative training
    • Ability to generate reliable data with the potential for publication
    • Collaborative spirit and friendly attitude, eager to learn in a fast paced environment

The ideal time to start the internship is flexible but preferably around September 2023 or January 2024.

Applications should be addressed to and include CV, motivational letter, one contact for a reference letter (if needed) and university transcript.

Tom's Secondment at TUM

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Our Zenith student Thomas Mullen just completed in October-November 2022 a short Secondment at the Ruben Portugues lab at the Technical University Munich (TUM)!

Last month I worked in the Portugues Lab where I applied image analysis techniques such as registration and network analysis methods on my experimental data. I had a fantastic time working alongside my Zenith peer Shuhong. We also participated at the NeuroTechMUC Hackathon in Munich, using OpenBCI EEG equipment to decode human motor output.


Outreach: Zebrafish Academy

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Last week (26/10/22) I gave an introduction to Behaviour: What is Behaviour, How is it studied and How and Why in Zebrafish?

Eight A-Level Biology students were hosted on a 5-day work experience placement in the fish floor at UCL. Throughout the week they learned In situ Hybridisation, genotyping through PCR, and recorded some behaviour. In the Dreosti lab they were able to record and compare different aspects of social behaviour: shoaling and social preference at different developmental timepoints.

A rewarding experience that hopefully gave them a good overview of what science research looks like! We had lots of positive feedback and very creative end of the week presentations from the students.


Outreach: Fête de la science!

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Our Zenith student Sharbat participated in the "Fête de la science", an event all over France where thousands of scientifics gather to share their enthusiasm for science, technology and innovation with the public. Sharbat was part of the Fish Team of the Laboratoire Jean Perrin at the Sorbonne University and he talked about the similarities and differences between human and Zebrafish brain structure.

Explaining science to the people will always, always, be amazing and fruitful.

Vive les sciences, vive la vulgarisation scientifique !


Zenith 3rd Training Workshop - Basic Imaging


The third ZENITH bespoke workshop took place between 2-9 October 2022 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM). Through lectures the students learned the fundamentals of optics and microscopy, the use of different types of cameras and laser scanning systems. With the practicals, hands-on optics and microscope building exercises enabled students to develop an intuitive understanding of optical principles.

The one-week workshop was taught by the ZENITH faculty supported by teaching assistants from ZENITH labs. More info in our Training section and check some images in our Twitter and Instagram accounts!

Tanita's secondment at ICM

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Our student Tanita Tzotzolaki completed a 3.5-month secondment between May – August 2022 in Claire Wyart’s lab at ICM. The main goal was to perform a deep behavioural analysis of zebrafish genetic models of Parkinson’s disease. This involved characterising the behavioural defects of five genetic mutants of the disease using a high throughput set up to analyse free swimming and escape responses. While at ICM, Tanita had a chance to work closely with members of the Wyart lab, including Maha Dhanasekar and Feng Quan, whilst also spending more time with the Paris-based ZENITHers.

My time at ICM helped me evolve greatly on a professional, as well as a personal level. Learning to use a new set up and applying it to my project opened my eyes to the broad variety of techniques that can be applied to my project. I also found that my dedication to my work expanded greatly as I started collecting a large set of data to fit in and build the story of my PhD. Additionally, working with a group of people with different backgrounds really made me feel the interdisciplinary nature of the ZENITH consortium. I am really looking forward to returning to Claire’s lab to continue my research on the effects of Parkinson’s disease progression on zebrafish locomotion starting next year!