Zebrafish Development and Genetics

Many different views of the zebrafish from embryo to adult

2018 Course Directors: 

Sharon Amacher, The Ohio State University

Deborah Yelon, University of California/San Diego


The zebrafish, Danio rerio, has emerged as a powerful model system for the study of vertebrate development and disease. This intensive two-week course for advanced graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and independent investigators will focus on the development and genetics of zebrafish. It will cover standard and novel technologies geared towards their application in zebrafish. Mornings and afternoons will be devoted mainly to laboratory exercises and the evenings to lectures and discussion. Limited to 22 students.

Lectures and labs will introduce students to early development of the zebrafish and to methods for manipulating and studying gene function, including genetic and small molecule screening, mapping and cloning; mRNA overexpression and functional knockdown approaches; genome editing techniques; cell fate mapping; in vivo biophysics; mounting and imaging of antibody and in situ samples for publication ready documentation. In addition, students will be introduced to techniques for labeling and visualizing individual cells, including photoconversion, cell transplantation/chimera analysis, and live cell imaging. They will also learn how to perform behavioral tests on live animals. Several informal ‘roundtable’ discussions will cover the design and execution of mutant screens/reverse genetics, transgenesis, zebrafish breeding and husbandry, as well as data management and figure construction.

Each laboratory exercise will be under the supervision of a senior faculty member who will be assisted by one or two junior faculty members. Senior faculty will also give research lectures about their work and lead discussions about topics and concepts covered in the course.

In 2017, to mark its 20th anniversary, the course concluded with a special symposium, highlighting work of many course alumni.

2018 Faculty & Lecturers

  • Sharon Amacher (Ohio State University)
  • Clare Buckley (Cambridge University)
  • Andres Collazo (Caltech)
  • Jim Fadool (Florida State University)
  • Steven Farber (Carnegie Institute)
  • Antonio Giraldez (Yale University)
  • Michael Granato (University of Pennsylvania)
  • Corinne Houart (Kings College London)
  • Anna Huttenlocher (University of Wisconsin, Madison)
  • Mary Mullins (University of Pennsylvania)
  • Kenneth Poss (Duke University)
  • Dave Raible (University of Washington)
  • Kirsten Sadler Edepli (NYU Abu Dhabi)
  • Alex Schier (Harvard University)
  • Tom Schilling (UC Irvine)
  • Lila Solnica-Krezel (Washington University)
  • Claire Wyart (ICM and Sorbonne Universités, UPMC)
  • Marc Wolman (University of Wisconsin)
  • Debbie Yelon (University of California San Diego)

2018 Course Coordinators (click to contact) 

Dave Daggett (University of Connecticut) and Kara Cerveny (Reed College)

2018 Zebrafish Husbandry Coordinators

April Freeman and Caitlin Inglis