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The versatile zebrafish model system

Together with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and the National Veterinary Institute (SVA) SciLifeLab is organizing a workshop aiming to explore the requirements and possibilities to facilitate collaborations and new insights in the use of zebra fish in environmental and health research. Applications in the use of zebrafish for detection of chemical pollutants with different read – outs, from authorities and researchers alike, will be covered.


Zebrafish as a laboratory animal is becoming an increasingly popular model system for vertebrate development and disease. It offers a number of unique features, and experiments in zebrafish are typically significantly less expensive compared to the mouse system. Zebrafish embryos are transparent and develop outside the mother’s body, which greatly facilitates manipulation and imaging of biological processes. Many techniques are available for reverse and forward genetic experiments as well as methods to visualize biological processes for extended periods in intact embryos. The external and easily visualized development also makes zebrafish well suited to study the biological effect of chemical compounds.


9:00-9:30 Coffee, and registration

General introduction to workshop – Expectations, participant presentations, aim and benefit
Johan Ledin, SciLifeLab, Zebrafish Regional Facility, Facility manager, Uppsala University, Dept. of Organismal 

General introduction SciLifeLab
Maria Sörby, Site Manager in Uppsala

Genetic tools and applications
The tools for genetic manipulation in the zebrafish model system develops fast. It is now possible to perform site directed mutagenesis in large scale to develop disease models and to modify the zebra genome to express fluorescent proteins as a read – out of environmental effects.

Johan Ledin
, SciLifeLab, Zebrafish Regional Facility, Facility manager, Uppsala University, Dept. of Organismal Biology
Tools for zebrafish genome modification

Petronella Kettunen, Sahlgrenska Academy, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology
Imaging methods in zebrafish research and applications

Johan Lindberg, Swetox and Jonathan Benskin, Stockholm University, Dept. Applied Environmental Science
Molecular phenotyping in zebrafish using metabolomics

10:55-11:15 Coffee Break

Toxicology and compound testing
The zebrafish model system is ideal for testing biological effects on tissue homeostasis and organism development of substances and pollutants. The small size of the fish allows for economic testing of large chemical libraries and combinations of compounds in a scale unfeasible for mammal testing.

Stefan Örn and Gunnar Carlsson, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Zebrafish for environmental toxicity testing

Per-Erik Olsson, Örebro University, School of Science and Technology
Zebrafish as a model for endocrine disruption

Charlotte Axén and Mikael Juremalm, National Veterinary Institute
Health monitoring and diagnostics to detect common and potential pathogens of zebrafish

12:45-13:30 LUNCH

Behavioral testing
Studies of behaviour in zebrafish has emerged as a relevant read out for studying the effect of pollutants and drug waste products in water. Basic mechanisms for behaviour are similar to mammal models.

Svante Winberg, Uppsala University, Dept. of Neuroscience
Zebrafish as a model in studies on animal behavior

Roger Olsson, Lund University, Dept. of Experimental Medical Science
Using zebrafish larvae in phenotypic CNS drug discovery and toxicology evaluation

14:20-14:55 Panel discussion

14:55-15:00 Concluding remarks

Practical information

November 21, 2014

Registration deadline: November 13.

Venue: Navet, E10 BMC, entrance: SciLifeLab, Uppsala