MAPK-signalling in development and disease

Lead Research Organisation: University of Edinburgh

Abstract

Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer, and incidence continues to rise rapidly each year. In the UK, 2000 people die prematurely each year from melanoma, and once melanoma has spread there are no current treatments that successfully can be used to treat the disease. One of the ways in which melanoma can develop is from moles and we have developed a mole-to-melanoma model of cancer progression based on the most frequently mutated human gene in melanoma using the vertebrate animal called zebrafish. The way cancer develops and looks in zebrafish is highly similar to human cancers, and the genetic pathways that are altered in zebrafish cancers are the same as in people. The advantage for us with this system is that we can quickly and easily explore the function of many genes in melanoma development, as well as environmental factors that may contribute to disease. We can also test thousands of new and known chemicals in the zebrafish system that may be relevant to melanoma growth and movement in the body. Finally, the same genes that promote melanoma can also cause a syndrome called cardio-facial-cutaneous (CFC) syndrome, and we are developing new ways to look how the knowledge we gain from our melanoma studies may in fact be directly relevant to how we approach treatment for CFC.

Technical Summary

Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer, resulting in the premature death of almost 2000 people each year in the UK alone. Early detection is essential, as melanoma is notorious for being resistant to most therapies. One of the ways in which melanoma can develop is from moles (nevi): highly common and benign tumours of melanocytes, prevented from becoming neoplastic by activation of senescence. Senescence is a stable state in which cells are prevented from dividing. While a normal cell reaches senescence as it ages, it is now understood to act as a protective mechanism against cancer as well. Thus, understanding the mechanism whereby cells can sense early cancer events, and then initiate senescence, is of critical importance for our understanding of melanoma - and all cancer development - and in the design of future therapies. Our work has two main themes, MAPK-signalling in cancer and development: CANCER We have developed a mole-to-melanoma zebrafish model of cancer progression based on the most frequently mutated human gene in melanoma, BRAF. Significantly, with the loss of p53, a major regulator of senescence, melanoma rapidly develops. Because of the highly similar genetic and cancer pathology between humans and fish, we view the BRAF expressing fish as the primed human condition - a unique starting point for identifying novel genes, environmental conditions, and therapeutic compounds that control senescence and the mole-to-melanoma transition. Our aims are to: define and genetically test the role of senescence in melanoma progression; explore the gene-environment interface of UV-induced melanoma progression; test for the genetic role of new melanoma driver mutations in promoting and maintaining melanoma; screen small-molecule libraries to identify molecules that disrupt melanocyte development, movement and pigmentation, and directly test these in our animal models of melanoma. DEVELOPMENT Recently, the perception of the RAS-BRAF-MEK-ERK signalling pathway genes as cancer-genes has been dramatically altered by the discovery that, in people, germ-line mutations in RAS cause Costello syndrome, and mutations in BRAF and MEK are the cause of cardio-facial-cutaneous (CFC) syndrome. We are using the zebrafish system to understand the normal developmental function of BRAF, MEK1 and MEK2; the phenotypes imposed by CFC BRAF and MEK alleles; and to test the effects of chemical inhibitors on the activity of the CFC alleles. In this way, we strive to gain insight into how BRAF signalling contributes to the complex three-dimensional development of the embryo. Importantly, our early data suggests that small-molecule inhibitors designed to treat cancer development, can also restore normal development in CFC-model embryos. CFC in people is a progressive disease, and this works allows us to explore a new avenue using known cancer drugs to aid developmental syndromes.

Publications


10 25 50
 
Description AICR funding (Gene-environment interactions in cancer)
Amount £180,000 (GBP)
Organisation Association for International Cancer Research (AICR) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 09/2007 
End 08/2010
 
Description BBSRC ALERT
Amount £520,393 (GBP)
Organisation Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 01/2015 
End 01/2016
 
Description European Reseach Council Consolidator Award
Amount € 1,870,000 (EUR)
Funding ID ZF-MEL-CHEMBIO 
Organisation European Research Council (ERC) 
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 09/2015 
End 08/2020
 
Description FP7 Framework
Amount £200,000 (GBP)
Organisation Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS) 
Department Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)
Sector Public
Country European Union (EU)
Start 04/2008 
End 04/2011
 
Description MRC Technology IGMM studentship
Amount £65,000 (GBP)
Organisation Medical Research Council (MRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 10/2013 
End 09/2016
 
Description Medical Research Scotland funding
Amount £150,000 (GBP)
Organisation Medical Research Scotland 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 08/2008 
End 09/2011
 
Description Wellcome Trust Project Grant (A Critical Requirement for MAPK-signaling in Development and Disease)
Amount £222,258 (GBP)
Organisation The Wellcome Trust Ltd 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK)
Start 08/2007 
End 07/2010
 
Title CFC-zebrafish 
Description We have developed an assay to test the activity of cardio-facio-cutaneous alleles, and to test the effects of specific clinically active drugs on restoring their "normal" activity 
Type Of Material Model of mechanisms or symptoms - mammalian in vivo 
Year Produced 2009 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact Publication -- Kinase-activating and kinase-impaired cardio-facio-cutaneous syndrome alleles have activity during zebrafish development and are sensitive to small molecule inhibitors. Anastasaki C, Estep AL, Marais R, Rauen KA, Patton EE. Hum Mol Genet. 2009 Jul 15;18(14):2543-54. Epub 2009 Apr 17. PMID: 19376813 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] Anastasaki C, Rauen KA, Patton EE. Continual low-level MEK inhibition ameliorates cardio-facio-cutaneous phenotypes in zebrafish. Dis Model Mech. 2012 Jul;5(4):546-52. 
URL http://europepmc.org/abstract/MED/19376813
 
Title PRL3 (mouse) 
Description PRL3 mouse mutant 
Type Of Material Model of mechanisms or symptoms - mammalian in vivo 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact This is the first mammalian model for loss of PRL3 function. We know that PRL3 is important in melanoma, and we aim to test this question, as well as it's role in melanocyte stem cells. 
 
Title PRL3 mutant 
Description We have developed an important mutant line for our research in a gene called PRL3 in zebrafish 
Type Of Material Model of mechanisms or symptoms - non-mammalian in vivo 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact This will be critical to understand the role of PRL3 in an animal system, especially in melanocyte regeneration. It is currently unpublished. 
 
Title Small molecule 
Description a small molecule that causes a specific developmental phenotype (kills developing and differentiated melanocytes) 
Type Of Material Technology assay or reagent 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact n/a considering for patent 
 
Title transgenic lines 
Description We have made a series of transgenic lines expressing melanoma cancer genes. 
Type Of Material Model of mechanisms or symptoms - non-mammalian in vivo 
Year Produced 2011 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact We are currently using these in manuscripts and then will be provided to other research groups. 
 
Description ALDH in melanoma 
Organisation University of Edinburgh
Department Institute of Genetics & Molecular Medicine
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have an MRC Translation studentship to study ALDH in melanoma cancer stem cells
Collaborator Contribution We have just begun, but will generate new compounds and test them in the melanoma cancer stem cells of primary human cancers
Impact Just started - it involved, chemistry, genetics, cell biology and cancer biology
Start Year 2013
 
Description AUB/Chemical Biology 
Organisation University of Edinburgh
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have a shared student in chemistry and genetics. The student is part of my team, and is addressing the function of 5-nitrofurans in vivo.
Collaborator Contribution My partner is a chemist, and helps train the chemistry student and together we think of new and innovative ideas about how to do chemical biology in zebrafish.
Impact The collaboration is multi-disciplinary - chemistry and biology.
Start Year 2011
 
Description CG MITF 
Organisation University of Oxford
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have used zebrafish to test new MITF mutations based on work of our collaborator
Collaborator Contribution Our collaborators have identified a new pathway for MITF regulation in melanoma.
Impact We are submitting a paper to a high impact journal.
Start Year 2013
 
Description Chemical biology/NW 
Organisation University of St Andrews
Department School of Chemistry St Andrews
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We did a small molecule screen and with a student from their lab identified the target. It has important clinical implications in the treatment of trypanosome disease. We are exploring if it is relevant to melanoma.
Collaborator Contribution We have submitted a publication on small molecule target ID.
Impact Manuscript under review
Start Year 2009
 
Description DP Anxiety 
Organisation University of Edinburgh
Department Institute of Genetics & Molecular Medicine
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We identified a new application for cancer drugs, called MEK inhibitors to treat anxiety. We did this in an animal model (zebrafish) and identified the mechanism that drives anxiety.
Collaborator Contribution They provided some reagents and paid for 1 year of a Masters student.
Impact MEK Inhibitors Reverse cAMP-Mediated Anxiety in Zebrafish. Lundegaard PR, Anastasaki C, Grant NJ, Sillito RR, Zich J, Zeng Z, Paranthaman K, Larsen AP, Armstrong JD, Porteous DJ, Patton EE. Chem Biol. 2015 Oct 22;22(10):1335-46. doi: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2015.08.010. Epub 2015 Sep 17.
Start Year 2012
 
Description EN/PRL3 mouse 
Organisation Tokyo Medical and Dental University
Department Department of Stem Cell Regulation
Country Japan 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This partner will assist us in analyzing our PRL3 mutant mice.
Collaborator Contribution They are the world's leading experts in melanocyte stem cells in mice.
Impact We are just starting this collaboration
Start Year 2012
 
Description Human genetic disease of the MAPK pathway 
Organisation University of California
Department University of California, San Francisco
Country United States of America 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Sharing of data, and ideas on human disease. We wrote a grant that was successfully funded, and have published in an medium impact journal. We are currently exploring the effects of small molecules on behaviour.
Collaborator Contribution Sharing of reagents, grant writing and publishing
Impact Kinase-activating and kinase-impaired cardio-facio-cutaneous syndrome alleles have activity during zebrafish development and are sensitive to small molecule inhibitors. Anastasaki C, Estep AL, Marais R, Rauen KA, Patton EE. Hum Mol Genet. 2009 Jul 15;18(14):2543-54. Epub 2009 Apr 17. PMID: 19376813 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] Proceedings from the 2009 genetic syndromes of the Ras/MAPK pathway: From bedside to bench and back. Rauen KA, Schoyer L, McCormick F, Lin AE, Allanson JE, Stevenson DA, Gripp KW, Neri G, Carey JC, Legius E, Tartaglia M, Schubbert S, Roberts AE, Gelb BD, Shannon K, Gutmann DH, McMahon M, Guerra C, Fagin JA, Yu B, Aoki Y, Neel BG, Balmain A, Drake RR, Nolan GP, Zenker M, Bollag G, Sebolt-Leopold J, Gibbs JB, Silva AJ, Patton EE, Viskochil DH, Kieran MW, Korf BR, Hagerman RJ, Packer RJ, Melese T. Am J Med Genet A. 2010 Jan;152A(1):4-24.
Start Year 2007
 
Description JL/MITF 
Organisation Virginia Commonwealth University
Department Department of Biology
Country United States of America 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have been provided with genetic lines, and we are looking at the role of MITF in melanoma development, maintenance and histology.
Collaborator Contribution We have been fortunate to receive genetic lines, and are currently writing a paper together on zebrafish melanoma.
Impact Two manuscripts: Manuscript in preparation and below Differentiated melanocyte cell division occurs in vivo and is promoted by mutations in Mitf. Taylor KL, Lister JA, Zeng Z, Ishizaki H, Anderson C, Kelsh RN, Jackson IJ, Patton EE. Development. 2011 Aug;138(16):3579-89. Epub 2011 Jul 19.
Start Year 2009
 
Description MS/NFN 
Organisation Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness
Department Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO)
Country Spain, Kingdom of 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We are part of a team science award for women in science. We are studying metastasis and tumour cell dormancy.
Collaborator Contribution We submitted a joint proposal that was successfully funded. We are currently sharing resources and ideas about tumour cell dormancy in melanoma.
Impact £1million grant for women in science, with 5 partners - 3 in the USA, 1 Spain and 1 UK In addition to our science, we are trying bring awareness to women in science and to help shape the culture surrounding these issues.
Start Year 2016
 
Description MT Drop out screen 
Organisation University of Montreal
Country Canada 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This is a new collaboration to do a gene-drug screen (drop out screen) to determine drug mechanism of action.
Collaborator Contribution This is a new collaboration - we will be sending our MRC postdoc to Montreal to learn how to do the technique, and hopefully bring some of the technology back to the UK.
Impact This is a new collaboration and we do not have outputs at this stage.
Start Year 2016
 
Description MT/Small molecule screening 
Organisation The Wellcome Trust Ltd
Department Wellcome Trust Centre for Cell Biology
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Mike Tyers: Small molecules of interest that are identified in zebrafish are screened in yeast to identify target pathways.
Collaborator Contribution Publications (please see list attached)
Impact Three manuscripts (one in review; two published, below) Differentiated melanocyte cell division occurs in vivo and is promoted by mutations in Mitf. Taylor KL, Lister JA, Zeng Z, Ishizaki H, Anderson C, Kelsh RN, Jackson IJ, Patton EE. Development. 2011 Aug;138(16):3579-89. Epub 2011 Jul 19. Combined zebrafish-yeast chemical-genetic screens reveal gene-copper-nutrition interactions that modulate melanocyte pigmentation. Ishizaki H, Spitzer M, Wildenhain J, Anastasaki C, Zeng Z, Dolma S, Shaw M, Madsen E, Gitlin J, Marais R, Tyers M, Patton EE. Dis Model Mech. 2010 Sep-Oct;3(9-10):639-51. Epub 2010 Aug 16.
Start Year 2006
 
Description Melanoma Genomes 
Organisation The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We were part of a large sequencing effort of melanoma genomes in zebrafish.
Collaborator Contribution They sequenced the exomes.
Impact The genetic heterogeneity and mutational burden of engineered melanomas in zebrafish models. Yen J, White RM, Wedge DC, Van Loo P, de Ridder J, Capper A, Richardson J, Jones D, Raine K, Watson IR, Wu CJ, Cheng J, Martincorena I, Nik-Zainal S, Mudie L, Moreau Y, Marshall J, Ramakrishna M, Tarpey P, Shlien A, Whitmore I, Gamble S, Latimer C, Langdon E, Kaufman C, Dovey M, Taylor A, Menzies A, McLaren S, O Meara S, Butler A, Teague J, Lister J, Chin L, Campbell P, Adams DJ, Zon LI, Patton EE, Stemple DL, Futreal PA. Genome Biol. 2013 Oct 23;14(10):R113.
Start Year 2010
 
Description NH/WT1 
Organisation University of Edinburgh, MRC Human Genetics Unit
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Multiple 
PI Contribution Close collaboration on the discovery of a novel pathway that repairs notochord wounds.
Collaborator Contribution Close collaboration on the discovery of a novel pathway that repairs notochord wounds.
Impact We plan to submit a high impact paper.
Start Year 2011
 
Description RK/Small molecules 
Organisation Faculty of Science
Department Department of Biology and Biochemistry
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We did the screen together at the MRC HGU, and then optimized hit compounds in our own labs. We have written a paper that is currently in review.
Collaborator Contribution We did a small molecule screen together, and have that paper in review. It was an excellent opportunity to learn from Robert Kelsh how to Screen zebrafish pigment cells. This was done with an Medical Research Scotland Grant.
Impact Manuscript in review (Pigment Cell and Melanoma Research)
Start Year 2009
 
Description Small molecule screening and melanoma models 
Organisation Faculty of Science
Department Department of Biology and Biochemistry
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have been kindly given many small molecule tools which have been the basis for a successful grant for myself and a postdoc in the lab to Medical Research Scotland. We also had a paper accepted in Disease Models and Mechanisms.
Collaborator Contribution Sharing of chemical reagents and successfully won Medical Research Scotland grant.We have had an excellent collaboration generating new small molecules and identifying how the compounds work in living animals and tissues. We will be submitting a paper together.We won a Medical Research Scotland Award, and have used this in a successful collaboration to carry out a small molecule screen. We will be submitting this to Pigment Cell and Melanoma Research for publication.We are on an FP7-EU grant together, and have developed new models of melanoma.We are developing new melanoma models together.We are sequencing zebrafish melanoma models.
Impact We have successfully won funding from Medical Research Scotland, and have has a paper accepted in Disease Models and Mechanisms. We have two other papers arising from this collaboration to be submitted within the next few months.
Start Year 2007
 
Description Small molecule screening and melanoma models 
Organisation Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW)
Department Hubrecht Institute
Country Netherlands, Kingdom of the 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have been kindly given many small molecule tools which have been the basis for a successful grant for myself and a postdoc in the lab to Medical Research Scotland. We also had a paper accepted in Disease Models and Mechanisms.
Collaborator Contribution Sharing of chemical reagents and successfully won Medical Research Scotland grant.We have had an excellent collaboration generating new small molecules and identifying how the compounds work in living animals and tissues. We will be submitting a paper together.We won a Medical Research Scotland Award, and have used this in a successful collaboration to carry out a small molecule screen. We will be submitting this to Pigment Cell and Melanoma Research for publication.We are on an FP7-EU grant together, and have developed new models of melanoma.We are developing new melanoma models together.We are sequencing zebrafish melanoma models.
Impact We have successfully won funding from Medical Research Scotland, and have has a paper accepted in Disease Models and Mechanisms. We have two other papers arising from this collaboration to be submitted within the next few months.
Start Year 2007
 
Description Small molecule screening and melanoma models 
Organisation School of Medicine
Department Department of Human and Molecular Genetics
Country United States of America 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have been kindly given many small molecule tools which have been the basis for a successful grant for myself and a postdoc in the lab to Medical Research Scotland. We also had a paper accepted in Disease Models and Mechanisms.
Collaborator Contribution Sharing of chemical reagents and successfully won Medical Research Scotland grant.We have had an excellent collaboration generating new small molecules and identifying how the compounds work in living animals and tissues. We will be submitting a paper together.We won a Medical Research Scotland Award, and have used this in a successful collaboration to carry out a small molecule screen. We will be submitting this to Pigment Cell and Melanoma Research for publication.We are on an FP7-EU grant together, and have developed new models of melanoma.We are developing new melanoma models together.We are sequencing zebrafish melanoma models.
Impact We have successfully won funding from Medical Research Scotland, and have has a paper accepted in Disease Models and Mechanisms. We have two other papers arising from this collaboration to be submitted within the next few months.
Start Year 2007
 
Description Small molecule screening and melanoma models 
Organisation The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution We have been kindly given many small molecule tools which have been the basis for a successful grant for myself and a postdoc in the lab to Medical Research Scotland. We also had a paper accepted in Disease Models and Mechanisms.
Collaborator Contribution Sharing of chemical reagents and successfully won Medical Research Scotland grant.We have had an excellent collaboration generating new small molecules and identifying how the compounds work in living animals and tissues. We will be submitting a paper together.We won a Medical Research Scotland Award, and have used this in a successful collaboration to carry out a small molecule screen. We will be submitting this to Pigment Cell and Melanoma Research for publication.We are on an FP7-EU grant together, and have developed new models of melanoma.We are developing new melanoma models together.We are sequencing zebrafish melanoma models.
Impact We have successfully won funding from Medical Research Scotland, and have has a paper accepted in Disease Models and Mechanisms. We have two other papers arising from this collaboration to be submitted within the next few months.
Start Year 2007
 
Description Small molecule screening and melanoma models 
Organisation University of Edinburgh
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have been kindly given many small molecule tools which have been the basis for a successful grant for myself and a postdoc in the lab to Medical Research Scotland. We also had a paper accepted in Disease Models and Mechanisms.
Collaborator Contribution Sharing of chemical reagents and successfully won Medical Research Scotland grant.We have had an excellent collaboration generating new small molecules and identifying how the compounds work in living animals and tissues. We will be submitting a paper together.We won a Medical Research Scotland Award, and have used this in a successful collaboration to carry out a small molecule screen. We will be submitting this to Pigment Cell and Melanoma Research for publication.We are on an FP7-EU grant together, and have developed new models of melanoma.We are developing new melanoma models together.We are sequencing zebrafish melanoma models.
Impact We have successfully won funding from Medical Research Scotland, and have has a paper accepted in Disease Models and Mechanisms. We have two other papers arising from this collaboration to be submitted within the next few months.
Start Year 2007
 
Description Small molecule screening and melanoma models 
Organisation University of St Andrews
Department School of Chemistry St Andrews
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We have been kindly given many small molecule tools which have been the basis for a successful grant for myself and a postdoc in the lab to Medical Research Scotland. We also had a paper accepted in Disease Models and Mechanisms.
Collaborator Contribution Sharing of chemical reagents and successfully won Medical Research Scotland grant.We have had an excellent collaboration generating new small molecules and identifying how the compounds work in living animals and tissues. We will be submitting a paper together.We won a Medical Research Scotland Award, and have used this in a successful collaboration to carry out a small molecule screen. We will be submitting this to Pigment Cell and Melanoma Research for publication.We are on an FP7-EU grant together, and have developed new models of melanoma.We are developing new melanoma models together.We are sequencing zebrafish melanoma models.
Impact We have successfully won funding from Medical Research Scotland, and have has a paper accepted in Disease Models and Mechanisms. We have two other papers arising from this collaboration to be submitted within the next few months.
Start Year 2007
 
Description VK Mosaic syndromes 
Organisation London College (UCK)
Country United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland (UK) 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution We developed a zebrafish model to validate a new disease gene found in children with giant congenital nevi.
Collaborator Contribution They identified new disease genes in children that cause giant congenital nevi.
Impact Mosaic Activating Mutations in GNA11 and GNAQ Are Associated with Phakomatosis Pigmentovascularis and Extensive Dermal Melanocytosis. Thomas AC, Zeng Z, Rivière JB, O'Shaughnessy R, Al-Olabi L, St-Onge J, Atherton DJ, Aubert H, Bagazgoitia L, Barbarot S, Bourrat E, Chiaverini C, Chong WK, Duffourd Y, Glover M, Groesser L, Hadj-Rabia S, Hamm H, Happle R, Mushtaq I, Lacour JP, Waelchli R, Wobser M, Vabres P, Patton EE, Kinsler VA.
Start Year 2014
 
Description Conference Organization 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Type Of Presentation workshop facilitator
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Over 4000 people have attended meetings that I have organized, sparking collaborations and intellectual discourse, and bringing attention to the University of Edinburgh.

• Strategic Conference for Zebrafish Investigators, Asilomar, California. January 2017 (est 150 participants)
• International Zebrafish Meeting, Florida, USA. July 2016 (estimated 800 participants)
• Zebrafish for Personalized Medicine Conference, Toronto, Canada. October 2015 (180 participants)
• European Society of Pigment Cell Research Conference, Edinburgh, September 2015 (120 participants)
• 9th European Zebrafish Meeting, Oslo, Norway. June 2015 (Scientific committee) (over 600 participants)
• The Genes & Cancer, Cambridge April 2015 (180 participants)
• 12th Transgenic Technology Conference and Workshop, Edinburgh, 2014. (40 people)
• The Genes & Cancer Meeting, Cambridge, UK. March 2014 (220 participants)
• 7th Zebrafish Disease Models Workshop Madison, USA. July 2013 (250 participants)
• International Pigment Cell Development Workshop, Edinburgh, May 2013 (50 participants)
• Genes & Cancer Meeting, Warwick, UK. December 2012 (150 participants)
• 5th ZDM Workshop Cold Spring Harbor Asia, Shugen, China. April 2012 (220 participants)
• The 7th European Zebrafish Meeting, Edinbugh, July 2011 (>750 participants)
• 4th Zebrafish Disease Models (ZDM) Workshop, Edinburgh, July 2011 (120 participants)


I started the Zebrafish Disease Models Society with currently over 280 members (www.zdmsociety.org)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011,2012,2013,2014,2015
 
Description Interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Keynote/Invited Speaker
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact BBC interview on melanoma and cancer TV and radio

Interview with journalist from Scottish newspaper

Interview for the Scotsman

Surprised by how many people in my local community told me they had seen the interview on TV. Less impact with the radio interview.

Many people commented to me in the community that they had seen the Scotsman article
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2006,2007,2010,2013
 
Description Lab visits 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We have had a number of visitors, from cancer research fundraising volunteers, to students from schools. My student was also interviewed by BBC Scotland. In addition we have hosted primary school students from Fife, who were amazed by the experience.

NA
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009,2010,2011,2012,2013
 
Description Presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Lecture at the Edinburgh science festival -- on cancer and zebrafish approaches to understanding disease and development, and why model organisms and basic science are so importnant

Many one-to-one discussions with audience members
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008
 
Description School fish tanks 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Workshop Facilitator
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact I have been working with a primary class of P4 / P5 - we have established fish tanks, and done breeding and genetic inheritance. This is in the town of Dunfermline, at a small local school.

We have been having fun.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012,2013,2014,2015
 
Description Tour to cancer research fund raisers (lay people) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Type Of Presentation Workshop Facilitator
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Two groups of 5 lay people who are interested in helping to raise money for cancer research. They toured the facility and we spent 1.5 hours with each group - showed melanoma models, discussed skin color and sun exposure.

Tour of facilities and interaction day for children from a primary school in Fife.

The attendees were very grateful and sent a follow up e-mail to say how much they enjoyed it.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2010,2013