TSVP Talk: "What We Can Learn From Fish: The Xiphophorus Evolutionary Model for Human Diseases" by Manfred Schartl


Thursday, June 6, 2024 - 15:00


L4E48 and zoom


Title: What We Can Learn From Fish: The Xiphophorus Evolutionary Model for Human Diseases

Abstract: Cancer is one of the most devastating diseases, with still increasing incidences. To achieve better prevention measures, to find the most sensitive diagnostic tools for early detection and disease development monitoring, and to provide novel successful therapeutic strategies, small laboratory fish have become useful models in biomedical research. Xiphophorus fish (platyfishes and swordtails) are a classical model for skin cancer that allow to study the disease in the context of the intact organism. In my talk, I will summarize the progress made with this model in understanding the molecular mechanisms of the neoplastic transformation process of a normal melanocyte into a highly malignant melanoma cell. The translational impact of the fish model research for human medicine will be demonstrated, and current biochemical, transcriptomic and genomic approaches to a so far understudied class of disease modifier genes presented.

Speaker: Manfred Schartl (University of Würzburg, Texas State University)

Profile: My main research interests are the molecular events that lead to developmental defects and major diseases. The platyfish, a most popular species for aquariophilists, is also well known in cancer biology, because melanomas appear as soon as two closely related species are crossed and back-crossed. I have discovered why and how this occurs, and I then used the phenomenon to dissect the mechanisms leading to tumor formation. The medaka, a ricefield fish known by almost Japanese people, has been the other main instrument for this research, because it is amenable to all sorts of genetic analysis and manipulations. My research was later on extended to a few key studies of evolutionary transitions, with a particular focus on sex determination mechanisms and genome evolution.
I have conducted my research at first as a junior group leader at the Max-Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Munich and then as Professor and Chair of the institute for medical biochemistry at the University of Würzburg.  In 2020 I also joined Texas State University as Scholar in Residence.
Manfred Schartl's CV (pdf)


Language: English, no interpretation.

Target audience: General audience / everyone at OIST and beyond.
Freely accessible to all OIST members and guests without registration.


This talk will also be broadcast online via Zoom:

Meeting ID: 962 0121 1302
Passcode: 873184

※ Please note that this event may be recorded and the videos uploaded. In addition, photos may be taken during the event. These are intended for publication online (the OIST website, social media, etc.)※


All-OIST Category: 

Subscribe to the OIST Calendar: Right-click to download, then open in your calendar application.