ZFIN ID: ZDB-LAB-170130-2
Ganz Lab
PI/Director: Ganz, Julia
Contact Person: Ganz, Julia
Email: ganz@msu.edu
URL: http://www.ganzlab.org
Address: Michigan State University, Department of Integrative Biology, Natural Sciences Room 203C, 288 Farm Lane, East Lansing, MI 48824
Country: United States
Phone: 517 432 0731
Line Designation: msu


The goal of our research is to understand how stem cells generate a diverse and complex nervous system in vertebrates using zebrafish as my model system. My lab addresses this question focusing on the largest parts of the peripheral nervous system - the enteric nervous system (ENS). Zebrafish is an excellent model system to study ENS development due to their rapid development, genetic and embryological tractability, and optical transparency, which makes them very well-suited for in vivo imaging. The regulation of neuronal and glial differentiation in the ENS is poorly understood. Research in my lab strives to answer the following questions: are there distinct enteric progenitor populations and if so, do they generate different subtypes of neurons and/or glia? Which signaling pathways and genes regulate ENS development? My laboratory will identify novel genes regulating ENS development and determine their function to generate a comprehensive view of the regulation of ENS differentiation processes. Zebrafish have an unparalleled ability to regenerate their nervous system, and thus are very well-suited as a model to study regeneration. We will investigate whether the zebrafish ENS can regenerate after experimental ablation of subsets of enteric neurons or glia. And if so, how is this regeneration process regulated? This work will reveal whether specific stem cell populations might be responsible for regenerative capabilities and if they could be employed for therapeutic approaches. Work in my laboratory will answer the fundamental question of cell lineage relationships in the ENS and how generation of these cell lineages is regulated during normal development, in situations that model human disease, and under regenerating conditions. I expect that we will uncover not only cellular, genetic, and molecular mechanisms underlying cell fate determination, but also contribute to developing therapeutic approaches using stem cells to repair enteric nervous system diseases.


Ganz, J., Melancon, E., Wilson, C., Amores, A., Batzel, P., Strader, M., Braasch, I., Diba, P., Kuhlman, J.A., Postlethwait, J.H., Eisen, J.S. (2019) Epigenetic factors Dnmt1 and Uhrf1 coordinate intestinal development. Developmental Biology. 455:473-484
Spiewak, J.E., Bain, E.J., Liu, J., Kou, K., Sturiale, S.L., Patterson, L.B., Diba, P., Eisen, J.S., Braasch, I., Ganz, J., Parichy, D.M. (2018) Evolution of Endothelin signaling and diversification of adult pigment pattern in Danio fishes. PLoS Genetics. 14:e1007538
Ganz, J., Baker, R.P., Hamilton, M.K., Melancon, E., Diba, P., Eisen, J.S., Parthasarathy, R. (2018) Image velocimetry and spectral analysis enable quantitative characterization of larval zebrafish gut motility. Neurogastroenterology and motility : the official journal of the European Gastrointestinal Motility Society. 30(9):e13351
Troll, J.V., Hamilton, M.K., Abel, M.L., Ganz, J., Bates, J.M., Stephens, W.Z., Melancon, E., van der Vaart, M., Meijer, A.H., Distel, M., Eisen, J.S., Guillemin, K. (2018) Microbiota promote secretory cell determination in the intestinal epithelium by modulating host Notch signaling. Development (Cambridge, England). 145(4)
Ganz, J. (2017) Gut feelings: Studying enteric nervous system development, function and disease in the zebrafish model system. Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists. 247(2):268-278
Kaslin, J., Kroehne, V., Ganz, J., Hans, S., Brand, M. (2017) Distinct roles of neuroepithelial-like and radial glia-like progenitor cells in cerebellar regeneration. Development (Cambridge, England). 144(8):1462-1471
Rolig, A.S., Mittge, E.K., Ganz, J., Troll, J.V., Melancon, E., Wiles, T.J., Alligood, K., Stephens, W.Z., Eisen, J.S., Guillemin, K. (2017) The enteric nervous system promotes intestinal health by constraining microbiota composition. PLoS Biology. 15:e2000689
Taylor, C.R., Montagne, W.A., Eisen, J.S., Ganz, J. (2016) Molecular fingerprinting delineates progenitor populations in the developing zebrafish enteric nervous system. Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists. 245(11):1081-1096
Wiles, T.J., Jemielita, M., Baker, R.P., Schlomann, B.H., Logan, S.L., Ganz, J., Melancon, E., Eisen, J.S., Guillemin, K., Parthasarathy, R. (2016) Host Gut Motility Promotes Competitive Exclusion within a Model Intestinal Microbiota. PLoS Biology. 14:e1002517
Ganz, J., Kroehne, V., Freudenreich, D., Machate, A., Geffarth, M., Braasch, I., Kaslin, J., Brand, M. (2014) Subdivisions of the adult zebrafish pallium based on molecular marker analysis. F1000Research. 3:308
de Oliveira-Carlos, V., Ganz, J., Hans, S., Kaslin, J., and Brand, M. (2013) Notch receptor expression in neurogenic regions of the adult zebrafish brain. PLoS One. 8(9):e73384
Simonson, L.W., Ganz, J., Melancon, E., and Eisen, J.S. (2013) Characterization of Enteric Neurons in Wild-Type and Mutant Zebrafish Using Semi-Automated Cell Counting and Co-Expression Analysis. Zebrafish. 10(2):147-53
Ganz, J., Kaslin, J., Freudenreich, D., Machate, A., Geffarth, M., and Brand, M. (2012) Subdivisions of the adult zebrafish subpallium by molecular marker analysis. The Journal of comparative neurology. 520(3):633-55
Ganz, J., Kaslin, J., Hochmann, S., Freudenreich, D., and Brand, M. (2010) Heterogeneity and Fgf dependence of adult neural progenitors in the zebrafish telencephalon. Glia. 58(11):1345-1363
Kaslin, J., Ganz, J., Geffarth, M., Grandel, H., Hans, S., and Brand, M. (2009) Stem cells in the adult zebrafish cerebellum: initiation and maintenance of a novel stem cell niche. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 29(19):6142-6153
Ganz, J.F. (2009) Subdivisions and molecular characteristics of the neurogenic niches in the adult zebrafish telencephalon. Ph.D. Thesis. :127p
Ellertsdottir, E., Ganz, J., Durr, K., Loges, N., Biemar, F., Seifert, F., Ettl, A.K., Kramer-Zucker, A.K., Nitschke, R., and Driever, W. (2006) A mutation in the zebrafish Na,K-ATPase subunit atp1a1a.1 provides genetic evidence that the sodium potassium pump contributes to left-right asymmetry downstream or in parallel to nodal flow. Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists. 235(7):1794-1808
Grandel, H., Kaslin, J., Ganz, J., Wenzel, I., and Brand, M. (2006) Neural stem cells and neurogenesis in the adult zebrafish brain: Origin, proliferation dynamics, migration and cell fate. Developmental Biology. 295(1):263-277