Spring Selection 2018

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currently open
closes 7 Jan 2018

Research Groups

Portrait Michell Reimer

Michell Reimer

Regulation of developmental and regenerative processes in the spinal cord

Previous and Current Research

Our research interest is to understand the mechanisms of developmental and regenerative processes in the vertebrate spinal cord. Specifically, we are investigating motor neuron replacement and the beneficial roles of oligodendroglia in regeneration of the lesioned spinal cord.

Our aim is to identify signal transduction pathways which play key roles in the functional recovery after spinal cord lesions.

For our experiments we use zebrafish. They are ideal to study spinal cord injury in an adult vertebrate as they successfully regain function after complete spinal cord transection, accompanied by axonal and neuronal regeneration and a complex microglial/immune system response.

Michell Reimer research: figure
Fig.: Oligodendrocytes myelinate axons and are crucial for normal nervous system development and function. Disruption of the myelin sheath is associated with many human diseases. Single oligodendrocyte (green) myelinates multiple axons (red).
Future Projects and Goals
  • Identification of novel signals which increase neuronal and glial proliferation and maturation into functionally active neurons and oligodendrocytes.
  • Assessment of the behavioural impact of demyelination after genetic ablation of mature oligodendrocytes.
  • Assessment of beneficial roles of oligodendroglia for functional recovery after spinal cord injury.
  • Dissection of the role of Schwann cells in remyelination of the injured spinal cord.
Methodological and Technical Expertise
  • In-situ hybridisation
  • Fluorescent immunohistochemistry
  • Spinal cord lesion model in zebrafish
  • In vivo drug screens
  • Advanced imaging
Selected Publications

Wishart T.M.*, Mutsaers C.A.*, Riessland M.*, Reimer M.M.*, Hunter G.*, Hannam M.L., Eaton S.L., Fuller H.R., Roche S.L., Somers E., Morse R., Young P.J., Lamont D.J., Hammerschmidt M., Joshi A., Hohenstein P., Morris G.E., Parson S.H., Skehel P.A., Becker T., Robinson I.M., Becker C.G., Wirth B., Gillingwater T.H.
Dysregulation of ubiquitin homeostasis and β-catenin signaling promote spinal muscular atrophy.
J Clin Invest. 2014 Mar 3. pii: 71318. doi: 10.1172/JCI71318. (2014) (*These authors contributed equally)

Reimer M.M., Norris A., Patani R., Zhong Z., Ohnmacht J., Dias T.B., Kuscha V., Scott A.L., Chen Y., Frazer S.L., Wyatt C., Higashijma S., Patton L., Panula P., Chandran S., Becker T., Becker C.G.
Dopamine from the brain promotes spinal motor neuron generation during development and adult regeneration.
Developmental Cell, Volume 25, Issue 5, 478–491 (2013)

Reimer M.M., McQueen J., Searcy L., Scullion G., Zonta B., Desmazieres A., Holland P.R., Smith J., Gliddon C., Wood E., Herzyk P., Brophy P., McCulloch J., Horsburgh K.
Rapid disruption of axon-glial integrity in response to mild cerebral hypoperfusion
J Neurosci. 31:18185–94. (2011)

Reimer M.M., Kuscha V., Wyatt C., Sörensen I., Frank R.E., Knüwer M., Becker T., Becker C.G.
Sonic hedgehog is a polarized signal for motor neuron regeneration in adult zebrafish.
J Neurosci. 29:15073–82 (2009)

Reimer M.M., Sörensen I., Frank R.E., Chong, L., Becker C.G.*, Becker T.*
Motor neuron regeneration in adult zebrafish.
J Neurosci. 28:8510–16 (2008)


since July 2014
Group Leader CRTD

Post Doctoral Fellow, Centre for Neuroregeneration, University of Edinburgh, UK

Ph.D. in Neuroscience, Centre for Neuroscience Research, University of Edinburgh, UK, awarded by the University of Hamburg

Postgraduate Studies: Infectious Biology Hannover Medical School, Germany

MRes (Diploma) in Biology, University of Kiel, Germany


Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden
TU Dresden
Fetscherstraße 105
01307 Dresden