Zebrafish Neuroscience Collaborative (ZNC)

St. Michael’s Hospital is home to the first automated high-throughput zebrafish screening facility in Canada.


Zebrafish Neuroscience Collaborative

Zebrafish are undergoing a technological revolution in genome editing for functional genomic studies, mutagenesis to develop disease models, and high throughput screens in drug discovery. In neuroscience, massive research efforts in developing new drugs and therapies for the two most prevalent neurodegenerative diseases, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, have yet to produce a cure. Novel research strategies are urgently needed to expand the knowledge of brain disease mechanisms and accelerate drug discovery.

Supported by the well-equipped St. Michael’s Hospital Zebrafish Core, the Zebrafish Neuroscience Collaborative (ZNC) synergizes our efforts to produce high impact research and discoveries. This common research goal has brought together both local and international scientists in a collaborative effort to develop a wide spectrum of zebrafish neural models to study disease mechanisms and repurpose existing drugs. The research areas include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotropic lateral sclerosis, epilepsy, stroke, traumatic brain injury, retinal degeneration and neural regeneration.

Zebrafish brain vessel in 3D

SMH Automated Zebrafish
HTS Platform

Zebrafish Structure

Core Team

Xiao-Yan Wen 

Chair, ZNC
Director, Zebrafish Centre for
Advanced Drug Discovery

Tom Schweizer

Neuroscience Research Program
St. Michael’s Hospital

Jonathan Brotchie

Senior Scientist
Neuroscience Division
Toronto Western Research Institute

Loch Macdonald

Division Head
St. Michael’s Hospital

Janice Robertson

Associate Professor
Lab Medicine and Pathobiology
University of Toronto

Vince Tropepe

Associate Professor
Cell & Systems Biology
University of Toronto

Georg Zoidl

Department of Psychology
York University

Andrew Baker

Brain Injury Laboratory
St. Michael’s Hospital

Pierre Drapeau 

Department Chair
Pathologie & Biologie Cellulaire
Universite de Montreal

Collaborative Network