Zebrafish are Leading the Way for Future Work in Spinal Cord Development and Regeneration

Postdoctoral Fellow Benjamin Lindsey standing in a student lounge wearing a pink plaid button up shirt and a grey blazer.

Benjamin Lindsey, supervised by Tuan Bui

Department of Biology

Over the past year, Postdoctoral Fellow Benjamin Lindsey has put his heart and soul into his postdoctoral research at the University of Ottawa. His success in research to date has landed him an Assistant Professor position in the Department of Human Anatomy and Cell Science at the University of Manitoba, which he will begin in February 2019 and where he will establish his own laboratory in neural stem cell plasticity and regeneration.

He credits the incredible opportunities that his supervisor Professor Tuan Bui granted him throughout his postdoctoral fellowship. In August 2017, he was pleased to join the Neural Motor Control lab in the Department of Biology where he continues to study spinal cord injury in mice and zebrafish along with Prof. Bui. Benjamin was awarded a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) postdoctoral fellowship, and recently published an international collaborative review in Progress in Neurobiology. He associates these successes to the support he receives from his wife Lyndsay and from his supervisor Prof. Bui, as well as to his continuous self-motivation to publish high-quality science papers and work with excellent collaborators.

Presently, Benjamin and Prof. Bui are working towards understanding the role of a gene called msxC in the zebrafish spinal cord, and how this gene may be important for spinal cord development and regeneration following injury. In particular, they are interested in understanding how this gene may regulate stem cell behaviour in health and disease from early development of the spinal cord until it takes on its adult form. With this gene conserved in the mammalian spinal cord, understanding its function in the zebrafish will allow for future translational work in rodent models of injury and repair. This project is a collaboration between the Bui Lab and Akimenko Lab in the Department of Biology, involving a great team of undergraduate and Masters students.

In addition to his research, this past year Benjamin worked as a mentor for the University of Ottawa Science Undergraduate Research Journal (OSURJ). As part of his involvement, he contributed to the design and delivery of workshops to undergraduate students on the Scientific Writing process with a focus on writing literature review papers. When he is not in the lab or doing outreach, he is a full-time dad to his two daughters Maryn and Nora.

Read more about Benjamin Lindsey’s research

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