Blog from April, 2020

ZFIN is a member of the The Genome Reference Consortium (GRC), an international collaboration consisting of NCBI, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, the McDonnell Genome Institute at Washington University, the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) and ZFIN. This consortium is tasked with ensuring that the reference assemblies for human, mouse, zebrafish and chicken are updated and improved through new data and analysis from genome centers and the research community.

The zebrafish specific GRC webpage (see Fig. 1) provides an overview of the zebrafish genome including an ideogram of the latest zebrafish assembly (GRCz11) and alternate loci scaffolds, downloadable build and tiling path files as well as links to genome assembly data and genome regions under review.  Zebrafish genome issues (see Fig. 2) can be browsed at the chromosome level, filtered by problem type or status or searched by gene, location, clone name or accession.

If you come across what you suspect is a problem in the build, search the list of genome issues and if it has yet to be reported, select the "Report and Issue" tab in the header (see Fig. 3) to report information about the potential problem in the build.  Be as complete as possible and provide location, flanking sequences and a description of the issue.  Genome annotators will evaluate the region, determine if an update to the genome is needed and submit data to create a new tiling path to improve the build with an update or "patch".

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 3

The International Zebrafish Society (IZFS) represents and promotes zebrafish scientific research worldwide, and facilitates the exchange of scientific information and resources within the international zebrafish community.

To promote the latest research approaches, and interaction between leaders in the field and the international zebrafish research community, IZFS will host a series of educational webinars. With kick-off in April 2020, the series is part of our effort to reduce our carbon footprint, and will include a variety of research and professional development topics.

These hour-long webinars will feature an expert or panel of experts who will discuss exciting topics in an interactive online setting. The following topics and faculty have been selected so far:                                             

Date and Time: April 29, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. ET    
Topic: Use of CRISPR/Cas9 for Targeted Integration in Zebrafish
Presenter: Jeffrey Essner, PhD - Iowa State University         

Date and Time: May 28, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. ET
Topic: Grant Writing Basics
Presenter: Mary Mullins, PhD - University of Pennsylvania
Date and Time: June 23, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. ET
Topic: Zebrafish Husbandry
Presenter: Christian Lawrence, MS - Boston Children's Hospital                 

IZFS members will have free access to both the live webinars and recordings; non-members will be invited to participate in the live webinars for a fee of $25. Registration opens April 13, 2020.

These webinars will provide attendees with an exclusive opportunity to interact with experts in the field of zebrafish scientific research.

Check out for more details!

If you have any suggestions for topics or would like to volunteer to present a future webinar, please contact

International Zebrafish Society (IZFS)
555 East Wells Street, Suite 1100
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202-3823
Phone: (414) 918-9835

IZFS 2020 Chi-Bin Chien & George Streisinger Award Winners

Dear Zebrafish Community Members,

On behalf of the International Zebrafish Society (IZFS), we are pleased to announce the 2020 award winners:

Dr. Margot Williams, PhD, Baylor College of Medicine, USA--Chi-Bin Chien Award Winner

Dr. Margot William's outstanding research contributions and dedication to the zebrafish field truly characterize the spirit of Chi-Bin Chien. In November 2019, Dr. Williams started her lab at the Baylor College of Medicine, where she seeks to understand how embryonic cell behaviors are spatiotemporally coordinated to shape the emerging body plan.

Dr. Alexander Schier, PhD, University of Basel, Switzerland--George Streisinger Award Winner

Dr. Alexander Schier has made multiple advancements to the zebrafish field that also characterize the founding father of zebrafish research, George Streisinger. Dr. Schier’s lab at the University of Basel has defined the first morphogen-inhibitor pair for Turing-like pattern formation and discovered the microRNA-induced degradation of maternal mRNAs.

To learn more about IZFS awards, including ways to donate, please visit
Follow us on Twitter @InfoIzfs

We would like to thank all of the nominators and high quality nominees for the 2020 IZFS Chi-Bin Chien & George Streisinger Awards. Nominees who were not selected will have their nomination in place for a period of three years starting with the first year of nomination. Individuals can be re-nominated which will start a new three-year period.

Again, congratulations to Dr. Margot Williams and Dr. Alex Schier! IZFS and the zebrafish community are grateful for your tremendous contributions to zebrafish research.

Tatjana Piotrowski, PhD
IZFS Awards Committee Chair

Didier Stainier, PhD
IZFS President