About us

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Why do we work on Alzheimer’s?

The brains of aging humans are prone to neurodegenerative disorders and we are unable to counteract neuronal loss by regenerating lost cells. Patients with neurodegenerative conditions progressively loose neurons yet cannot form new neurons that would replace the lost ones. We are using zebrafish and novel 3D human culture systems as models to investigate the vertebrate neural stem cells, which we believe are the hope to bring back our lost neurons. We want to find ways how we can restore our brain function in fighting against Alzheimer’s!

What makes our work different?

Zebrafish regenerates its brain successfully even in Alzheimer’s disease conditions. No other animal was shown to do this! Our goal is to learn from zebrafish how we can enable the  human brain to better cope with neurodegenerative disease and regenerate. We have a unique model to work with.

The main motivation of our research group is to understand the molecular programs zebrafish brain uses to induce regenerative stem cell plasticity, and harness this knowledge to unlock the regenerative potential of our brains in Alzheimer’s disease conditions. Check out our publications and presence in the media.

Our lab culture

Our team is composed of young and ambitious scientists. They came from 16 countries in 5 continents, with diverse backgrounds. Kizil Lab derives its success from this richness that cultivates a positive dialogue, gender equality and openness between the team members. With our non-hierarchical approaches to discussions and management, we created a true melting pot where many scientists outside of our lab also aspire to join. Thanks to our lab culture that respects differences and promotes productive team work, our team members bring their extraordinary input and enthusiasm into the new projects. We believe that the team spirit and the congruence generated in Kizil Lab is the reason behind our success.


Our collaborative publication on a new epitranscriptomic regulation of Tau pathology published

Using cellular and animal models of Alzheimer’s disease as well as human brains from clinical cohorts, Santa-Maria Lab’s study identified that the RNA-modifying enzyme NOP2/Sun RNA methyltransferase 2 (NSun2) exerted an epitranscriptomic regulation of miR-125b and tau phosphorylation in Alzheimer’s disease. This study highlights a novel avenue for therapeutic targeting. We are glad to have …

Kizil Lab moves to Columbia University!

We are happy to announce that we moved to New York to the Department of Neurology and the Taub Institute in Columbia University Irving Medical Center. We are thrilled to continue and expand on our work in zebrafish on Alzheimer’s disease in the great New York City at this great university! Stay tuned!