Dr Andreas Zaucker

Dr Andreas Zaucker

Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
Research Fellow

Contact details

Centre for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Dr Andreas Zaucker is a Research Fellow in the group of Dr Nils Krone at the School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine.

Andreas’ scientific background is in the use of zebrafish model for functional genomics. He is interested in using zebrafish to learn about the function of genes relevant to human disease. Furthermore, Andreas is interested in the development of zebrafish-based screening platforms aiming at the identification of compounds with potential as therapeutics because they modulate specific physiological, developmental or regenerative processes.


  • PhD 2011
  • Diploma in Biology 2006


Dr. Zaucker studied Biology at the University of Karlsruhe (KIT). During a course on vertebrate embryonic development in the lab of Dr. Ferenc Mueller at the Institute of Toxicology and Genetics (ITG) he was introduced to zebrafish model. Fascinated by the power and the beauty of this experimental model Andreas decided to carry out his final year project in the Mueller lab. In his project Andreas tested the possibility to use RNAi for conditional knockdowns in zebrafish, something which cannot be achieved with the standard knockdown tool, morpholinos. In 2006 Andreas received his first degree (Diploma in Biology) from the University of Karlsruhe.

In December 2006 Andreas started a PhD in the Mueller lab. The Mueller lab moved to the University of Birmingham in 2008, and Andreas became a PhD student at the University of Birmingham. In his PhD project Andreas studied the role of TBP-associated factors (TAFs), subunits of the promoter recognition factor TFIID, in early zebrafish development. He found evidence for a differential requirement of TAFs in early development, in line with accumulating evidence for specific functions of TAFs in the literature. This study was funded by the EuTRACC consortium, a 6thframework biomedical research project.

Working in a research environment with focus on genetics of human disease raised Andreas’ interest in the use of zebrafish for biomedical research. A collaboration with the group of Dr. Paul Gissen on VIPAR,a newly identified gene mutated in the metabolic disease ARC syndrome, offered the opportunity to get involved in research using zebrafish for disease modelling. Andreas validated the role of VIPARin biliary development in vivoby knocking down its zebrafish orthologue.

In December 2011 Andreas was awarded a PhD from the University of Birmingham.

In zebrafish there is a substantial contribution of gene products produced during oogenesis to early embryonic development. Dating back to his final year project is Andreas’ interest in studying the function of those maternal factors. To date there is no straight forward tool to interfere with maternal gene function. Andreas was involved in a collaboration on the development of a transplantation protocol for early stage oocytes, which might be further developed into a method to study maternal gene function.

One maternally controlled process is the establishment of polarity in the developing oocyte. From 2011 to 2013 Andreas worked as a Research Fellow in the lab of Dr. Florence Marlow at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (New York). Dr. Marlow’s lab is interested in the molecular pathways generating oocyte polarity. In her lab Andreas worked on the refinement of methods to study the function of genes in oogenesis and on the role of the notch pathway in the zebrafish ovary.

In April 2014 Andreas joined the lab of Dr Nils Krone at the University of Birmingham where he will generate zebrafish knockout models for components of steroidogenic pathways. Those mutants will be used in compound screens to identify modifiers of the phenotype, hopefully opening up new avenues for the development of therapeutics.


In the lab of Dr. Nils Krone (Centre for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism) Dr. Zaucker is developing a zebrafish-based compound screen aimed at identifying molecular chaperones which restore the enzymatic activity of I172N 21-Hydroxylase mutant protein.

In the lab of Dr. Florence Marlow (AECOM, New York) Andreas worked on the identification and characterisation of genes which are required for female fertility. The focus of his work was on the role of the Notch pathway in the zebrafish ovary.

During his PhD Andreas studied the specific roles of TFIID subunits for transcription during early zebrafish development. In side projects he worked on the generation of a zebrafish model for ARC-syndrome, a high-throughput screen to test the specificity of promoter-enhancer interactions and the development of an oocyte transplantation method.

First degree (Diploma in Biology)
Andreas studied biology at the University of Karlsruhe, Germany. Andreas carried out the final year project in the lab of Dr. Ferenc Mueller. In this project he explored the possibility to use RNAi to knock down maternal gene products during oocyte development.


Research articles

Zaucker A, Bodur T, Roest Crollius H, Hadzhiev Y, Gehrig J, Loosli F, Watson C and Müller F (2014) Description of Embryonic Development of Spotted Green Pufferfish (Tetraodon nigroviridis). Zebrafish 11(6):509-17

Zaucker A, Mercurio S, Sternheim N, Talbot WS and Marlow FL (2013) notch3 is essential for oligodendrocyte development and vascular integrity in zebrafish. Dis Model Mech 6(5):1246-59

Csenki Z, Zaucker A, Kovács B, Hadzhiev Y, Hegyi A, Lefler KK, Müller T, Kovács R, Urbányi B, Váradi L and Müller F (2010) Intraovarian transplantation of stage I-II follicles results in viable zebrafish embryos. Int J Dev Biol 54(4):585-9

Cullinane AR, Straatman-Iwanowska A, Zaucker A, Wakabayashi Y, Bruce CK, Luo G, Rahman F, Gürakan F, Utine E, Ozkan TB, Denecke J, Vukovic J, Di Rocco M, Mandel H, Cangul H, Matthews RP, Thomas SG, Rappoport JZ, Arias IM, Wolburg H, Knisely AS, Kelly DA, Müller F, Maher ER and Gissen P (2010) Mutations in VIPAR cause an arthrogryposis, renal dysfunction and cholestasis syndrome phenotype with defects in epithelial polarization. Nat Genet 42(4):303-12

Gehrig J, Reischl M, Kalmár E, Ferg M, Hadzhiev Y, Zaucker A, Song C, Schindler S, Liebel U and Müller F (2009) Automated high-throughput mapping of promoter-enhancer interactions in zebrafish embryos. Nat Methods 6(12):911-6


Müller F, Zaucker A and Tora L (2010) Developmental regulation of transcription initiation: more than just changing the actors. Curr Opin Genet Dev 20(5):533-40