Dr Beck Richardson

Lab Overview

Our lab is interested in the processes of tissue repair and regeneration and in modelling different aspects of human cardiovascular disease, using zebrafish as a model system. We are particularly interested in the inflammatory response to tissue injury and the roles this may play in promoting regeneration of damaged organs.

Research Questions

We have several ongoing research topics in the lab:

  1. The inflammatory response to an acute or ischaemic injury (such as a myocardial infarction) is an inevitable and necessary part of the repair process but directly drives subsequent fibrosis and scar formation in mammals. We are investigating how different inflammatory cell types, and the factors they express, contribute to this scarring response and their ability to promote scar removal in our regenerative zebrafish model.
  2. We are interested in how cardiovascular cells communicate with one another following injury and the roles very small extracellular vesicles, which are transferred between different cells and which can carry various molecular “messages”, may play in injury responses.
  3. We are interested in the effect natural ageing has on regeneration and inflammatory cells and how this might be controlled.

 

Techniques

We use lots of different cellular, molecular and whole organism techniques in our work including:

  • In vivo animal models
  • Live imaging and sophisticated microscopy (confocal, lightsheet, multiphoton, STED)
  • CRISPR/Cas9 technology
    • FACS
    • Molecular biology techniques (PCR, Westerns, qPCR, cloning, proteomics)
    • Transgenesis

Impact

Public engagement is very important to me and to our lab. I talked about our work at Pint of Science in 2018 and the lab and I have presented at several events organised by the BHF to discuss our work with patients and supporters. I am also involved in Authentic Biology, an initiative that teams up researchers at Bristol with students at a local school to do real “hands on” science.

Selected Publications

Deller RC, Richardson T, Richardson RJ, Bevan L, Zampetakis I, Scarpac F, and Perriman AW. (2019) Artificial cell membrane binding thrombin constructs drive in situ fibrin hydrogel formation for scaffold-free tissue engineering. Accepted to Nature Communications.

Martins RR, MacDonald RB, Richardson RJ, and Henriques CM. (2019) Resident immunity in tissue repair and maintenance: the zebrafish model coming of age. Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology. 7, 12 DOI: 10.3389/fcell.2019.00012

Richardson RJ. Parallels between vertebrate cardiac and cutaneous wound healing and regeneration. (2018) NPJ Regenerative Medicine. 3:21 (invited review). DOI: 10.1038/s41536-018-0059-y

Richardson RJ, Metzger M, Knyphausen P, Ramezani T, Slanchev K, Kraus C, Schmelzer E, and Hammerschmidt M. (2016) Re-epithelialization of cutaneous wounds in adult zebrafish combines mechanisms of wound closure in embryonic and adult mammals. Development. 143(12), 2077-88. DOI: 10.1242/dev.130492

Richardson RJ, et al, and Hammerschmidt M. (2013) Adult Zebrafish as a Model System for Cutaneous Wound-Healing Research. Journal of Investigative Dermatology. 133(6), 1655-65. DOI: 10.1038/jid.2013.16

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system.

GFP labelled blood vessels in a larval zebrafish
GFP labelled blood vessels in a larval zebrafish
Scar tissue (red) and inflammatory cells (green) in the heart of an adult zebrafish

Group

  • Laura Bevan
  • Aaron Scott
  • Beth Moyse
  • Rebecca Ryan
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