Marios Chatzigeorgiou's picture

Marios Chatzigeorgiou

Researcher, Group Leader
  • E-mailMarios.Chatzigeorgiou@uib.no
  • Phone+47 55 58 43 58+47 900 85 549
  • Visitor Address
    Thormøhlens gate 55
    5006 Bergen
  • Postal Address
    Postboks 7800
    5020 Bergen

Understanding the mechanisms by which nervous systems develop and operate in order to collect information from the external world and generate a coordinated behavioural output is one of the most exciting problems in biological research. From a neuroethological perspective, identifying novel adaptations that have a transformative outcome on the development and function of the nervous system across diverse animal species presents an equally exciting challenge. We are currently setting up our lab to work at the interface between neurobiology and evo/devo using marine organisms. We are planing to address the following two questions:

  • How does a simple chordate brain function?We will use modern genetic, neurophysiological and imaging tools to study simple nervous systems starting with the larval form of the basal chordate Ciona intestinalis. Ciona intestinalis larva is an exciting model organism to study nervous system development and function for many reasons. A primary reason is that it has a chordate body plan and shares key homologies with vertebrates. Moreover, the larval nervous system is composed of roughly 330 cells and thus offers the tantalising opportunity to study a chordate nervous system at the single cell level.We will begin with studying the mechanosensory and chemosensory behaviours of the freely moving larva. We hope to identify the key circuits and molecules that mediate these behaviours. To achieve this, we will use optogenetics, calcium imaging, quantitative behavioural analysis and reverse genetics.
  • How does species diversity in neural mechanisms arise?Traditionally neuroscientists have used a wide range of animal species to address neurobiological questions. But in recent times, studies have focused on a handful of model organisms.These organisms have been successfully used to study conserved neuronal process such as sensory transduction, neuronal plasticity and excitability. However, they present only a small fraction of the total biological diversity. For example, we have a very detailed understanding of how ion channels in mice or worms work in neuronal signalling, but how their diversification underlies the ability of other animals to adapt to the physical environment remains largely unexplored. We plan to study the evolution of the molecular toolset (e.g. ion channels and receptors) and cell types that different marine organisms use in order to sense and respond to sensory cues. Our efforts will be greatly facilitated by the extensive expertise on comparative genomic and functional analysis of marine organisms available at the Sars Centre and the UoB.
  • Show author(s) (2024). Polymodal sensory perception drives settlement and metamorphosis of Ciona larvae. Current Biology.
  • Show author(s) (2023). Terrestrial dissolved organic matter is not an efficent vector for lipohilic contaminants in filter feeders.
  • Show author(s) (2023). Neuronal gene expression in two generations of the marine parasitic worm, Cryptocotyle lingua. Communications Biology.
  • Show author(s) (2023). Increases in Terrestrial Dissolved Organic Matter Will Not Increase Feeding Related Uptake of a common Lipid Soluble Contaminant In coastal Filter Feeders.
  • Show author(s) (2023). Ciona spp. and ascidians as bioindicator organisms for evaluating effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals: A discussion paper. Marine Environmental Research. 12 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2022). Effect of terrestrial and aquatic dissolved organic matter on uptake of teflubenzuron in mussels and ascidians.
  • Show author(s) (2022). Comprehensive analysis of locomotion dynamics in the protochordate Ciona intestinalis reveals how neuromodulators flexibly shape its behavioral repertoire. PLoS Biology. 44 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2021). Neuropeptide repertoire and 3D anatomy of the ctenophore nervous system. Current Biology. 5274-5285.e6.
  • Show author(s) (2021). Mesmerize is a dynamically adaptable user-friendly analysis platform for 2D and 3D calcium imaging data. Nature Communications. 1-15.
  • Show author(s) (2019). Automated behavioural analysis reveals the basic behavioural repertoire of the urochordate Ciona intestinalis. Scientific Reports. 1-17.

More information in national current research information system (CRIStin)

  • Choi S, Taylor KP, Chatzigeorgiou M, Hu Z, Schafer WR, Kaplan JM (2015). Sensory Neurons Arouse C. elegans Locomotion via Both Glutamate and Neuropeptide Release. PLoS Genet Jul 8;11(7):e1005359. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005359.
  • Cohen E, Chatzigeorgiou M, Husson SJ, Steuer-Costa W, Gottschalk A, Schafer WR, Treinin M (2014). C. elegans nicotinic acetylcholine receptors are required for nociception. Mol Cell Neurosci Feb 8. pii: S1044-7431(14)00010-4. doi: 10.1016/j.mcn.2014.02.001.
  • Rabinowitch I*, Chatzigeorgiou M*, Zhao B, Treinin M, Schafer WR (2014). Rewiring neural circuits by the insertion of ectopic electrical synapses in transgenic C. elegans. Nat Commun Jul 16;5:4442. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5442. *Contributed equally
  • Chatzigeorgiou M*, Bang S*, Hwang SW, Schafer WR (2013). tmc-1 encodes a sodium-sensitive channel required for salt chemosensation in C. elegans. Nature Jan 30;494(7435):95–9. * Contributed equally
  • Rabinowitch I*, Chatzigeorgiou M*, Schafer WR (2013). A gap junction circuit enhances processing of coincident mechanosensory inputs. Curr Biol Jun 3;23(11):963–7. *Contributed equally
  • Choi S, Chatzigeorgiou M, Taylor KP, Schafer WR, Kaplan JM (2013). Analysis of NPR-1 Reveals a Circuit Mechanism for Behavioral Quiescence in C.elegans. Neuron Jun 5;78(5):869–80.
  • Smith CJ*, O'Brien T*, Chatzigeorgiou M, Spencer WC, Feingold-Link E, Husson SJ, et al. (2013). Sensory neuron fates are distinguished by a transcriptional switch that regulates dendrite branch stabilization. Neuron Jul 24;79(2):266–80. *Contributed equally
  • Albeg A, Smith CJ, Chatzigeorgiou M, Feitelson DG, Hall DH, Schafer WR, et al. (2011). C. elegans multi-dendritic sensory neurons: morphology and function. Mol Cell Neurosci Jan;46(1):308–17.
  • Chatzigeorgiou M, Schafer WR (2011). Lateral facilitation between primary mechanosensory neurons controls nose touch perception in C. elegans. Neuron Apr 28;70(2):299–309.
  • Chatzigeorgiou M, Yoo S, Watson JD, Lee W-H, Spencer WC, Kindt KS, et al. (2010) Specific roles for DEG/ENaC and TRP channels in touch and thermosensation in C. elegans nociceptors. Nat Neurosci Jul;13(7):861–8.
  • Chatzigeorgiou M, Grundy L, Kindt KS, Lee W-H, Driscoll M, Schafer WR (2010). Spatial asymmetry in the mechanosensory phenotypes of the C. elegans DEG/ENaC gene mec-10. J Neurophysiol Dec;104(6):3334–44.
  • Imperial College London, B.Sc., Biochemistry 2007
  • University of Cambridge, Ph.D., Neurobiology 2011
  • At Sars since August 2015

Marios studied Biochemistry at Imperial College London (2007) and earned his PhD in Neurobiology from Cambridge University in 2011. Before joining the Sars Centre he was at the MRC LMB in Cambridge where he worked on sensory transduction. His earlier research focused on the molecular and cellular basis of nociception, while his more recent research investigated a family of proteins termed TMC (Transmembrane Channel like). Members of this family have been implicated in human deafness.