The Currie Group is researching the molecular mechanism that act to pattern the vertebrate embryo and to discover how different muscle cell types have evolved. They are particularly interested in how specific muscle cell types are determined within the developing embryo, how they grow and how they regenerate after injury.

For their research, the group use the Zebrafish as they model organism. Zebrafish are advantageous as study animals because their embryos are transparent. This allows scientists to observe the development of the internal structures from outside the living embryo. 


What the Currie Group aim to understand is how early embryonic cells become individual muscle cells later in development. To do this, they look at two types of muscle groups – the axial muscles, which form around the head and truck and the appendicular muscles (those that form the muscles of the fins).

Another component of their research looks at the stem cell ‘buddy stem’. In collaboration with researchers from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, The Currie Group were the first to identify what triggers haematopoietic stem cell (HSC) production. HSCs, which are found in the bone marrow and the umbilical cord, are important for replenishing the body’s supple of blood cells. What the group discovered is that the HSCs were formed with help from another type of cell – endotome cells. 

This discovery has brought us closer to a cure for blood disorders. The Currie Group is continuing their research in the mechanics of stem cell generation to help find a cure for a range of blood disorders and immune diseases.

  • Uncovering how specific muscle cell types are determined within the developing embryo, how they grow and how they regenerate after injury.
  • Understanding how early embryonic cells are specified to become individual muscle cells later in development.
  • Concentrating on two different populations of differentiating muscles: those that form the muscles of the head and trunk (axial muscles) and those that generate the muscles of the fins (appendicular muscles)
  • Mechanics of stem cell generation

Highlight publications

Published In

Nguyen PD, Gurevich DB, Sonntag C, Hersey L, Alaei S, Nim HT, Siegel A, Hall TE, Rossello FJ, Boyd SE, Polo JM, Currie PD.

Muscle Stem Cells Undergo Extensive Clonal Drift during Tissue Growth via Meox1-Mediated Induction of G2 Cell-Cycle Arrest.

Cell Stem Cell. 2017 Jul 6;21(1):107-119.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2017.06.003.

Berger J, Berger S, Li M, Currie PD.

Myo18b is essential for sarcomere assembly in fast skeletal muscle.

Hum Mol Genet. 2017 Mar 15;26(6):1146-1156. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddx025.

Masselink W, Cole NJ, Fenyes F, Berger S, Sonntag C, Wood A, Nguyen PD, Cohen N, Knopf F, Weidinger G, Hall TE, Currie PD.

A somitic contribution to the apical ectodermal ridge is essential for fin formation.

Nature. 2016 Jul 28;535(7613):542-6.

Gurevich DB, Nguyen PD, Siegel AL, Ehrlich OV, Sonntag C, Phan JM, Berger S, Ratnayake D, Hersey L, Berger J, Verkade H, Hall TE, Currie PD.

Asymmetric division of clonal muscle stem cells coordinates muscle regeneration in vivo.

Science. 2016 May 19. pii: aad9969. [Epub ahead of print]

Gurevich D, Siegel A, Currie PD.

Skeletal myogenesis in the zebrafish and its implications for muscle disease modelling.

Results Probl Cell Differ. 2015;56:49-76. doi: 10.1007/978-3-662-44608-9_3.

Berger J, Hall TE, Currie PD.

Novel transgenic lines to label sarcolemma and myofibrils of the musculature.

Zebrafish 2015;12(1):124-125. doi: 10.1089/zeb.2014.1065. Epub 2015 Jan 2. Impact Factor: 1.946. Ranking: 33/153.

Goldshmit Y, Frisca F, Kaslin J, Pinto AR, Tang JK, Pébay A, Pinkas-Kramarski R, Currie PD.

Decreased anti-regenerative effects after spinal cord injury in spry4-/- mice.

Neuroscience. 2015 Feb 26;287:104-12. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2014.12.020. Epub 2014 Dec 22.

Wood AJ, Currie PD.

Analysing regenerative potential in zebrafish models of congenital muscular dystrophy.

Int J Biochem Cell Biol. 2014 Nov;56:30-7. doi: 10.1016/j.biocel.2014.10.021. Epub 2014 Oct 28.

Nguyen PD, Hollway GE, Sonntag C, Miles LB, Hall TE, Berger S, Fernandez KJ, Gurevich DB, Cole NJ, Alaei S, Ramialison M, Sutherland RL, Polo JM, Lieschke GJ, Currie PD.

Haematopoietic stem cell induction by somite-derived endothelial cells controlled by meox1.

Nature; 2014 Aug 21;512(7514):314-8. doi: 10.1038/nature13678. Epub 2014 Aug 13.

Masselink W, Wong JC, Liu B, Fu J, Currie PD.

Low-cost silicone imaging casts for zebrafish embryos and larvae.

Zebrafish. 2014 Feb;11(1):26-31. doi: 10.1089/zeb.2013.0897. Epub 2013 Nov 15.

Berger J, Tarakci H, Berger S, Li M, Hall TE, Arner A, Currie PD.

Loss of Tropomodulin4 in the zebrafish mutant träge causes cytoplasmic rod formation and muscle weakness reminiscent of nemaline myopathy.

Dis Model Mech; 2014 Dec;7(12):1407-15. doi: 10.1242/dmm.017376. Epub 2014 Oct 2.

Gurevich D, Siegel A, Currie PD.

Skeletal myogenesis in the zebrafish and its implications for muscle disease modelling.

Results Probl Cell Differ. 2015;56:49-76. doi: 10.1007/978-3-662-44608-9_3.

Goldshmit Y, Frisca F, Pinto AR, Pébay A, Tang JK, Siegel AL, Kaslin J, Currie PD.

Fgf2 improves functional recovery-decreasing gliosis and increasing radial glia and neural progenitor cells after spinal cord injury.

Brain Behav. 2014 Mar;4(2):187-200. doi: 10.1002/brb3.172. Epub 2014 Jan 13.

Siegel AL, Gurevich DB, Currie PD.

A myogenic precursor cell that could contribute to regeneration in zebrafish and its similarity to the satellite cell.

FEBS J. 2013 Sep;280(17):4074-88. doi: 10.1111/febs.12300. Epub 2013 May 24.

Cole NJ, Hall TE, Don EK, Berger S, Boisvert CA, Neyt C, Ericsson R, Joss J, Gurevich DB, Currie PD.

Development and evolution of the muscles of the pelvic fin.

PLoS Biol. 2011 Oct;9(10):e1001168. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1001168. Epub 2011 Oct 4.

Nguyen-Chi ME, Bryson-Richardson R, Sonntag C, Hall TE, Gibson A, Sztal T, Chua W, Schilling TF, Currie PD.

Morphogenesis and cell fate determination within the adaxial cell equivalence group of the zebrafish myotome.

PLoS Genet. 2012;8(10):e1003014. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003014. Epub 2012 Oct 25.

Sztal TE, Sonntag C, Hall TE, Currie PD.

Epistatic dissection of laminin-receptor interactions in dystrophic zebrafish muscle.

Hum Mol Genet. 2012 Nov 1;21(21):4718-31. doi: 10.1093/hmg/dds312. Epub 2012 Jul 31.

Johnson JL, Hall TE, Dyson JM, Sonntag C, Ayers K, Berger S, Gautier P, Mitchell C, Hollway GE, Currie PD.

Scube activity is necessary for Hedgehog signal transduction in vivo.

Dev Biol. 2012 Aug 15;368(2):193-202. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2012.05.007. Epub 2012 May 17.

Lieschke GJ, Currie PD.

Animal models of human disease: zebrafish swim into view.

Nat Rev Genet. 2007 May;8(5):353-67.

Hollway GE, Bryson-Richardson RJ, Berger S, Cole NJ, Hall TE, Currie PD.

Whole-somite rotation generates muscle progenitor cell compartments in the developing zebrafish embryo.

Dev Cell. 2007 Feb;12(2):207-19.

Cortés F, Daggett D, Bryson-Richardson RJ, Neyt C, Maule J, Gautier P, Hollway GE, Keenan D, Currie PD.

Cadherin-mediated differential cell adhesion controls slow muscle cell migration in the developing zebrafish myotome.

Dev Cell. 2003 Dec;5(6):865-76.

Neyt C, Jagla K, Thisse C, Thisse B, Haines L, Currie PD.

Evolutionary origins of vertebrate appendicular muscle.

Nature. 2000 Nov 2;408(6808):82-6.