Dr Marc Fivaz

Dr Marc Fivaz MSc, PhD

Dr Marc Fivaz

Dr Marc Fivaz
MSc, PhD

Associate Professor / Reader in Biomedical Science

Department of Life and Sports Sciences

Faculty of Engineering and Science

Marc Fivaz obtained his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Geneva (Switzerland) in the lab of Gisou van der Goot. He then moved to Stanford University for a post-doc with Tobias Meyer, where he studied signal transduction in nerve cells and acquired a pronounced taste for live-cell imaging approaches.

In 2007, Marc started his own lab at Duke-NUS Medical School (Singapore) in the programme of Neuroscience and Behavioural Disorders. His team identified a unique signalling pathway that regulates activity-dependent synaptic remodelling, learning and memory. Marc also made significant contributions in the areas of neurotransmission and synapse genomics, with a specific focus on genes and pathways associated with psychiatric disorders.

After a brief stint at the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR, London) where he developed imaging processing software, Marc joined the University of Greenwich in 2017 as an Associate Professor / Reader.

Course instructor

  • Applied Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology and Immunity
  • Pathophysiology of Disease
  • Pharmaceutical Biotechnology

ASCB (American society for cell Biology)

SfN (Society for Neuroscience)

Guest Associate Editor for Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience

The main objective of Marc's current research is to model human brain development and mental disorders using pluripotent stem cells and brain organoids. Current projects include (i) modelling SNP-SNP interactions in neuropsychiatric disorders using CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing, (ii) bioelectric signalling in neural stem cell proliferation and cortical development and (iii) decoding noise in cell cycle timing during corticogenesis.

Funded research projects

2014 -2015: Janssen Pharmaceuticals/ASTAR fund. Lead PI. 270'512 SGD. "Targeting the Ca2+ sensor STIM2 for synapse therapeutics"

2013 -2015: MOE AcRF Tier 2 Grant from the Ministry of Education Singapore (MOE2013-T2-1-053). Lead PI. 630,066 SGD. "Mitochondrial dynamics in neural circuits implicated in schizophrenia"

2012 -2014: MOE AcRF Tier 2 Grant from the Ministry of Education Singapore (MOE2011-T2-1-107). Lead PI. 722,112 SGD. "The Calcium sensor STIM: role in synaptic transmission, plasticity and behaviour".

2009 -2012: MOE AcRF Tier 2 Grant from the Ministry of Education Singapore (T208B3101). Lead PI. 896,000.00 SGD. "Inducible manipulations of Ras and PI3K signaling to promote regeneration of CNS neurons".

Yap K, Shetty M, Garcia-Alvarez G, Lu B, Oh-Hora M, Sajikumar S and Fivaz M. STIM2 regulates AMPA receptor trafficking and plasticity at hippocampal synapses Neurobiol Learn Mem 2017 Feb;138:54-61

Poon, VY, Gu M, Ji F, VanDongen A and Fivaz M. miR-27b shapes the presynaptic transcriptome and influences neurotransmission by silencing the polycomb group protein Bmi1 BMC Genomics 2016, Oct 4.

Tang W, Thevathasan JV, Lin Q, Lim L, Soong TW and Fivaz M. Stimulation of synaptic vesicle exocytosis by the mental disease gene DISC1 is mediated by N-type voltage-gated calcium channels. Front Synaptic Neurosci. 2016, June 14;8:15.

Garcia-Alvarez G, Shetty MS, Bo L, Yap KA, Oh-Hora M, Sajikumar S, Bichler, Z and Fivaz M. Impaired spatial memory and enhanced long-term potentiation in mice with forebrain-specific ablation of the Stim genes. Front Behav Neurosci 2015 July 14;9:18014

Garcia-Alvarez G, Bo L, Yap K, Wong LC, Thevathasan JV, Lim L, Fang J, Tan KW, Mancuso JJ, Tang W, Poon SY, Augustine GJ and Fivaz M. STIM2 regulates PKA-dependent phosphorylation and trafficking of AMPARs. Mol Biol Cell 2015 Mar 15;26(6):1141-59

Poon VY, Goh C, Voorhoeve M and Fivaz M. High-content imaging of presynaptic assembly. Front Cell Neurosci. 2014 Mar 3;8:66

Thevathasan JV, Tan E, Zheng H, Lin YC, Yang L, Inoue T and Fivaz M. The small GTPase HRas shapes local PI3K signals through positive feedback and regulates persistent membrane extension in fibroblasts. Mol Biol Cell 2013 24(14):2228-37. Highlighted in Faculty of 1000 and ScienceDaily (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130716162158.htm)

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