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Dr Noémie Hamilton

Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences



Noémie (pronounced NO-AY-MEE) completed her Masters in Biology in Health and Diseases at the University of Manchester while on an ERASMUS bursary from Université de Montpellier (France).

She stayed in Manchester in Dr Hurlstone’s lab for her PhD during which she pioneered the use of zebrafish to model white matter disorder and published the first leukodystrophy zebrafish model.

She completed multiple short term post-doctoral positions in Germany and the UK, using a variety of zebrafish techniques to model leukodystrophy, cancer, heart regeneration, eye development and asthma.

She started her research group at the Bateson Centre at the University of Sheffield on a European leukodystrophy Association (ELA) fellowship in 2017. Lead and co-founder of the first UK leukodystrophy research network LEUKOLABS, Noémie is an advocate for leukodystrophy research.

Now at the University of York, the Hamilton Lab is part of the York Biomedical Research Institute and continues to focus on neurological disease modelling using zebrafish and developing new therapies.



In the Hamilton Lab, we want to develop therapies for leukodystrophies, which are devastating inherited white matter disorders.

We harness the advantages of the zebrafish as an in vivo pre-clinical model for these diseases, focusing on interaction between brain immune cells, the microglia, and their environment.

We use: in vivo live imaging techniques (high resolution confocal imaging and MRI), whole cleared brain imaging, immune cell transplantation, transgenesis and CRISPR/Cas9 gene targeting.

For our research to have an impact, we are connected to patient representatives and work with all stakeholders through LEUKOLABS, the first UK leukodystrophy network we created in 2022.

Why zebrafish?

Zebrafish is now the second most used animal model in research in the world. Its use started in developmental biology and is now widespread from drug discovery research to pre-clinical modelling of a plethora of human diseases, including cancer, infection, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases (see diagram).

With its transparency during development combined with the use of reporter fluorescent lines, the zebrafish embryo has become a model of choice to study rare genetic diseases, and particularly childhood white matter disorders where rodent models have often failed to reproduce the pathology observed in patients. As a vertebrate and a non-mammalian model amenable to high-throughput assays, the zebrafish plugs the hole between in vitro modelling and highly expensive rodent models, therefore offering a non-mammalian in vivo model incorporating the 3Rs values in animal research (Replacement, Reduction and Refinement).


Teaching and scholarship

teaching icon‌My teaching is exclusively research-led, designed and informed by the excellence of research contributed by my group and others to my field. My research theme, model and cutting-edge techniques I used as a researcher complement existing modules and allow me to contribute coherently and add research-rich materials to existing programmes. Through my teaching I am mindful to prepare the student for the world beyond our university. The way I train students in the laboratory encourages them to develop independence and autonomy, and take ownership of their project through self-directed learning. I support them to build their set of transferable skills to open up further career opportunities and connect them to different research stakeholders through my expansive network.

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I have given lectures at the University of Sheffield in the areas of neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental diseases, and to introduce the zebrafish as a model in biomedical sciences.



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Projects offered in the Hamilton lab are aligned with ongoing research and are mainly laboratory-based. We encourage motivated individuals to get in touch to discuss areas of common interest for potential laboratory placements/projects. 

Contact details

Dr Noémie Hamilton
Lecturer in Neuroscience
Department of Biology
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: +44 (0)1904 32 8966