Dr. Jan Spitsbergen studies both diseases that specifically affect zebrafish and human diseases that can be modelled in a zebrafish host.   Fish can be used to study human diseases including cancer, genetic conditions including Fanconi anaemia and infectious agents such as bacteria and parasites.  Zebrafish are a particularly useful model species, as they breed well, grow rapidly, and are laboratory friendly.  Genetically modified zebrafish have been developed that are more susceptible to a range of cancers for use in human cancer studies.

Spitsbergen, J.M., Buhler, D.R., Peterson, T.S.  2012.  Neoplasia and neoplasm-associated lesions in laboratory colonies of zebrafish emphasizing key influences of diet and aquaculture system design.  ILAR J.  53(2):114-125.

Spitsbergen, J.M. and Kent, M.L.  2003.  State of the art of the zebrafish model for toxicology and toxicologic pathology research--advantages and current limitations.  The Toxicologic Pathology 31:62-87.