CONTACT PERSON: Prof. Pieter van West
TELEPHONE: +44 (0) 1224 437327
The University of Aberdeen (UoA) was founded in 1495, is Scotland's third oldest University and is the fifth oldest in the UK. Aberdeen is an international university built on serving one of the most dynamic regions of Europe. With over 13,900 students (over 19% are mature graduates) and over 3000 staff from more than 120 nationalities. The UoA is at the forefront of teaching and research in medicine, the humanities and sciences. The UoA has been successful in participating in more than 700 grants funded by the European Commission, including 9 ERC fellowships and 6 live ITNs hosting 11 fellows. The University has also been successful in securing a number of grants under schemes such as ESF, Socrates, Interreg, COST and Leonardo.
The involved UoA teams (CJS and PvW) have expertise to carry out scientific research in fish parasitology, pathology, immune response, genomics, nutrigenomics, oomycete parasites, molecular biology, developmental biology, infection and challenge methodology, fish cell lines.
Role in the project:
UoA will have a transversal participation in most of the WPs. PvW is pathogen leader of Saprolegnia parasitica and CJS is pathogen leader of PKD and both will have a key role in WP1 WP3, WP4 and WP5, with special contributions to immunology and host pathogen interactions.
Key persons involved:
|Prof. Chris Secombes has been working on the immune system of fish for over 35 years, with over 400 papers published and an H factor of 62. He holds the Regius Chair of Natural History within the School of Biological Sciences at the UoA, and is Head of the Scottish Fish Immunology Research Centre (SFIRC). In 2007 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) and was awarded the RSE Alexander Ninian Bruce Prize for meritorious research in Medical or Veterinary Physiology, for his “outstanding contribution to our understanding of the immune system of fish, particularly salmonids”. In 2013, he was awarded life membership of the newly formed International Society of Fish & Shellfish Immunology and in 2014, he was awarded an honorary DSc from the University of Hull.|
|Prof. Pieter van West held a Royal Society University Fellowship and now holds a Chair in Mycology at the UoA. He has over 24 years of experience in oomycete pathology and development. Oomycetes>are fungal-like organisms that can cause economically and environmentally important diseases. The fish pathogenic oomycetes under investigation in his group are Saprolegnia spp. and Aphanomyces spp., which are important pathogens in the aquaculture industry. His research is using taxonomy, ecology, epidemiology, biochemistry, immunology, cellular and molecular biology and especially oomycete-host interactions to  understand and unravel fundamental molecular processes in oomycetes,  detect important and essential molecular targets, and  utilise these targets to develop novel control strategies. He has 12 team members in the lab with extensive experience relevant to all WPs.|
|Marc Faber is a PhD student at the Scottish Fish Immunology Research Centre and funded by the ParaFishControl project. His main goal is to identify vaccine and drug targets against Tetracapsuloides bryosalmonae, the causative agent of Proliferative Kidney Disease in rainbow trout. He will approach this by in-silico target prediction from transcriptomic data and verify potential candidates through in-vivo vaccination trials.|
|Kostis Apostolakis is a graduate in Biology and has an MSc in Molecular Biotechnology. Currently, he does his PhD at the University of Aberdeen, UK. His project focuses in the identification of immunogenic proteins on the fish pathogen Saprolegnia parasitica, with the ultimate goal being the development of an effective vaccine against this pathogen.|