Organization profile

Organisation profile

Immune gene discovery

The Scottish Fish Immunology Research Centre has a strong research team dedicated to fish immune gene discovery and is committed to its leading research at the forefront of this field. Main interests include:

identification of novel immune genes and elucidation of their physiological functions in innate and acquired immune responses in fish:
Genetic markers for fish disease resistance;
pioneering new technologies such as microarrays for gene analysis in fish.
Leucocyte Biology


The fish immune system has evolved a wide range of defence mechanisms against pathogen invasion, which require different cell types that regulate innate and acquired immune responses. Cellular control of immune processes in fish is poorly understood and few leucocyte populations have been isolated and characterised. One of the research aims is to study the role(s) of lymphocyte subpopulations that mediate immune responses and to identify the immune factors that regulate leucocyte activation. These include:

identification of cell surface markers and isolation of leucocyte subpopulations by flow cytometry;
development of bioassays for cytokines and other immune factors.
Fish vaccine development


Vaccines have become one of the major approaches to combat fish diseases in recent years and have made a major contribution to improvements of fish health in aquaculture. The Scottish Fish Immunology Research Centre facilitates research on the development of novel effective vaccines, immunostimulants/adjuvants, and antiviral/antimicrobial reagents in fish. Recent studies have investigated the mechanisms of induced resistance of DNA vaccines, the use of cytokines as adjuvants and the potency of novel fish antimicrobial peptides.

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