Scotland's Rural College
As a veterinarian, I have a special interest in managing animal health, but I want this to be achieved with minimum input of chemical drugs and without compromising animal welfare. To achieve this, my research focuses into: i) understanding host-pathogen interactions, ii) characterising the consequences of host’s environment on host-pathogen interactions and iii) designing strategies to improve the ability of the host to cope with a disease in any given environment. I am using parasitological, immunological and molecular methodologies, including genome-wide transcriptomic and proteomic approaches to address my research.
I have a focus on gastrointestinal tract health, and have acquired expertise in production diseases of both ruminant and monogastric hosts. I have been using in vivo and in vitro models to study disease and host responses and have pioneered research on the investigation of the antiparasitic properties of plant secondary metabolites, which is widely cited around the world. I have recently developed and validated an in situ duodenal loop model to investigate host-pathogen interactions in the intestine; this is a very useful tool, particularly in the absence of a poultry epithelial cell line. It is currently used to investigate disease pathogenesis and host responses following infusion with C.perfringens, the main causative agent of necrotic enteritis, a production disease of broiler poultry.