Research Support Services
Jeopardizing the productivity of the Canadian aquaculture industry, and the health and welfare of cultivated fish are aquatic pathogens (bacteria, viruses, parasites). To prevent the outbreak of pathogenic diseases, the aquaculture industry relies on the use of vaccines. While traditional vaccines (TV) are effective, they do not work against all types of pathogens and their composition can be stressful to individual fish. Advances in technology have led to the development of DNA vaccines (DV). While there are many benefits to DV including less stressful vaccine formulations, more rapid immune responses, and prolonged protection, the impact DV have on the health and welfare of fishes, as well as the general physiology, including energetics, performance, and stress response when coupled with TV, is not known.
The goal of my PhD thesis is to establish a comprehensive understanding of the immediate effects of concurrent injection with a DV and a TV on the overall health and welfare of cultivated fish. More specifically, my thesis will determine the short- and long-term effects that concurrent vaccine injection has on the health and welfare of salmonids. Particular attention will be paid to the short-term activation of the non-specific and specific immune responses and the influence time of day of vaccination has on the activation of immune function. Additionally, my thesis will identify the impact that chronic stress, a situation commonly observed in the aquaculture industry, has on the activation of the immune response of cultivated salmonids injected with a DV alone, or/and concurrently with a TV.
Region of Study
Experience with many assays and protocols including;
- Haematological assays: Haemoglobin determination, erythrocyte enumeration, counts
- Immunological assays: A variety of different radio-immune assays, leukocyte identification and differential cell counts, macrophage isolation and culture, oxidative burst assay, lysozyme assay, monoclonal antibody labelling, ELISA
- Gene expression protocols and assays: Cell separation and preparation, RNA extraction and quantification, PCR and RT qPCR
Project Management of novel and independent research experiments. Management of animal husbandry staff and volunteers. Work effectively in collaboration with senior scientists from various different organizations, both academic and industry.
I have presented my findings at major scientific conferences throughout the world, in both oral and poster format; also at many regional conferences, seminars and meetings
Teaching experience includes teaching 3rd and 4th year undergraduate students various laboratory procedures, dealing with both microbiology, and whole animal and cellular physiology
Last Updated: 2013-07-10
by Lisa SKINNER