We study the integrative processes and functions of life at all levels of structural complexity from the molecular level through to whole organisms. We then frame functional diversity in evolutionary, enviornmental, ecological and behavioural contexts. Research areas where we have world-leading expertise include:
Fish Immunology and Physiology
Our world-class reputation for research in fish immunology and physiology is based on the activity of the Scottish Fish Immunology Research Centre. The central focus of the SFIRC is to understand the functioning and evolution of the fish immune system with a view to development of vaccines, immunostimulants and antiviral/antimicrobial reagents against common fish diseases that can improve fish health in aquaculture.
Current areas of recognised research strength are:
- the isolation and characterisation of fish cytokine genes (e.g. interleukins, interferons and tumour necrosis factors), and elucidation of what influences their expression, structure and ligand interactions;
- the use of comparative analyses to understand the evolution of the adaptive immune response in cartilagenous fishes;
- the role(s) of lymphocyte subpopulations that mediate immune responses and to identify the immune factors that regulate leucocyte activation and traffiking;
- the relationships between metabolism and immune competence in salmonids;
- the evolution of function, physiological processes and developmental systems across fish taxa
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