I am currently head of the Vector-borne Viral Diseases (VVD) Programme at the Pirbright Institute. My own research group is directly involved in the development of novel vaccines for Bluetongue and African horse sickness, as well as studies of virus/host/vector interactions, including the innate immune responses.
We have also developed a suite of diagnostic assay systems for these and other orbiviruses, which have been validated and are in current use by our reference laboratories and reference laboratories in many countries around the world. We have also established a reference collection of different orbiviruses from around the world for molecular epidemiology studies, that are available to suitably licensed laboratories, for vaccine development and testing.
We are interested in subunit vaccines and DIVA assay development. We have new links with networks in Brazil and India to establish virus reference collections in those countries, as well as suitable diagnostic systems and vaccination / control strategies.
Other groups within the VVD programme work on African Swine fever virus (ASFV), West Nile virus, Nairobi sheep disease, Rift Valley fever virus, chikungunya virus, as well as their arthropod vectors, including mosquitoes, Culicoides and ticks.