Edinburgh Research Explorer

Prof Lonneke Vervelde

Personal Chair of Veterinary Immunology &Infectious Diseases

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Phone: 0131 651 9211Fax: 0131 651 9105

Willingness to take PhD students: Yes

Education/Academic qualification

1990Doctor of Science, Cent Vet Inst Wageningen UR, Wageningen University & Research Center
Eimeria tenella infections in chickens - to recognize and to be recognized
1984Master of Science, Wageningen University
MSc in Biology Immunology/Parasitology/Ethology

Current Research Interests

Host-pathogen interactions and immunomodulation in avian species, with a particular focus on mucosal surfaces.

Research Interests

My research group has investigated the immune responses to pathogens and vaccines in poultry with the ultimate goal to enhance immune-mediated resistance and thus improving the welfare of the animals. The overall aim is to determine how the early innate responses, with a special focus on antigen presenting cells, modulate the adaptive responses and assess their role in the induction of protective immunity, particularly at musosal surfaces. The research focuses on economically important pathogens such as avian influenza virus, infectious bronchitis virus and Eimeria species.

Next to unravelling the basic host-pathogen interactions, the work included improvement of mucosal vaccination through antigen targeting and adjuvants and enhancement of gut health through feed additives.

The development of new immunological tools, reagents and assays for avian immunology is another area of research. This will provide means to investigate fundamental immunological knowledge and determine immunological correlates of protection against avian diseases.

Research students

Abi Bremner

Carina Conceição

Archana Jadhav

Sarah Keep

Esther Nash



Dr Vervelde gained a BSc and MSc in Biology (Immunology Parasitology and Ethology) at the Wageningen University The Netherlands, followed by a PhD on the immune responses in chicken to Eimeria tenella performed at the Central Veterinary Institute in Lelystad. She then went to the Institute for Animal Health in Compton to continue her work on immune responses to avian diseases, in particular infectious bursal disease virus.

In 1998 she moved to The Netherlands to the Department Parasitology and Tropical Veterinary Medicine at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Utrecht to work on the mucosal immune responses of ruminants to helmnth infections. In 2003 she set up the Avian Immunology group in the Department of Infectious Diseases & Immunology investigating the immune responses to pathogens and vaccines in poultry with the ultimate goal to enhance immune-mediated resistance. In 2013 she moved ot the Roslin Institute where she is a group leader and associate professor in avian immunology.

Currently she leads research projects investigating host-pathogen interactions within the mucosal immune system aiming to define the mechanisms whereby natural immunity is achieved and how protective immunity is induced by vaccination. The research focusses on antigen presenting cells and their interaction with other cells of the innate and adaptive immune system with the overall aim to modulate these cells to improve immune mediated resistance and to understand their contribution to pathogenesis.


Administrative Roles

Editorial Board Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology

Houghton Trust member travel fund committee


Roslin Institute:

Chair Poultry Users Committee

Member NARF management team

Member Bio-imaging and Flowcytometry management team


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