Research Report 2007

Fish and gene chips

Emerging viral and bacterial pathogens of fish, such as Infectious Salmon Anemia Virus (ISAV) and Piscirickettsia salmonis, respectively, are serious threats to the aquaculture industry. High-density culture in marine net pens is required to maximize productivity and remain cost-competitive in the global Atlantic salmon market, but also increases the incidence of disease. Improved understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of infectious diseases paves the way for the development of effective diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics, and could lead to methods of selecting for disease resistant aquaculture broodstock. As Canada Research Chair in Marine Biotechnology, Dr. Rise will develop and use genomic tools to characterize host and pathogen gene expression changes occurring during infections of fish with emerging pathogens such as ISAV and P. salmonis, and further develop infectious diseases of aquatic organisms as biomedical models for the study of related human diseases.

Portrait of Dr. Rise

Dr. Rise

The development of genomic tools, such as DNA microarrays or "gene chips", has revolutionized agricultural, toxicological, and biomedical research. DNA microarrays allow researchers to study the expression of thousands of genes simultaneously, for the rapid identification of molecular pathways altered during biological processes.

Dr. Rise will use genomics approaches, involving microarrays and other biotechnology tools and techniques, in studies related to fish disease, environmental toxicology, and aquaculture. With collaborators at MemorialUniversityand elsewhere, his research will stimulate the development of products and methods likely to have a positive impact on the health of cultured and wild marine animals.

For more information, visit: http://www.mun.ca/research/chairs/rise.php