We are a young group starting its independent activity in 2010, with a solid formation in fish immunology and with the capacity to start new collaborative and multidisciplinary projects. We develop our work in the Institute of Biotechnoloy and Biomedicine (IBB) placed at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona campus.
A central focus of our work has been the development of nanovaccines for fish species of commercial interest. We are searching for non-toxic, non-stressful and effective systems to protect commercial fish from diverse pathogenic challenges. In particular, fish immunologists face now a major challenge trying to prevent the massive economic losses caused by viral diseases. In collaboration with a fish virologist (Dr. A. Estepa) we aim to encapsulate plasmids coding for antigenic viral proteins into nanoliposomes and characterise them in zebrafish to, finally, test the formulations in the real host.
The evolution of pathogen recognition in vertebrates is also matter of interest of our research. In the last 7 years we have been investigating the molecular basis of the fish immune system, and we have been trying to decipher the particularities of its innate immune response.
Lastly, besides the above mentioned research lines, we will have an additional long-term research line aimed to explore the defense mechanisms in a non-vertebrate marine organism, the amphioxus (Branchiostoma lanceolatum) that would allow us a better understanding of the vertebrate immune system.