REPRODIVAC - Next-generation vaccines and diagnostics to prevent livestock reproductive diseases of worldwide impact

Group leaders




More than 30 years of research experience in the field of immunology and biotechnology. Main research interests: T lymphocytes differentiation and function, Expression of recombinant proteins in heterologous hosts, Plant virology, Vaccinology, Molecular farming (production of biopharmaceuticals in plants), Nanoparticles, Strategies for drug and vaccine delivery, Development of diagnostic assays, OneHealth (



In 2008, Marloes Heijne graduated as a veterinarian from the Utrecht University in the Netherlands and worked in a farm animal practice for three years. In 2011, she returned to Utrecht University to work as a lecturer at the Farm Animal Health department of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. In her current job at Wageningen Bioveterinary Research (WBVR) in Lelystad, she is project leader on statutory tasks for notifiable bacterial animal diseases and zoonoses including avian chlamydiosis and Q-fever. Marloes participated in several research projects including a ZonMW funded research project “Plat4m-2bt-psittacosis”. In 2021 she finished her PhD thesis on “Avian chlamydiosis in chickens: from cell to population”.



Is associate professor at the Department of Animal Science in the University of Lleida (UdL) and a Senior Researcher at the Agrotecnio Research Center since 2010. From 1997 to 2004, he works as swine veterinarian for a big integration company in Spain and, from 2004 to 2010, as senior researcher at CReSA, Barcelona, Spain mainly developing and testing new drugs and vaccines for pigs. His research interest includes epidemiology, pharmacology and immunology focused on developing new tools to control bacterial and viral diseases in livestock. He is member of the European College of Porcine Health and Management and European expert to evaluate drugs and vaccines for animals in the European Union. He has published 126 papers in peer-review journals.
e-mail:  (
complementary information)


He is a specialist in Pig Production and a Researcher in the Department of Animal Science of the University of Lleida and the Agrotecnio Center with participation in several national and international research projects. He also Works as international Scientific director of the Centro de Estudios Porcinos (CEP) de Catalunya (2007-present). His research activity is focused on the evaluation of the technical and economic efficiency of the pig production system and the evaluation of farm strategies to reduce environmental impact. He has participated in 42 and 68 competitive and non-competitive projects, respectively during his career.

His research activity can be consulted in the following link:




Prof. Menge has particular expertise in the analysis of bacterial host-interactions at the intestinal mucosal surface of livestock. Using in vitro culture systems for primary intestinal epithelial cells, macrophages, and intraepithelial lymphocytes, and experimental infection studies in the target species his group elucidated the mechanisms by which entero­haemo­rrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) manipulates its host´s immune system. He also has substantial expertise in clinical immunology and the immunobiology of other bacterial pathogens, e.g., tuberculous and non-tuberculous Mycobacteria and Coxiella, viruses and parasites in large and companion animal species. He possesses broad knowledge and expertise in surveillance, diagnosis, control and eradication of epizootic diseases in accordance with rules laid down in national and international animal health legislation.



PhD in Veterinary Medicine (University of Zaragoza 2005), has been working on animal brucellosis research for over 20 years and is specialized in development of brucellosis vaccines, animal models, diagnostic techniques, epidemiology and control and eradication strategies. Currently, she is the head of brucellosis research line at the Animal Science Department of CITA and collaborator with the Government of Aragon (Spain) in official brucellosis eradication campaings and wildlife surveillance programs. She has participated in 15 research projects on brucellosis (acting as coordinator or principal researcher in 4 of them), including 3 European Union funded projects. She is author or co-author of 2 Book Chapters, 50 research articles and more than 40 contributions to research conferences on this topic. She has been consultor and trainer on brucellosis diagnostics, epidemiology and control for the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Executive Agency for Health and Consumers (EAHC) and AGROTEC (EuropeAid).



(October, 25th, 1980, Spain); Ph.D. (with Honors), 2008, University of Navarra; Postdoctoral Fellow, 2009-2011, Biozentrum-University of Basel [Switzerland]; Current position, Professor [Profesor Titular], University of Navarra). Her research has been dedicated to Brucella and brucellosis (mechanisms of virulence, cellular microbiology, vaccine development and diagnosis). She is co-principal investigator of the Brucellosis group of the ISTUN (Institute of Tropical Health University of Navarra) group that, in addition to participating in brucellosis diagnostic projects, collaborates in Brucellosis training in Africa (  She is the author/co-author of 2 Book Chapters, more than 50 Research Articles in Science Citation Index international journals and 60 contributions to research conferences. R. Conde-Alvarez has participated in more than 15 projects, including EU funded projects.  Her research has led to two patents, collaborations with companies (EUROFINS-INGENASA and AQUILON) as well as to the participation of the scientific group in two consortia (Cooper Zeltia Vaccines-Centro de Investigación en Tecnología Agroalimentaria de Zaragoza-Universidad de Navarra, and Virbac-Centre d'Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy-Universidad de Navarra) each one recently awarded a first phase prize in the GALVMed competition (Development of a new vaccine against animal brucellosis). She combines the research activity with academic activities, teaching in the degrees of Pharmacy and Nutrition, Biology and Biochemistry of the University of Navarra and in the Master's Degree in Drug Research and Development (UNAV). She has directed or co-directed 8 Final Degree Projects, 5 Master Final Projects and 3 Theses (Cum Laude). She currently directs or co-directs 3 Ph.D. Theses.



Senior Professor of the Department of Animal Health, in the Microbiology and Immunology Unit at the University of Murcia (UMU) in Spain.

Doctor (PhD) by the University of Murcia in the year1987.

Leader of “Microbial Pathogens” research group of UMU (University of Murcia, Spain).

Over 37 years, she teaches for veterinary students in second year in Veterinary Medicine Faculty, on Microbiology and Immunology area, for postgraduate students several Master courses and 25 courses and seminars for veterinarian clinical and professionals of Public Health.

Supervisor of 5 Undergraduate Theses, 9 Doctoral Theses (PhD), 14 End of Master Works (TFM) and 7 End of Degree Works (TFG).

In 1990, started her current line research on Animal Chlamidioses with studies referred to:

  • Immunopathology of Chlamydia abortus infection in the mouse model.
  • Design of experimental new inactivated vaccines against enzootic abortion in small ruminants (OEA) using mouse experimental models and  the natural host (ovine).
  • Design of experimental mouse models used for evaluation of vaccines against AEO.

She collaborated with institutions such as the Moredun Research Institute (Scotland), Kimrom Veterinary Institute (Israel), Friedich Loeffer Institute (Germany) or University of Massey (New-Zealand).

Partner leader for Spain in the European Action COST 855 (Animal Chlamydioses and zoonotic implications, (2003-2008).

As chairwoman, organized the "First European Meeting on Animal Chlamidioses and Zoonotic aspects" (EMAC, 2009), with the participation of 13 countries. This meeting was officially certified by the Autonomous Community of the Region of Murcia, as of high scientific interest.

Her team have got funding for 27 competitive national, international and/or technology transference projects with international pharmaceutical companies (Hipra) or public regional organisms.

Evaluator expert of projects in competitive National and International calls and of international Thesis PhDs on Animal Chlamydiosis in Australia and UK universities.

Member of the panel of European experts (Topic: C. abortus and OEA) to perform the Discontools European Knowledge project

Currently, secretary of ESACZ (European Society for Animal Chlamidiosis and Zoonoses).

Author or co-author of more of 60 publications, 100 scientific communications in Meetings or Symposium and author of several chapters of books in this topic.

More information in: ;


Throughout my PhD and postdoctoral studies I was trained in the United States of America (University of Washington and The Scripps Research Institute). My PhD studies evolved in the direction of immunogen design and vaccine engineering. During my postdoctoral studies I joined a chemical biology laboratory at the Scripps Research Institute, developing novel chemoproteomics methods for the identification of protein-small molecule interaction sites in complex proteomes. In 2015, I joined EPFL as a tenure track assistant professor. The focus of my research group is to develop computational tools for protein design with particular emphasis in applying these strategies to immunoengineering (e.g. vaccine and cancer immunotherapy).

Current work

  • Featuring molecular surface fingerprints to decipher protein functional properties 
  • Bottom-up de novo design of functional proteins 
  • Computational design of synthetic components for CAR T-cells 
  • Computational Design of Precision Vaccines 








Leads Pirbright's Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Immunology Group. The overarching aim of the group is to improve our understanding of the interactions between porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome viruses (PRRSV) and the immune system and to exploit this to develop next-generation vaccines (


Since 1997, David has led Chlamydia research at Moredun, investigating the pathogenesis and control of chlamydial infections in ruminants including developing tools for improved diagnosis and developing improved vaccines.
Current Research:

  • Understanding the mechanisms by which chlamydial pathogens cause disease and interaction between host and pathogen (SG Programme Research 2016-22).
  • Identifying and characterizing the components that can be used in the control of chlamydial infections through genomic, bioinformatic, molecular and proteomic approaches (SG Programme Research 2016-22).
  • Development of improved control strategies for Ovine Chlamydiosis, including improved vaccines, vaccine delivery systems and diagnostic tools (SG Programme Research 2016-22).
  • Chlamydia abortus genome sequencing project to investigate strain variation and diversity in collaboration with colleagues in Europe.
  • Development of computational and analytical metagenomic pipelines for analysing microbial populations and host response associated with disease syndromes or vectors, and changes in populations resulting from different external factors (SG Programme Research 2016-21).

e-mail:  - more details

Dr Tom McNeilly, a qualified veterinary surgeon, is an immunologist and infectious disease biologist with expertise in translational aspects of ruminant immunology, including vaccine development and population-based studies on immune variation in livestock species. He has been involved in the development vaccines to control parasitic, viral and bacterial infections in both cattle and sheep, including those which have progressed to field evaluation. His work has used advanced surgical and culture-based methods in ruminant species to define key host-pathogen interactions at the mucosal interface, and has identified several heritable immune biomarkers in ruminants associated with increased resistance to disease. He has published over 100 refereed publications in international peer-reviewed journals.

  His current interests are: 1. The use of in vivo and in vitro study systems to understand host-pathogen interactions at mucosal surfaces; 2. The development of vaccines against major endemic pathogens of sheep and cattle, including gastro-intestinal parasites and the ruminant Hazard Group 3 pathogens Coxiella burnetii and Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC); 3. The epidemiology of these pathogens in terms of optimal vaccine deployment and/or assessment of zoonotic risk; 4. The causes and consequences of immune variation in in ruminant populations including trade-offs between productivity and immune function.

e-mail: - more detail

As Head of Virus Surveillance, Mara’s main role is to provide a specialist service to diagnose, monitor and horizon scan for livestock diseases in Scotland.

Current Research:

  • Mara’s current research is mainly based on detection and identification of livestock and wildlife pathogens to understand their contribution to the UK disease landscape as well as to the application of these assays in support of surveillance activities and disease outbreaks investigations. This involves a combination of assay development, validation and stakeholder communication, such as the work enabling the detection of a new variant of a rabbit lagovirus (RHDV2) in the UK and the development and validation of a multiplex molecular test for Bovine Respiratory Disease Complex.
  • Alongside this, Mara is developing tests to identify possible zoonotic variant of specific diseases, defining pathogens variants and their contribution to zoonotic disease in ticks, livestock and wildlife. She is also interested in developing point of care (or pen-side) assays for some of the most common diseases of livestock to enable fast diagnosis and intervention. This work is highly multidisciplinary and collaborative and is partially funded by the Scottish government and partially by grant funding bodies. Some of the assays Mara has developed are now run on behalf by APHA and SRUC surveillance centres, or used for research purposes in collaborative studies.

e-mail - more detail


The main focus of my research is the analysis of virus architecture and dynamics of infection processes, employing cryo electron tomography and subtomogram averaging, fluorescence microscopy as well as standard molecular biology techniques.

REPRODIVAC has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 101060813. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or other granting authorities. Neither the European Union nor the other granting authorities can be held responsible for them.

REPRODIVAC has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 101060813. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or other granting authorities. Neither the European Union nor the other granting authorities can be held responsible for them.