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Dr Mara Rocchi


Job Title:
Head of Virus Surveillance Unit


Contact Number:
0131 4455 111

Moredun Research Institute, Pentlands Science Park, Bush Loan, Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 0PZ

Job Role

Since 2014, Mara Since has been heading the Virus Surveillance Unit, which performs and develops diagnostic test in support of the Scottish Government Veterinary Surveillance Scheme.


Mara graduated from the University of Milan in 1990 (Veterinary Medicine and Surgery) then obtained a PhD investigating the pathogenesis of experimental scrapie in 1994.

She joined Moredun in 2000, after 4 years at the International Livestock Research Institute of Nairobi, Kenya, working on the immune responses to ruminant tropical protozoan diseases. From 2000 to 2014 she worked on a number of immunological projects, including analysing disease, vaccine and pregnancy related humoral and cellular responses.

Mara is also:

  • Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
  • Flow Cytometry Manager
  • Member of the British Society for Immunology
  • Biological Safety Advisor and Biosafety Professional Level 1
  • LIMS Administrator
  • Home office (ASPA) licence holder

Current Research

  • First detection of a new variant of a rabbit lagovirus in Scotland
  • Diagnosis of tick borne disease in Scottish livestock, wildlife and ticks
  • Development of a multiplex molecular test for Bovine Respiratory Disease Complex
  • Aetiological studies and establishment of a calf bone marrow stem cell culture system for the study of Bovine Neonatal Pancytopaenia
  • Analysis of TLR expression by ovine g/d T cells.
  • Definition of the protective activity of a fraction of Chlamydophila abortus

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