Dr Kate Sutton

Career Track Fellow


I obtained a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry at the University of Galway in Ireland followed by a MSc in Drug Design and Biomedical Sciences at Edinburgh Napier University. My PhD research was based at the Roslin Institute focused on avian cytokines as vaccine adjuvants in collaboration with Ceva Santé Animal Health. From 2014-2016, I worked at the Wellcome Sanger Institute in Cambridge and Ludwig Maximillian University/Technical University Munich, Germany. Over this period my research was focused on chicken B cell development and transgenic technologies. In 2016, I returned to the Roslin Institute to work on chicken innate immune cells and their role in host-protection. In 2023, I was promoted to Career Track Fellow forming the Avian Immunotransgenics Group.


Doctor of Science PhD Avian Immunology, The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh, Scotland.

Master in Science Drug Design and Biomedical Science , Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland.

Bachelor of Science (Hons) Biochemistry, University of Galway, Rep. of Ireland

Responsibilities & affiliations

Comparative Veterinary Immunology Group (CVIG)

Role: Treasurer

Representative for Avian Immunologists and The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh  



Section Editor of Avian Immunology for British Poultry Science



The Royal Society of Biology 

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

Project 1: https://www.findaphd.com/phds/project/eastbio-development-of-in-vitro-chicken-bone-marrow-derived-dendritic-cells/?p161285


Project 2: https://www.findaphd.com/phds/project/eastbio-host-specific-immune-evasion-by-the-avian-pathogen-staphylococcus-aureus/?p161242



Postgraduate Students

Miriam Garner

Zirong Zeng


Undergraduate Students

Sarah Baker

Medhavini Saxena (with Prof. Ian Dunn)

Current PhD students supervised


Jianxuan Sun


Past PhD students supervised

Safieh Zeinali Lathori

2/09/21 → 20/04/23

Research summary

The Sutton lab is dedicated to delving into the intricate workings of the chicken's immune system. Leveraging state-of-the-art transgenic technologies pioneered at the Roslin Institute, our research hones in on elucidating the pivotal roles played by innate immune cells, specifically macrophages and dendritic cells, in host responses. Employing a blend of cutting-edge in vivo and in vitro models, our objective is to comprehensively grasp how these cells orchestrate immune responses to infections and vaccines within mucosal tissues. Using this knowledge we can devise more effective strategies to control disease and to enhance poultry health and productivity. 

The research in the Sutton lab is geared towards not only deepening our understanding of the chicken's immune system but also translating this knowledge into practical applications that can significantly benefit the poultry industry, promoting healthier and more productive poultry farming.

Current project grants

2023 The Roslin Institute ISP23 pump-priming Award "Unveiling the role of chicken dendritic cells in response to vaccination against infectious bronchitis virus"

2023 Carnegie Research Incentive Grant "Investigating chicken line- and Salmonella serovar-specific interactions in chicken enteroids."
Colloboration with Dr. Prerna Vohra at the School of Biological Science, University of Edinburgh

2023 BBSRC FLU-MAP2, Understanding animal health threats from emerging H5 high pathogenicity avian influenza viruses

Past project grants

2021 Global Impact Accelerator "Capacity building in scientific techniques: identification of selection targets in chickens raised in African village conditions"
2019 BBSRC, UKRI Innovation Fellowships: Flexible Talent Mobility Award. "M cell vaccine targeting in chickens" (Industrial Partner)
2019 Innovate UK SMART Grant Improved Oral Vaccine for Coccidiosis in Chicks (Industrial Partner)
2018 BBSRC ISP Pump-Priming Grant "Avian M cells: identification of universal markers and production of antibodies"
2018 International Veterinary Vaccinology Network Prime-Boosting Award. "Towards edible vaccines in chickens (Industrial Partner-Proxima Ltd)"
2017 BBSRC, UKRI Innovation Fellowships: Flexible Talent Mobility Award. "Edible vaccines in chickens-enhance collaborative relationship with industrial Partner.

View all 13 publications on Research Explorer

Invited speaker

2021  International Veterinary Vaccinology Network “Vaccines for Poultry” Co-hosted by the GCRF One Health Poultry Hub 

2021 “Tropical poultry production - research towards sustainable systems” hosted by the Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health (CTLGH)

2021 European Veterinary Immunology Group "Characterization of conventional dendritic cells and macrophages in the spleen using the CSF1R-reporter transgenic chickens"

2021 Annual Edinburgh Infectious Disease Symposium, "Differential Responses of Epithelial and Immune Cells During Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium Infection of 3D and 2D Enteroids"

2022 Avian Immunology Flow Cytometry Symposium "Chicken Macrophages & Dendritic Cells"

2022 Avian Immunology Research Group (AIRG), Delaware USA

  • CSF2 & IL4- & CSF2-dependent Chicken Bone Marrow Cultures Represent Cells of the Macrophages Lineage
  • Differential Innate Immune Responses of Chicken 3D and 2D Enteroids to Salmonella Typhimurium Infection
  • The Conservation of Mammalian M cell Gene Signatures in Chicken CSF1R-transgene Antigen-Sampling M cells


Comparative and Veterinary Immunology Group (affiliated with the British Society for Immunology)

2022 Avian Immunology Flow Cytometry Symposium (https://www.immunology.org/avian-immunology-flow-cytometry-symposium)

2022 Single-cell sequencing technologies and the immune response in different species (https://www.immunology.org/meeting-report-single-cell-sequencing-technologies-and-immune-response-different-species