Remi Gratacap [Alumni]

Houston Group, Postdoctoral Research Fellow



I am interested in host-pathogen interactions between aquaculture important finfish species and Orthomyxoviridae (flu-like virus). I study both Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) susceptibility to Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA) and Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) to Tilapia Tilapinevirus (or Tilapia Lake Virus, TiLV). On the pathogen side, I aim at understanding how these viruses manage to enter, replicate, avoid the immune system and produce pathogenic symptoms in their respective target species. On the host side, I am interested in how the innate immunity defends against these viruses and I am combining modern genomics tools (GWAS, RNA-seq) with genome editing (CRISPR/Cas9) to improve salmon and tilapia resistance to these infections.


Favourite aquaculture species  

Zebrafish, and I know it’s not strictly aquaculture, but they are really cool.



I trained as a fish immunologist at the University of Stirling during my PhD where I developed a vaccine to protect Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) against the bacterial infection caused by Vibrio anguillarum. I then moved to the USA (University of Maine) where I studied the human fungal pathogen Candida albicans using the zebrafish as a model. During this time, I developed the first in vivo mucosal model using the swimbladder to image spatio-temporal dynamics of the host-pathogen interactions. I moved back to the UK in 2017 and used my knowledge of fish immunology and genome editing to start working on viral infections in aquaculture important species and how to improve resistance.

  • [1999 – 2003]       Undergraduate studies (Aquaculture, University of Stirling)
  • [2004 – 2008]       PhD (fish immunology, University of Stirling)
  • [2008 – 2017]       Postdoctoral researcher (host-pathogen interactions, University of Maine)
  • [2017 – 2021]       Postgraduate researcher (virology and genetics, The Roslin Institute)


Interests, hopes and dreams

I am a husband, father of two girls and I will make time to go to the gym (I promise). I (sadly) love benchwork, science in general and try not to get to upset by world politics and Twitter. In my spare time… no, I don’t have spare time, I have kids… I love my girls, hate Facebook and have never watched Love Island.