Professor Finn Skou Pedersen of the Retroviral Molecular Biology group within the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics of Aarhus University will serve as leader of the overall project and WP7. He has more than 35 years’ experience in retrovirus research and more than 30 years’ experience as a research group leader and has led several large national and European projects. Moreover, he has supervised 50 PhD-students and a large number of post-docs. He will contribute to the project through his competences in virology, molecular biology and animal cell technology as well as with management, leadership, communication and mentor skills.
Senior researcher Mogens Duch of the same group has 20 years of experience of retrovirus research and recently headed the identification of immunosuppressive motifs in other RNA viruses including in silico identification of immunosuppressive domains in PRRS GP5. He will lead WP2 and contribute to the general planning of the project.
Professor Jens Stougaard of the Plant Molecular Genetics group at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics has more than 25 years of experience with plant molecular biology and plant transformation and has supervised more than 25 PhD students and a large number of postdocs.
Stig Uggerhøj Andersen, PhD, has more than 10 years’ experience in Plant Molecular Biology.
MGB2 has extensive experience in generating Arabidopsis, Lotus japonicas and Nicotiana benthamiana transgenic plants and expression systems. Specifically, we have used Agrobacterium infiltration of N. benthamiana to produce large amounts of plant material for purification of plasma membrane-localized plant receptor proteins, which we have isolated from cellular membrane fractions . Although the purification schemes will differ, the expression vectors and transformation system are applicable to VLP production in N. benthamiana.
The National Veterinary Institute, Technical University of Denmark (DTU VET) carries out basic research into the mechanism of disease from gene to population. DTU VET develops and employs methods for detection, controlling and preventing endemic and exotic infectious animal diseases and provides advisory service to politicians and authorities responsible for animal health. DTU VET is the national reference laboratory of all infectious animal diseases in Denmark. The institute has facilities and experience in performing large animal experiments with pathological agents such as virus. The staff includes highly skilled veterinarians, pathologists, virologist, immunologists and molecular biologists. The laboratories are equipped with state of the art laboratory equipment.
The key scientists Professor, PhD Lars Erik Larsen and Professor, PhD Gregers Jungersen are trained veterinarians and have 20 years of experience in infectious diseases in animals with special focus on viral infections in production animals with special experience in diagnosis and research of viruses such as PRRSV and swine influenza (LEL) and adaptive immunology and vaccinology in cattle and pigs (GJ).
The Institute of Virology and Immunoprophylaxis (IVI) is the autonomous research entity associated with the Swiss Federal Veterinary Office of the Department of Economic Affairs. The portfolio of IVI includes research on the immune system of pigs its interaction with PRRSV, influenza virus, foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) and classical swine fever virus (CSFV).
The lead scientist Professor Dr. Artur Summerfield, Head of Research Department, has worked for 20 years on porcine immunology, macrophage and DC biology, CSFV, ASFV, PCV2, PRRSV and influenza virus infections. DVM.
Nicolas Ruggli has key expertise on development of swine vaccines, including PRRS.
Center for Electron Nanoscopy, Technical University of Denmark (DTU Cen) is a dedicated electron microscopy facility hosting two scanning electron microscopes, two dual beam microscopes and three transmission electron microscopes. Two of the microscopes, an SEM and a TEM, are equipped with cryogenic attachments. Our Quanta 200 ESEM FEG has a Quorum PP2000 Cryo System and our Tecnai T20 G2 has cryo plates. Furthermore, DTU-Cen is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment for samples preparation for electron microscopy in general and cryogenic electron microscopy in particular. Our VitrobotTM produces high-vitrified suspensions in a fully automated and reproducible way.
Soft matter electron imaging is one of DTU-Cen’s dedicated research areas along with characterization of microstructure of functionalized nanomaterials.
DTU Cen’s staff consists of highly skilled electron researchers dedicated to soft mater sample preparation and characterization for electron microscopy. Moreover, our scientists focus on methodology and technique development, which is a prerequisite for the electron microscopy characterization of soft matter.
The key researchers PhD. Ramona Mateiu and Professor Jakob B. Wagner have 10+ years of experience of high-level complex electron microscopy spanning over several materials systems, from nanomaterials to soft matter including organic and biological materials.
SKAUvaccines is a six years old SME spin-out of Aarhus University and Aarhus University Hospital, based upon a proprietary technology for the generation of HIA-vaccines against RNA viruses.
CEO Shervin Bahrami has a PhD in retrovirology in 2004 and has held various academic appointments before joining SKAU as full-time CEO.
Peter Wulff, chairman of the board of SKAU, has a strong background in vaccine development from more than 20 years as CEO for Bavarian Nordic and until recently CEO for Sentinext. SKAU will contribute vaccine knowledge as well as identification, test and knockout of immunosuppressive domains in GP5.
The scientific advisory board will be headed by Poul Bækbo, Danish Pig Research Centre (PRC) which is a private expert organization for the Danish pig producers and is a part of The Danish Agriculture & Food Council (DAFC). PRC has 155 employees, of which app. 100 are involved in R&D activities (applied research in all areas of pig production: genetics, housing, nutrition, environment, health and welfare). One of Pig Research Centre's main activities is the Danish Applied Pig Research Scheme. Research and development tasks under this scheme are conducted in commercial Danish pig herds. Approximately 100 pig producers are affiliated to the Danish Applied Pig Research Scheme as trial hosts.
Poul Bækbo, DVM, PhD, Diplomat of ECPHM is Head of Section for Veterinary Research and Development, PRC, DAFC. He is an expert in respiratory and enteric diseases of pigs and has a broad insight in all pathologies of pigs. He has been working with R&D in pig health and welfare for 30 years, the last 20 in PRC with responsibility for the pig industries’ own research in pig diseases. He is head of a group of 9 veterinarians specialized in pig health research. He has participated in several EU projects and as WP-leader in a finalized project under FP6: Porcine Circovirus Diseases.
Charlotte Sonne Kristensen of PRC is a specialist on PRRS virus.
The Boehringer Ingelheim group is one of the world’s 20 leading pharmaceutical companies. Headquatered in Ingelheim, Germany, it operates globally with 145 affiliates and more than 42.000 employees. Since it was founded in 1885, the family-owned company has been committed to researching, developing, manufacturing and marketing novel products of high therapeutic value for human and veterinary medicine. Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica GmbH located in Ingelheim and Boehringer Ingelheim Veterinary Research Center GmbH&CoKG located in Hannover focus especially on research and development of medical drugs and vaccines for all animal species.
Head of R & D at the Veterinaly Research Center, Dr. Konrad Stadler forms the link to the project.
The company is focusing on the development of innovative vaccine approaches. First live attenuated vaccines against PRRS and Lawsonia intracellularis as well as the first baculovirus expressed vaccine against PCV2 were developed and licensed by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica. Currently the company has licensed three different PRRS vaccines worldwide. The company is continuing to perform active research in the field of epidemiology, pathogenesis and genetics of PRRS as well as in the development of new, updated vaccine candidates against PRRS. Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica has a long experience in the conduction of animal experiments to test the safety and efficacy of PRRS vaccines in reproductive and respiratory animal models.