School of Veterinary Medicine and Science
   
   
  
 

Kevin Gough

Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Pathology, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences

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Biography

Kevin Gough graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth (1992). He then obtained a PhD in Biochemistry from Aberystwyth, graduating in 1996. His post-doctoral employment includes three years as a research associate at The University of Leicester before becoming a Research Scientist with ADAS. Within 8 years at ADAS, his roles progressed through Senior Research Scientist to Principal Research Scientist and Leader of the ADAS Biotechnology Group. Kevin joined the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science as a Lecturer in Molecular Biochemistry in 2007 and became Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Pathology in 2012.

Expertise Summary

Kevin Gough is Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Pathology within the SVMS.

He has acted as an independent scientific expert on appraisal panels for the Defra TSE Review 2007, for the Food Standards Agency TSE Research Programme Review 2007 and for the MRC Prion Research Reviews 2009 and 2014. He is also an Editorial Board Member for the journal Scientific Reports.

He has extensive experience of research in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry. Techniques include: prion diagnostics, recombinant antibody production, protein purification, monoclonal antibody production, diagnostic PCR and Q-PCR, enzyme kinetics and immunoassay development, next generation phage display, next generation sequencing, biomarker discovery. He also has extensive experience of project and staff management, contract management, bid preparation, results dissemination, business development and commercialisation.

Research Summary

My research is focused on the development and application of novel molecular diagnostics and therapeutics. This includes targeting a range of pathogens, including prions (BSE and scrapie),… read more

Selected Publications

Research Group Members:

Claire Baker (ADAS): Research areas: Understanding the environmental dissemination of prions and routes of disease transmission. The application of environmental DNA detection to monitor endangered wildlife species.

Dr Jon Owen (ADAS): Research areas: Application of next generation phage display applied to the development of autoantibody assays for cancer.

Keith Bishop (ADAS): Research areas: The application of environmental DNA detection to monitor for Great Crested Newt.

Dr Alison Gray: Research area: the application of next generation phage display technology to reduce animal use in antibody production

Rose Reader: Research area: Next generation phage display. The isolation of immunoreagents for application within the animal feed industry.

Mary Angani: Research area: Next generation phage display. The isolation of ligands to develop diagnostic assays for Eimeria infection of poultry

Katarzyna Zolnierczyk: Research area: The discovery of therapeutic and diagnostic ligands for protein misfolding diseases.

Juan Bonfante: Research area: Application of NGPD to discover therapeutic and diagnostic ligands for protein misfolding diseases.

Maria Tsoumpeli: Research area: Application of next generation phage display applied to the development of autoantibody assays for cancer.

Associated group members:

Dr Jed Long (primary supervisor Prof M. Searle): Research area: isolation of ligands to distinct ubiquitin chain linkage types

Robert Workman (primary supervisor Dr J. Dixon): Research areas: The application of NGPD to discover tumour-specific ligands.

Anitha Varghese (primary supervisor Dr J. Daly): Research areas: The application of NGPD to develop DIVA assays to Louping ill infections of sheep.

Collaborators:

Dr Ben Maddison (ADAS)

Dr Helen Rees (ADAS)

Dr Janet Daly (SVMS, University of Nottingham)

Dr Robin Flynn (University of Liverpool)

Professor Nora Hunter (The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh)

Dr James Dixon (School of Pharmacy, University of Nottingham)

Dr Mara Rocchi (Moredun Research Institute)

Dr Rachael Tarlinton (SVMS, University of Nottingham)

Professor Richard Emes (SVMS, University of Nottingham)

Professor Mark Searle (School of Chemistry, University of Nottingham)

Dr Robert Layfield (School of Life Sciences, University of Nottingham)

Dr Ingrid Dreveny (School of Pharmacy, University of Nottingham)

Current Research

My research is focused on the development and application of novel molecular diagnostics and therapeutics. This includes targeting a range of pathogens, including prions (BSE and scrapie), Schmallenberg virus, Fasciola hepatica, Eimiera spp and Salmonella enterica. Non-infectious diseases are also targeted, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and cancer. Research is also carried out into the application of molecular diagnostic methods to monitor endangered wildlife species.

​Next generation phage display: Our design of novel diagnostics is centred around ligand display systems and particularly the display of recombinant antibody fragments and peptides on filamentous bacteriophage. Peptide phage-display libraries have proved useful for mapping epitopes of monoclonal antibodies, and the isolation of ligands that bind specifically to a range of target molecules. This technology also allows the isolation of peptides capable of disrupting specific protein-protein interactions. In the form of antibody phage-display libraries this technology is a powerful in vitro technique that allows the selection of antibodies with defined properties from vast libraries of binders. This allows the isolation of antibodies with exquisite selectivity between closely related molecules, and by removing the need for immunization it allows the production of antibodies against toxic or non-antigenic molecules. To date, we have applied phage-display methods to isolate ligands against a wide range of molecular targets including host cell surfaces, pathogen surface molecules, proteins, peptides and haptens. In recent years, we have coupled the vast diversity of phage display libraries with the screening power of next generation sequencing, a process called next generation phage display (NGPD). This novel technique allows the highly efficient selection of a wide range of specific ligands.

Protein misfolding diseases. Our main research focus is on prion diseases (transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, TSEs). These are fatal neurological disorders that are marked by long incubation periods. TSEs have been described in a number of mammalian species and include scrapie in sheep and goats, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle, chronic wasting disease in deer and elk and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans. These diseases are irreversible and invariably fatal; there is compelling evidence that the BSE agent has crossed the species barrier and is the causal agent of vCJD in humans. According to the protein only hypothesis, the causal agent appears to be novel, an infectious misfolded version (PrPSc) of a host protein (PrPC) which encodes transmissible strain characteristics in the absence of any detectable nucleic acid. Our research includes the elucidation of the routes of scrapie transmission and the environmental fate of the TSE agent, the strain typing of ruminant TSEs to study emerging strains, and the pre-mortem diagnosis of TSE diseases. Using NGPD, we are also developing novel ligands that bind specifically to misfolded proteins involved in Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and prion diseases, in order to apply them as therapeutic and diagnostic tools.

The development of serodiagnostics and peptide vaccines to infectious diseases. NGPD is being applied in our research to epitope-map immune responses to disease, both antibody-mediated and cell-mediated, to improve diagnostics and develop novel peptide vaccines. Ongoing research is on Schmallenberg virus infection in ruminants which is known to cause large-scale outbreaks of foetal deformities across Europe. Our research is leading to the development of assays to differentiate vaccinated from infected animals (so-called DIVA tests). Fasciola hepatica infection of cattle and sheep, this parasite causes livestock mortality and reductions in productivity. Our research aims to develop novel multi-component vaccines. Salmonella infections of pigs and poultry. These infections place significant economic burdens on livestock industries and zoonotic serovars represent some of the most common foodborne pathogens affecting human health. Our research aims to identify peptide mimotopes to that can diagnose infection, including within a DIVA test. Eimeria infections of poultry. This parasite is the causal agent of coccidiosis, resulting in major economic losses in the poultry industry. We aim to develop rapid species-specific immunoassays to infections.

Targeting cancer. We are applying NGPD to map autoantibody responses to a range of cancers including kidney, pancreatic and endometrial cancers. The aim is to develop novel biomarkers. We are also applying the technique in conjunction with a cell penetrating peptide system to develop tumour-specific transduction cassette for efficient drug delivery.

eDNA detection for surveillance of wildlife species: We are applying real time PCR and Next Generation Sequencing methods to detect environmental DNA (eDNA) of wildlife species in aquatic environments. The research is primarily aimed at the detection of the Great Crested Newt, a protected species.

School of Veterinary Medicine and Science

University of Nottingham
Sutton Bonington Campus
Leicestershire, LE12 5RD

telephone: +44 (0)115 951 6116
fax: +44 (0)115 951 6415
email: veterinary-enquiries@nottingham.ac.uk