Lecturer in Veterinary Cellular Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences
Rachael graduated with a BVSc from Sydney University in 1999 and worked in mixed practice in Australia and the UK. She then did PhD on retroviruses of koalas at the University of Queensland. She spent time after this working as a postdoctoral researcher for the Queensland Department of Primary Industries participating in vaccine trials testing oral vaccination strategies for ruminants and at Georg August Universitaet Goettingen in Germany, examining the interactions between human coronaviruses, including SARs, and human plasmacytic dendritic cells. She then joined the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science in 2007 where she has been ever since.
Rachael is a lecturer in Veterinary Cellular Microbiology. Her research expertise is primarily with retroviruses but covers a broad range of virology and genetics methods in domestic and exotic species. She has also done consultancy work on risk assessments for biological hazards associated with the use of animal materials. She also teaches clinical skills and internal medicine into the undergraduate veterinary curriculum
Due to my clinical background I teach across a range of courses at SVMS from 1st through to 4th year. I do much of the introductory surgery practical classes and am responsible for tracking the… read more
My primary research focus is on endogenous retroviruses. These viruses are the remnants of past infections that have become incorporated in their hosts genome (about 10% of the human genome is made… read more
Due to my clinical background I teach across a range of courses at SVMS from 1st through to 4th year. I do much of the introductory surgery practical classes and am responsible for tracking the preventative medicine curriculum across the course, this covers everything from antimicrobial prescribing to nutrition.
My primary research focus is on endogenous retroviruses. These viruses are the remnants of past infections that have become incorporated in their hosts genome (about 10% of the human genome is made up of segments of retrovirus). I am particularly interested in the process by which retroviruses become integrated into their host's normal cellular functions. I have current projects on Koala retrovirus (KoRV) and retroviruses in dogs, horses, primates and chickens with occasional forays into other species.
I also have research interests in emerging viral diseases and viral diseases in domestic animals. My current projects include Schmallenberg virus diagnostic test development and Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus 1 (the cause of a fatal haemorrhagic syndrome in juvenile elephants in collaboration with Twycross Zoo). I am also involved in projects on viruses of rodent populations as well as a project on Rabies and vector borne diseases in Indian street dogs. I have in the past worked on projects including SARs coronavirus immunology and oral vaccination systems for ruminants. For details of this and other infectious diseases research in SVMS please see the Animal Infection and Immunity web page
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