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Centre for

Marine Biodiversity and Biotechnology

From the shoreline to the deep ocean, tackling issues from pure ecology
and physiology to aquaculture, marine spatial planning and conservation.

Programmed cell death

Programmed cell death (PCD) is a normal part of development and physiology in any animal and also plays an important part in immunity. PCD processes relate to the detection and destruction of abnormal cells and are critical in successful defence against viruses. Crustacean shellfish in particular can suffer huge mortalities from viruses such as White Spot Syndrome Virus.

On-going research uses the shore crab, Carcinus maenas, as a model species, looking at detection and quantification of apoptosis and other cell death pathways. Cell death and immunity also relates to inflammation and its successful resolution, and is therefore of interest biomedically. Research projects on PCD are being carried out in collaboration with the Universities of Edinburgh, St Andrews and Stirling, and the Max Planck Institute (Berlin).

This research is being led by Dr Liz Dyrynda.