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Dr Karen Stevenson

Moredun Research Institute
Pentlands Science Park
Bush Loan
Penicuik
Midlothian EH26 0PZ

Biography

Karen Stevenson is a Principal Research Scientist leading a group working on pathogenic mycobacteria at Moredun. She graduated with BSc Hons in Botany with Microbiology from the University of London and obtained a PhD in Virology from the University of Glasgow. Karen worked as a postdoctoral fellow for the Imperial Cancer Research Fund before joining Moredun in 1989. At Moredun she has worked on pathogenic mycobacteria, mainly Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis, the causative agent of Johne’s disease. Her current research interests are in the areas of molecular pathogenesis, identification of biomarkers for diagnosis and infection, bacterial genomics and transcriptomics and molecular epidemiology. The ultimate research goal of the group is to improve diagnosis and control of Johne’s disease through a range of multi-disciplinary approaches. Karen is currently the UK representative on the Board of Governors for the International Association for Paratuberculosis.

Current Research

  • Identification of biomarkers for improved diagnosis of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (RESAS Programme Research, 2016-2021).
  • Development and validation of an Interferon Gamma Release Assay specific for Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (RESAS Programme Research, 2016-2021, Quality Meat Scotland)
  • Development of live attenuated vaccines for Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (RESAS Programme Research, 2016-2021).
  • Whole genome sequencing and single nucleotide polymorphism analysis of different strains of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis.
  • Investigation of leprosy in squirrels

Selected Key Publications