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Dr Mara Rocchi

Dr Mara Rocchi

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


I graduated from the University of Milan in 1990 (Veterinary Medicine and Surgery) then obtained a PhD investigating the pathogenesis of experimental scrapie in 1994. I joined Moredun in 2000, after 4 years at the International Livestock Research Institute of Nairobi, Kenya, working on the immune responses to ruminant tropical protozoan diseases. From 2000 to 2014 I worked on a number of immunological projects, including analysing disease, vaccine and pregnancy related humoral and cellular responses.

Since 2014 I have been heading the Virus Surveillance Unit, which performs and develops diagnostic test in support of the Scottish Government Veterinary Surveillance Scheme.

ORCID ID: orcid.org/0000-0003-0276-8040


Professional Specialism / PhD Topic

  • PhD in TSEs pathogenesis; strong interest in host immunological responses to intracellular pathogens with a focus on diagnostic assays. Major interest in syndromic diagnostics.
  • Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons
  • Flow Cytometry Manager
  • Member of the British Society for Immunology
  • Biological Safety Advisor and Biosafety Professional Level 1
  • LIMS Administrator
  • Home office (ASPA) licence holder

Current Research

Previous Research Projects

  • First detection of a new variant of a rabbit lagovirus in Scotland
  • Diagnosis of tick borne disease in Scottish livestock, wildlife and ticks
  • Development of a multiplex molecular test for Bovine Respiratory Disease Complex
  • Aetiological studies and establishment of a calf bone marrow stem cell culture system for the study of Bovine Neonatal Pancytopaenia
  • Analysis of TLR expression by ovine g/d T cells.
  • Definition of the protective activity of a fraction of Chlamydophila abortus

Selected Key Publications