Past Meetup

Seminar- Dr. Nuria Gonzalez-Montalban "Infections in the fish farm industry"

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Please join us for an intriguing Friday night seminar! This time we will learn about a nasty virus that is detrimental to the fish farm industry. Important for all that love to eat fish!

Infectious Hematopoietic Necrosis Virus (IHNV): a challenge for the fish farm industry

The overharvesting of fish and shellfish worldwide is causing the depletion of our oceans and seas at a dangerous rate. This inability of the wild-capture industry to meet the growing global demand for seafood has been the driving force for the development of a strong and sustainable aquaculture industry, which production accounts already for more than 30% of the world’s food fish. Research on fish husbandry, from nutrition to disease prevention, has made it possible to increase significantly the annual aquaculture production. However, fish pathogens, in particular RNA viruses, keep having a devastating economic impact on the fish-farming industry every year.

In this talk, we’ll explore the biology of one of the most lethal and damaging viruses: the Hematopoietic Infectious Necrosis Virus (IHNV). Depending on strain, species of fish infected and environmental conditions, IHNV outbreaks result in loses of[masked]% at a fish rearing facility. The combined costs of those losses in salmon and trout farms in the US and Canada are estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Nuria Gonzalez-Montalban is a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology. As a researcher there, Nuria’s studies are focused on the mechanistics of viral entry and infection in fish cells, and host-pathogen interactions.

She finished her Biology Degree in 2008 at the Autonomous University of Barcelona (Spain). After that, Nuria completed her Master’s and PhD in Microbiology and Biotechnology in 2008 at the Institute for Biotechnology and Biomedicine, also in Barcelona (Spain). During her doctorate studies, Nuria focused on the aggregation and conformational quality of recombinant proteins produced in bacteria. In 2009, Nuria joined the Lab for Prion Diseases at the University Of Maryland Institute Of Biotechnology (Baltimore) to expand her experience in protein aggregation and conformational diseases. More recently, in 2013, she joined the Lab for Molecular Biology of Shellfish Diseases at the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology, where she’s being studying viral diseases in fish since then.

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