Dr Nicholas Svitek is a molecular virologist specialized in the field of animal RNA virology, and innate and cellular immunity.
Prior to joining ILRI in 2011, Nicholas was a postdoctoral research fellow in virology at Duke-National University of Singapore (NUS) in the Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID) research program, as well as a team leader for an international cooperation project in Mali, with the “Quebec without Borders” program. Nicholas has many years of experience studying the molecular biology of viral infections and viral pathogenesis in animal models. His research interests revolve around the immune response towards vaccines and infectious pathogens; virus-host interactions; antigen delivery systems; on the biology, pathogenesis, and molecular epidemiology of animal viruses; and in applied research for development.
He currently leads a small team of microbiologists working on East Coast fever (ECF) vaccine development; on the development of molecular diagnostic tools to detect pathogens in the field; on the molecular epidemiology of Bluetongue virus (BTV); and on the use of bacteriophages as a One Health approach for the replacement of antibiotics, and reduction of drug-resistant nontyphoidal Salmonella, in poultry farms in Kenya.
His work has resulted in more than 55 research outputs including scientific publications, book chapters, briefs, conference proceedings and papers presented at international scientific conferences.
Nicholas holds a BSc degree in Microbiology and Immunology, and a MSc degree in Molecular Virology, from the University of Montreal (Canada), as well as a PhD degree in Virology and Immunology from the INRS-IAF/University of Quebec (Canada), a member institute of the "Institut Pasteur International Network". He also completed a Postdoctoral training in Cellular Immunology and Reverse Vaccinology (Immunoinformatics) at ILRI and a Certificate of training in Genome Engineering & CRISPR-Cas Technology at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Germany. Nicholas is Canadian.
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