In May 2012, Carla joined the Fish health and Immunology unit as post-doc after being awarded a personal Marie Curie fellowship for experienced researchers. She will work with Dr. Geert Wiegertjes and Dr. Maria Forlenza and the main topic of her research will be the functional characterization of carp and koi herpes virus IL-10.
Host and viral cytokines often have overlapping functions but the viral form might retain only part of the biological activities of its host counterpart. Therefore, the potential therapeutic application of viral IL-10 will also be explored. Carla will focus on the production of recombinant proteins in bacterial and eukaryotic expression systems, followed by the characterization of their biological activities in vitro and in vivo. Through the use of monoclonal antibodies directed against several carp leukocytes, Carla will be able to investigate the direct effects of host and viral IL-10 on specific cell types. Through the use of a carp-trypanosome infection model she will look at their modulatory activities in vivo.