Dr Tanja Maehr

Conservation Fellow

MSc Zoology – University of Innsbruck, Austria, 2004
PhD Biological Science – University of Aberdeen, UK, 2013

Dr Tanja Maehr will be working with Chester Zoo to carry out vital research into the complex Elephant Endotheliotropic Herpesvirus (EEHV) as part of a post-doctoral position at the University of Surrey and working with the Animal and Plant Health Agency. Below, Tanja tells us more about her previous research and qualifications: 

"I am a comparative immunologist and zoologist; I completed my PhD in Biological Science at the Scottish Fish Immunology Research Centre (SFIRC), University of Aberdeen. My research centred on the identification and characterisation of putative down-regulators of the trout immune system in light of fish-specific whole genome duplication.

"I am both a zoologist and an immunologist, I’m intrigued by wildlife and I’m eager to utilise my expertise in immunological and molecular methods to develop prevention methods for diseases of endangered species, such as the Asian elephant.

"During my doctoral training, I also became engaged in a project investigating differential cytokine expression of fish macrophages. This work in particular stimulated my growing interest in delving deeper into the molecular aspects of immune cell activation and responses as well as into the way the phenotypes and functions of these fascinating cell types have evolved between species. Other areas that interest me for my future research, such as the genetic variation in disease resistance and tolerance, stem from my industrial work experience as a scientific officer.

"While investigating the piscine immune system to eventually furthering the improvement of animal health management in aqua culture, I have also started to feel a growing urge to examining potential causes and treatments for wildlife diseases to maintain and restore animal health both in the wild and in zoos."

This post-doctoral position has been funded through Chester Zoo’s Never Forget campaign. Thanks to Chester Zoo’s amazing supporters we are able to continue this vital research. 

Research Partners

Dr Akbar Dastjerdi (Animal and Plant Health Agency)

Dr Javier Lopez (Chester Zoo)

Professor Falko Steinbach (Animal and Plant Health Agency & University of Surrey)

Key publications

Maehr, T., Gonzalez Vecino, J.L., Wadsworth, S., Wang, T. and Secombes, C.J.(2014). Four CISH paralogues are present in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss: differential expression and modulation during immune responses and development. Molecular Immunology, 62, 186 -198. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molimm.2014.06.021

Maehr, T., Costa, M.M., Gonzalez Vecino, J.L., Wadsworth, S., Martin, S. A., Wang, T. and Secombes, C.J. (2013). Transforming growth factor-beta 1b: a second TGF-beta 1 paralogue in the rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) that has a lower constitutive expression but is more responsive to immune stimulation. Fishand Shellfish Immunology 34, 420 - 432. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fsi.2012.11.011

Wang, T., Kono, T., Monte, M.M., Kuse, H., Costa, M.M., Korenaga, H., Maehr, T., Husain, M., Sakai, M. and Secombes, C.J. (2013). Identification of IL-34 in teleost fish: differential expression of rainbow trout IL-34, MCSF1 and MCSF2, ligands of the MCSF receptor. Molecular Immunology 53, 398 - 409. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molimm.2012.09.008

Maehr, T., Wang, T., Gonzalez Vecino, J.L., Wadsworth, S. and Secombes, C.J. (2012).Cloning and expression analysis of the transforming growth factor-beta receptors type 1 and 2 in the rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss. Developmental and Comparative Immunology 37, 115 - 126. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.dci.2011.10.006

Wang, T., Gorgoglione, B., Maehr, T., Holland, J.W., Vecino, J.L., Wadsworth, S. and Secombes, C.J. (2011). Fish suppressors of cytokine signalling (SOCS): gene discovery, modulation of expression and function. Journal of Signal Transduction 2011, 905813. http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/905813

Costa, M.M., Maehr, T., Diaz-Rosales, P., Secombes, C.J. and Wang,T. (2011). Bioactivity studies of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) interleukin-6: effects on macrophage growth and antimicrobial peptide gene expression. Molecular Immunology 48, 1903 - 1916. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molimm.2011.05.027

Krumschnabel, G., Maehr, T., Nawaz, M., Schwarzbaum, P.J. and Manzl, C. (2007). Staurosporine – induced cell death in salmonid cells: the role of apoptotic volume decrease, ion fluxes and MAP kinase signalling. Apoptosis 12, 1755 - 1768. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10495-007-0103-

Projects I'm involved in

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