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Jim BurrisJim Burris
Graduate Student

E-mail:  j.burris@ufl.edu

Degree Sought:  M.S. in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences
Advisor: Dr. Jeff Hill

Previous Education:

  • B.S, Marine Biology, Waynesburg University

Current Research Interest:

Jim is looking at the roles of immunomodulatory genes in participating organs of immune responses in fishes.  Fish rely on their innate and adaptive immune responses for defense against disease causing microbes and agents.  These responses can involve an array of genes that are up or down regulated when challenged by bacterial, viral, fungal, or parasitic pathogens.  In addition to microbes, theres a large diversity of environmental toxins that elicit defined molecular responses from critical body structures.  Understanding how the various immune constituents react from the onset of exposure throughout infection and recovery can provide diagnostic information to the cause and source of fish health issues.   Studies focused on fish immune responses are becoming increasingly valuable as the world demand for aquaculture products increases and fisheries stocks are stressed from overfishing, pollutants, and exotic diseases.  Studying immunomodulatory genes also has biomedical significance as adaptive immunity first evolved in fishes and common immune genes and responses are shared between fish and humans.

Jim also manages the Core Zebrafish Facilities for the Duke University School of Medicine and serves on the 2014 Executive Board for the Zebrafish Husbandry Association as President Elect.  In this capacity Jim works to develop and promote zebrafish husbandry standards and its use as a model organism.  Currently he is working on a project to evaluate the effects of commercial zebrafish diets on embryogenesis, larval growth, and adult fecundity and oocyte quality.

 


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