Top award for fish scientist –

Top award for fish scientist Published:  27 September, 2007

Professor Chris Secombes to receive prestigious award tomorrow

A WORLD leading fish biologist will tomorrow receive a top award in recognition for his “outstanding” research, which has increased understanding of the immune system of fish.

The work of Professor Chris Secombes of the University of Aberdeen has also played a major role in helping to protect farmed fish against disease.

On Friday he will be presented with the Royal Society of Edinburgh’s highly regarded Alexander Ninian Bruce Prize, which is awarded just once every four years for meritorious research.

Just 20 years ago, our knowledge of the immune system of fish was rudimentary. However, work by Professor Secombes has been instrumental in showing that fish have a sophisticated immune system that can be manipulated.

These advances in our understanding have opened up major opportunities in the aquaculture industry for the development and refinement of vaccines for farmed fish.

Professor Secombes – who has published 220 peer reviewed papers and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh – was the first to describe the actions of the molecules in fish that coordinate their immune responses and has also discovered novel peptides which act like a natural antibiotic in fish.

The Royal Society of Edinburgh are making their award for the Professor’s “outstanding contribution to our understanding of the immune system of fish, particularly salmonids”.

Professor Secombes, who is Head of the University’s School of Biological Sciences and also Head of the Scottish Fish Immunology Research Centre, said: “It is a great honour to be nominated for what is the third Alexander Ninian Bruce Prize presented by the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

“Fish farming is of major economic significance to Scotland and to furthering our understanding of the immune systems of fish so that we can develop and refine vaccines to protect them is of huge importance to the industry.

“So it is tremendous that research to help support this multi-million pound sector is being recognised in this way.” is published by Special Publications. Special Publications also publish FISHupdate magazine, Fish Farmer, the Fish Industry Yearbook, the Scottish Seafood Processors Federation Diary, the Fish Farmer Handbook and a range of wallplanners.