Dr Ewan Campbell
Dr Ewan Campbell

Dr Ewan Campbell

PhD, FHEA

Genomics Specialist

About

Centre for Genome Enabled Biology and Medicine,

23 St Machar Drive,

Old Aberdeen,

AB24 3RY

Biography

I am a Genome Specialist in the Centre for Genome Enabled Biology and Medicine where I collaborate with a wide range of internal and external clients to enable cutting edge genomic approaches to explore fundamental biology and facilitate real world applications.

I am interested in both fundamental and translational research with over 15 years of experience using cutting edge molecular tools to solve real world problems; including the use of NGS, RNAi gene knockdown, complex molecular approaches and proteomics. My work has led to patent filed applications with industrial partners and novel toolboxes for gene expression assays and RNAi. I have a keen interest in developing novel molecular techniques and collaborating with researchers across the University and beyond to deliver NGS solutions to complex biological questions with applied outputs.

I am proactive in knowledge exchange and encourage students and staff to regularly contribute to articles in local, national and international press, conduct media interviews and give regular seminars across the UK to directly disseminate research and engage with lay public, stakeholders, end users and with policy makers. I have spoken to a combined audience of around 5000 people at over 60 events and have facilitated stakeholder workshops across the UK. My research has been used by BBSRC as a case study of impact and was further recognised at the 2016 BBSRC Sparking Impact awards.

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and have completed the PGCert in Higher Education.

Research

Research Overview

My main expertise lies in the physiology of invertebrates of agricultural and economic importance; including sea lice, ticks, flour beetles, earthworms and mites. I am also interested in the Aquaporin family of transmembrane proteins that facilitate water and solute transport across biological membranes and play a vital role in the physiology of animals, plants and unicellular organisms.

I pioneered and patented novel techniques of RNAi gene-knockdown in sea lice (Campbell et al 2009a) and ticks (Ball et al 2009b), demonstrating that reverse-genetics is both a novel and realistic method for studying physiological pathways as well as a possible future control mechanism of pests. We have explored this finding in a key paper (Campbell et al 2010) pioneering gene-knockdown in Varroa mites.

A BBSRC-Link project between University of Aberdeen, bee health company Vita Ltd and the government’s National Bee Unit developed lethal gene-knockdown for the applied control of Varroa mites. This grant included a significant Next Gen Sequencing effort and identified the mechanisms of pesticide resistance in Varroa by SNP calling and RNAseq differential gene expression of detoxifying enzymes. This work led to patent filed applications with the industrial partner, and we continue to develop and commercialise this technology. Recently we have developed a novel molecular toolbox for standardising Varroa mite gene expression assays and provides a gold standard methodology in stabilising degradation of RNA post-collection; which is crucial in evaluating downstream molecular analysis. In addition this grant helped to develop the first neural sequence library from Varroa as well as the first demonstration of RNAi control of neural targets and thus provides the foundation to identify lethal targets and develop future therapeutic intervention strategies.

I have developed a novel off-host in vitro feeding and culturing system for Varroa mites to give unprecedented insight into virus transmission, immune response and feeding physiology funded through the EU-FP7 grant “SMARTBEEs” with 16 partners across Europe; the biggest single honeybee health grant awarded by the ERC (€6M). In 2018 I secured a large 3 year BBSRC research grant (600k UoA FEC).

Collaborations

I was a key researcher on an EU-FP7 grant “SMARTBEEs” with 16 partners across Europe; the biggest single honey bee health grant awarded by the ERC (€6M).

I have worked with government and industrial bodies in the UK, USA and Australia.

I have collaborations across the UK and internationally and I am always open to further networking and grant development with interested academics and industry.

Teaching

Teaching Responsibilities

  • ZO4526 - Advanced Vector Biology
  • ZO3810 - Infectious diseases
  • BI2013  - Diversity of Life
  • BI2508  - Principles of Animal Physiology
  • BI1005  - Organismal Biology