Dr. Daniel R. Barreda


Dr. Daniel R. Barreda
Professor – Immunology and Animal Health
Department of Agricultural, Food & Nutritional Science, and
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Alberta, Canada

Room: CW325A1, Biological Sciences
Phone: (780) 492-0375
Fax: (780) 492-4265
Email: d.barreda@ualberta.ca

Academic Training
B.Sc. (with Distinction): University of Victoria
Ph.D. (with Distinction): University of Alberta
PDF: University of Pennsylvania

Current Research Interests                                                                                

My laboratory is interested in the evolution of leukocyte immune defense mechanisms. Broadly, we research questions in the areas of innate immunity, phagocytosis, inflammation, host-pathogen interactions, and zoonosis. My research program includes both fundamental and applied studies in topics affecting human and veterinary medicine. I hold appointments in the Department of Biological Sciences, and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry, and Nutritional Science at the University of Alberta. Currently, we are focusing our efforts on:

1) Evolution of control mechanisms for inflammation: Our long-term objective is to dissect the contributions of phagocytes as effectors and regulators of inflammation through evolution, and to understand the implications of these evolving roles to health and disease. We focus on the balance between pro-inflammatory and homeostatic responses at infection sites because of its relevance to host immunocompetence and disease prevention. Characterization of well-conserved pathways offers important evolutionary context for generation of the complex immune networks that now exist in higher vertebrates. Moreover, characterization of more recently developed features may help identify vulnerability gaps that allow for pathogen infiltration or which contribute to unwanted immune reactions (e.g. autoimmunity).

Representative projects:
a) Evolution of phagocyte responses to pathogens and homeostatic stimuli at infection sites
b) Contributions of a novel soluble CSF-1 receptor to innate antimicrobial responses across evolution
c) Divergent roles of macrophages and neutrophils in the induction and control of inflammation

2) Comparative immunology approaches for assessment of animal and environmental health: These correspond to cross-disciplinary projects that take advantage of academic-industry-government linkages to address relevant issues in animal and environmental health. The immunity aspect provided by my lab coupled to veterinarian support ensures that industry desirable outcomes (e.g. reduction in livestock methane reduction, increased bone strength, shifts in gut microflora composition) are not associated with negative changes in immunity and health. In other projects, our comparative models are also being used as bioindicators of environmental health (e.g. changes to fish immunocompetence following remediation of industrial effluents).

Representative projects:
a) Targeted disruption of rumen methanogen activity for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
b) Modulation of swine immunity and health in response to vitamin D metabolites.
c) Increased effectiveness for existing and new aquaculture vaccines
d) Safe reuse water: Assessment of the removal of chemical contaminants from reuse water using a fish biomonitoring system.

Our studies take advantage of a range of hosts that include cartilaginous and bony fish, avian and rodent animal models, as well as larger animal species that are critical to the Alberta economy. We utilize high-end techniques in flow cytometry, microscopy, cellular and molecular immunology, and protein biochemistry.