Damer Blake graduated with a degree in animal science from Wye College (University of London, London, UK) in 1997. Following an M.S. degree in pig production, he completed a Ph.D. degree in bacterial genetics, both at the University of Aberdeen (Aberdeen, UK). After the completion of his Ph.D. degree in 2001 he took up a post at the Institute for Animal Health (IAH) working on avian coccidiosis caused by the protozoan Eimeria species. During his time at IAH Blake carried out fundamental and applied genetics-led research, contributing to the Eimeria genome sequencing consortium, developing reverse-genetics strategies for use with Eimeria, designing a series of new molecular diagnostic tools, and using genetic mapping as a step towards development of a new generation of cost-effective anticoccidial vaccines. In 2010 Blake was appointed as a Lecturer of molecular parasitology at the Royal Veterinary College, London, UK. Since joining the RVC Blake has extended his research interests in Eimeria protozoan parasites which cause the disease coccidiosis in all livestock species, most notably poultry. These parasites can cause severe enteritis and have been estimated to cost the global poultry production industry in excess of £2 billion per annum. Current research strands include continuing studies to map genetic loci that encode genuinely immunoprotective antigens as vaccine candidates and the development of Eimeria as a novel vaccine delivery vehicle. More recently Blake has developed research interests in Eimeria population genetics and genetic diversity, interactions of Eimeria with bacterial pathogens of poultry, parasite diagnostics, and studies on parasite evolution in domestic and wild animals.
Biography Updated on 7 June 2013