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Andrew J. Broadbent

Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor

Animal & Avian Sciences 2121 Animal Sciences/Agric. Engrg Bldg 8127 Regents Drive College Park, MD 20742-2311


The Broadbent Lab aims to advance our understanding of the molecular basis underpinning the replication and pathogenesis of viruses that infect animals, in order to better prevent and control diseases of animals and people. Current projects are focused on RNA viruses that cause diseases of significant economic importance to the poultry industry, including infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV) and avian reovirus (ARV). These viruses can cause extensive morbidity and mortality, as well as immunosuppression, which decreases the efficacy of vaccination programs and increases the susceptibility to secondary infections, some of which are zoonotic.

The lab uses these viruses as tools in order to:

1.  Improve the control of animal viruses- Improve the efficacy of current vaccines, improve the design of future vaccines, identify gene targets for engineering more resistant animals

2. Model immunosuppression- Determine how immunosuppression in livestock impacts upon the pathogenesis, evolution & transmission of potentially zoonotic infectious diseases, define immunosuppression at mucosal surfaces, characterize the recovery from immunosuppression

3. Determine viral replication mechanisms- Define the nature of virus factories, characterize the host-cell antiviral response, determine the molecular mechanisms underpinning reassortment

4. Control other diseases in animals and humans- Determine the utility of viruses as vaccine vectors and in oncolytic viral therapy

We use a blend of in vitro cell culture, primary tissues and cells, and in vivo studies, and employ molecular biology, immunological, and bio- imaging techniques in the lab. Please get in touch if you are interested in opportunities to join the team.

More information

Education and Experience

2021- , Assistant Professor, Virology, Department of Animal and Avian Sciences, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA

2020-2021, Teaching Fellow, Immunology & Virology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Surrey, UK

2019-2021, Group Leader, The Pirbright Institute, UK

2014-2019, Research Fellow, The Pirbright Institute, UK

2010-2014, Postdoctoral Visiting Fellow, Virology, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, MD, USA

2006-2010, PhD, Microbiology & Immunology, Imperial College London, UK

2005-2006, MSc, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK

2002-2005, VetMB, Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, UK

1999-2002, MA, Pathology, University of Cambridge, UK


2021:   Asfor A, Nazki S, Reddy VRAP, Campbell E, Dulwich KL, Giotis ES, Skinner MA, Broadbent AJ. Transcriptomic Analysis of Inbred Chicken Lines Reveals Infectious Bursal Disease Severity Is Associated with Greater Bursal Inflammation In Vivo and More Rapid Induction of Pro-Inflammatory Responses in Primary Bursal Cells Stimulated Ex Vivo. Viruses, 2021, 13(5), 933; doi: 10.3390/v13050933

2020:   Dulwich KL, Gray A, Asfor A, Giotis S, Skinner M, Broadbent AJ. The stronger downregulation of in vitro and in vivo innate antiviral responses by a very virulent strain of infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV), compared to a classical strain, is mediated, in part, by the VP4 protein. Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, 2020, June 9, 10.315. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2020.00315

2020:   Campbell E, Gray A, Skinner M, Jennifer Simpson, Pippa Hawes, Broadbent AJ. Discrete virus factories form in the cytoplasm of cells co-infected with two strains of the segmented dsRNA virus, infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV), that subsequently coalesce. Journal of Virology, 2020, Jun 16; 94 (13), e-02107-19, doi: 10.1128/JVI.02107-19.

2018:   Dulwich KL, Asfor AS, Gray AG, Nair V, Broadbent AJ. An ex vivo chicken primary bursal-cell culture model to study infectious bursal disease virus pathogenesis. Journal of Visualized Experiments,  2018; Oct 4; (140); doi: 10.3791/58489

2018:   Sadigh Y, Powers C, Spiro S, Pedrera M., Broadbent A, Nair V. Gallid hepesvirus 3 SB-1 strain as a recombinant viral vector for poultry vaccination. NPJ Vaccines, 2018; May 28; 3:21; doi: 10.1038/s41541-018-0056-6

2018:   Soubies S, Courtillon C, Abed M, Amelot M, Keita A, Broadbent A, Härtle S, Kaspers B, Eterradossi N. Propagation and titration of infectious bursal disease virus, including non-cell- culture-adapted strains, using ex vivo-simulated chicken bursal cells. Avian Pathology, 2017; Jan; doi: 10.1080/03079457.2017.1393044

2017:   Dulwich KL, Giotis ES, Gray A, Nair V, Skinner M, Broadbent AJ.  Differential gene expression in chicken primary B cells infected ex vivo with attenuated and very virulent strains of infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV). Journal of General Virology, 2017; 98:2918-2930; doi:10.1099/jgv.0.000979

2017:   Ciccone NA, Smith LP, Mwangi W, Boyd A, Broadbent AJ, Smith AL, Nair V. Early pathogenesis during infectious bursal disease in susceptible chickens is associated with changes in B cell genomic methylation and loss of genome integrity. Developmental and Comparative Immunology, 2017 Mar; doi: 10.1016/j.dci.2017.03.014.

Past and Present members of the team

Postdoctoral Researchers

Dr Vishi Reddy, Senior Postdoctoral Research Scientist, 2020-present, The Pirbright Institute, UK

Dr Salik Nazki, Postdoctoral Research Scientist, 2020-present, The Pirbright Institute, UK

Dr Amin Asfor, Postdoctoral Research Scientist, 2017-2020, The Pirbright Institute, UK


PhD students

Andrew Brodrick, 2021-present, University of Maryland, MD, USA

Yana Chen, 2021-present, The Pirbright Institute, UK

Kate Dulwich, 2015-2019, The Pirbright Institute, UK


Masters students

Joanna Urbaniec, 2019, The Pirbright Institute, UK

Yasmin Morris, 2019, The Pirbright Institute, UK

Rebecca Daines, 2017, The Pirbright Institute, UK

Rebecca Moore, 2017, The Pirbright Institute, UK


Undergraduate students

Elle Campbell, 2018-2019, The Pirbright Institute, UK

Alice Gray, 2016-2017, The Pirbright Institute, UK


Twitter: @DrAndyBroadbent


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