Back to Directory

Andrew J. Broadbent

Assistant Professor

Assistant Professor

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

Molecular Virology

The Broadbent Lab aims to advance our understanding of the molecular basis underpinning the replication and pathogenesis of viruses that infect birds, in order to better prevent and control diseases of animals and people.

Current projects are focused on the Birnaviridae family, which are non-enveloped viruses with a segmented genome comprised of double-stranded RNA. The birnavirus, infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV) is ranked among the top 5 infectious problems of poultry worldwide due to the morbidity and mortality it causes in chickens and due to immunosuppression that leads to reduced vaccine efficacy and increased susceptibility to secondary infections, including respiratory pathogens such as influenza viruses and coronaviruses, and gut infections such as E. coli, Salmonella and Campylobacter that are major food-borne pathogens in people.

The lab uses IBDV as a tool and a model, in order to:

1.  Improve the control of avian 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 avian 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-present, Assistant Professor, Avian 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, Avian Viral Diseases, The Pirbright Institute, UK

2014-2019, Research Fellow, Avian Viral Diseases, 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


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

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

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


Twitter: @DrAndyBroadbent


Google Scholar: