Chris Netherton leads the African Swine Fever Vaccinology group and has been investigating different aspects of the life cycle of African swine fever virus (ASFV) for over twenty years. His studies on ASFV have encompassed analysis of individual viral proteins right through to herd transmission experiments. Chris’ earlier work on ASFV focussed on intracellular virus-host interactions with a strong emphasis on cell-biology. Chris investigated the effect of ASFV on the cell secretory pathway as a whole, specifically looking into a gene family of secretory proteins which have coding that enable the virus to stay within the cell organelles (endoplasmic reticulum retention motifs). Later experiments analysed the relationship between virus replication sites and cellular structures called aggresomes. Chris then went on to show that a protein (interferon regulated MxA protein) was recruited to ASFV replication sites and could inhibit virus replication. This was the first time that this had been observed for a large double-stranded DNA virus. The principal goal of the research carried out within the ASF Vaccinology group is to support the development of effective vaccines against this devastating disease of domestic pigs. Prior infection with low virulent strains of ASFV can protect against infection with closely related virulent strains, indicating that an effective ASFV vaccine is achievable. The group's research aims to identify ways in which the safety and efficacy of these low virulent strains can be improved by genetic manipulation. By gaining a greater understanding of how ASFV manipulates cellular pathways the group aims to identify viral genes suitable for deletion that will enhance the immunogenicity of live attenuated ASFV vaccines. The group also aims to identify immune correlates of protection, identify protective antigens and use this information to develop subunit vaccines against ASFV.