Novel APEC vaccine development
Roberto graduated in 1995 and then went on to study for a post graduate degree in veterinary microbiology at the Royal Veterinary College (University of London). In 1996 he moved to the government's Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) to undertake a PhD on the pathogenesis of E. coli in poultry. On completion of his PhD studies, Roberto commenced a post-doctoral position at Royal Holloway, University of London, studying E. coli virulence factors and vaccine development.
Since 2001 his work has focused largely on the analysis of the colonisation, shedding and transmission of E. coli O157:H7 by all farmed animal species and he has led a number of commercial, Defra, research council (BBSRC, MRC, EPSRC, AHRC, Innovate) and EU projects in this area. He has published extensively in the area of host-microbe interaction with a particular emphasis on E. coli and Salmonella.
His current research interests focus on the pathogenesis of food-borne pathogens with a particular interest on AMR and the development of intervention strategies including vaccination, pre and probiotics for the control of bacterial pathogens such as Salmonella, Brachyspira and E. coli in food producing animals.
In 2005, Roberto was appointed Head of Pathogenesis and Control at the AHVLA and in 2010 he was appointed Professor of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology at the University of Surrey. He gained the FRCPath in 2010 and in 2012 was appointed the Associate Dean for Veterinary Strategy in the new School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Surrey. In 2014 he was appointed to the position of Head of the Department of Pathology and Infectious Diseases and Director of the Veterinary Pathology Centre. In 2019 he was appointed Deputy Head of the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Surrey. In 2021 he was appointed Head of the School of Biosciences and Medicine
He is the past president of the Med-Vet-Net Association and the Veterinary Research Club, the current chair of the Humanimal Trust, a member of the Houghton Trust, a member of the APHA science advisory board and the chair of the Royal College of Pathologists Veterinary Pathology SAC. Roberto is an Associate member of the European College of Veterinary Microbiologists and in 2020 he was awarded Honorary Associateship of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.