Assessing cellular response to bioactive compounds as a prelude to testing in vivo

Vet lab 24575

This project will establish tissue culture and tissue explant systems for the bovine mammary gland.

These will be used to assess toxicity and the response to bioactive compounds that may be suitable alternatives to antibiotics in the management of mastitis. Mastitis is one of the most commercially important diseases for dairy production, resulting in drop in milk yield, veterinary intervention and premature culling of cows.

Current treatment with antibiotics is associated with withdrawal of milk from the food chain and the risk of antibiotic resistance. Alternatives to antibiotics for the management of mastitis may be more effective and more sustainable.  

Key methodology:

  • In vitro tissue culture will be initiated using established transformed (continuously) growing cell lines. This will teach sterile techniques and how to manipulate cells in culture.
  • These cells will then be subjected to in vitro exposure to toxins and known bioactive compounds and responses characterised at the level of survival and cell morphology, and through the expression of stress genes.
  • Novel compounds will then be tested to assess their effects on the cultured cells.
  • Depending on progress an explant system will be established from the mammary epithelium to assess the effect of selected compound/s this tissue from the target organ.
Professor John Williams


Professor John Williams

Co-supervisors: Associate Professor Kiro Petrovski

Research area: Production animal health; ruminant science

Recommended honours enrolment: Honours in Animal Science

Tagged in Honours projects - Animal science, Honours projects - Molecular and biomedical science, Honours projects - John Williams, Honours projects - Kiro Petrovski, Honours in Animal Science subtheme - Production animal health, Honours projects - Molecular and biomedical science: Other