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Maureen Purcell

Research Microbiologist

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Short Biography

Western Fisheries Research Center


Dr. Maureen Purcell is a research microbiologist at the USGS Western Fisheries Research Center in Seattle, WA. Her research interests include comparative immunology and genetics of disease resistance. Currently, her research focuses on a number of important finfish pathogens, including Renibacterium salmoninarum, infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV), viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV), Ichthyophonus hoferi and Nucleospora salmonis. She is a member of the American Fisheries Society-Fish Health Section, International Society of Developmental and Comparative Immunology, European Association of Fish Pathologists and The American Society for Microbiology. She also serves as an associate editor of the Journal of Aquatic Animal Health.

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Purcell, Maureen K.; Hard, Jeffrey J.; Neely, Kathleen G.; Park, Linda K.; Winton, James R.; Elliott, Diane G., 2014. Genetic variation in bacterial kidney disease (BKD) susceptibility in Lake Michigan Chinook Salmon and its progenitor population from the Puget Sound. American Fisheries Society , 10 p.

Purcell, Maureen K.; Thompson, Rachel L.; Garver, Kyle A.; Hawley, Laura M.; Batts, William N.; Sprague, Laura; Sampson, Corie; Winton, James R., 2013. Universal reverse-transcriptase real-time PCR for infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV). Inter-Research , 13 p.

Hershberger, P. K.; Purcell, M. K.; Hart, L. M.; Gregg, J. L.; Thompson, R. L.; Garver, K. A.; Winton, J. R., 2013. Influence of temperature on viral hemorrhagic septicemia (Genogroup IVa) in Pacific herring, Clupea pallasii Valenciennes. Elsevier , 6 p.

Elliott, D. G.; Applegate, L. J.; Murray, A. L.; Purcell, M. K.; McKibben, C. L., 2013. Bench-top validation testing of selected immunological and molecular Renibacterium salmoninarum diagnostic assays by comparison with quantitative bacteriological culture. Wiley , Wiley

Purcell, M.K., K.J. Laing, and J.R. Winton. 2012. Immunity to fish rhabdoviruses. Viruses. 4:140-166 [Link]

Hansen, J. D., J.C. Woodson, P.K. Hershberger, C. Grady, J.L. Gregg, and M.K. Purcell. 2012. Induction of anti-viral genes during acute infection with Viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV) genogroup IVa in Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii). Fish and Shellfish Immunology. 32:259-267

Purcell, M.K., E.S. Bromage, J. Silva, J.D. Hansen, S.M. Badil, J.C. Woodson,P.K. Hershberger, 2012. Production and characterization of monoclonal antibodies to IgM of Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii). Fish and Shellfish Immunology. 33:552-558.

Jensen, Pamela C.; Purcell, Maureen K.; Morado, J. Frank; Eckert, Ginny L., 2012. Development of a real-time PCR assay for detection of planktonic red king crab (Paralithodes camtschaticus (Tilesius 1815)) larvae. National Shellfisheries Association , 8 p.

Park, J. W., C.H. Moon, A. Harmache, A.R. Wargo, M.K. Purcell, M. Bremont, and G. Kurath. 2011. Restricted growth of U-type infectious haematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) in rainbow trout cells may be linked to casein kinase II activity. Journal of Fish Diseases. 34:115-129. [Link]

Badil, S., D.G. Elliott, T. Kurobe, R.P. Hedrick, K. Clemens, M. Blair, M.K. Purcell. 2011. Comparative Evaluation of molecular diagnostic tests for Nucleospora salmonis and prevalence in migrating juvenile salmonids from the Snake River, USA. Journal of Aquatic Animal Health. 23: 19-29.

Purcell, Maureen K.; Getchell, Rodman G.; McClure, Carol A.; Weber, S.E.; Garver, Kyle A., 2011. Quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for detection of aquatic animal pathogens in a diagnostic laboratory setting. Taylor & Francis , 14 p.

Purcell, M.K., S.E. LaPatra, J.C. Woodson, G. Kurath, and J.R. Winton (2010) Differential susceptibility of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) families to infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) is associated with early viral replication and suggests a role for constitutive defenses. Fish and Shellfish Immunology. 28: 98-105

Rasmussen, C.R., M.K. Purcell, J. Gregg, S.E. LaPatra, J.R. Winton and P.K. Hershberger (2010). Sequence analysis of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region reveals a novel clade of Ichthyophonus sp. from rainbow trout. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms. 89:179-183.

Palti, Y., S.A. Gahr, M.K. Purcell, G.D. Wiens, C.E. Rexroad (2010) Identification, characterization and genetic mapping of TLR7, TLR8a1 and TLR8a2 genes in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Developmental and Comparative Immunology. 34:219-233.

Peñaranda, M., M.K. Purcell and G. Kurath (2009) Differential virulence mechanisms of infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus (IHNV) in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) include host entry and virus replication kinetics. Journal of General Virology.90:2172-2182.

Purcell, M.K., K.J. Laing, J. Woodson, G.H. Thorgaard and J.D. Hansen. (2009) Characterization of the interferon genes in homozygous rainbow trout reveals two novel genes, alternate splicing and differential regulation of duplicated genes. Fish and Shellfish Immunology. 26:293-304.

Purcell, M.K., G. Kurath, C. Conway and D.G. Elliott (2009). Mechanisms of host-specific virulence of Infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus genogroups in Sockeye salmon from Redfish Lake Idaho. Journal of Fish Disease.32:619-631.

True, K., M.K. Purcell, S. Foote (2009) Development and validation of a real-time quantitative PCR to detect Parvicapsula minibicornis in field samples of Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) from the Klamath River, USA. Journal of Fish Disease. 32:183-92.

Purcell, M.K., A.L. Murray, A. Elz, L.K. Park, S.V. Marcquenski, J.R. Winton, S.W. Alcorn, R.J. Pascho and D.G. Elliott. (2008). Decreased mortality of Lake Michigan Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) following bacterial kidney disease challenge: evidence for pathogen-driven selection? Journal of Aquatic Animal Health. 20:225-235.

Hershberger, P.K., C.A. Pacheco, J.L. Gregg, M.K. Purcell, S.E. LaPatra. (2008) Differential survival of Ichthyophonus isolates indicates parasite adaptation to its host environment. Journal of Parasitology. 94:1055-1059.

K.J. Laing, M.K. Purcell, J.R. Winton, J.D. Hansen (2008) A genomic view of the NOD-like receptor family in teleost fish: identification of a novel NLR family in zebrafish. BMC Evolutionary Biology. 8(42):1-15.

Landis, E.D, M.K Purcell, G. Thorgaard, P. Wheeler and J.D. Hansen (2008) Transcriptional profiling of MHC class I genes following injection with live infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus or inactivated virus. Molecular Immunology. 45:1646-1657.

Laing K.J., J. Zou, M.K. Purcell, C.J. Secombes, R. Phillips and J.D. Hansen (2006) Evolution of CD4: teleost fish possess two divergent forms of CD4 in addition to lymphocyte activation gene-3. Journal of Immunology. 177:3939-3951.

Purcell, M.K., K.M. Nichols, J.R. Winton, G.K. Kurath, G.H. Thorgaard, P. Wheeler, J.D. Hansen, R.P. Herwig and L.K. Park (2006) Comprehensive gene expression profiling following DNA vaccination against infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus. Molecular Immunology. 43:2089-2106.

Purcell, M.K., K.D. Smith, L. Hood, J.R. Winton and J.C. Roach. (2006) Conservation of Toll-Receptor Signaling Pathways in Teleost Fish. Comp. Biochem, Phys. Section D. 1:77-88.

Purcell, M.K., S.A. Hart, G. Kurath and J.R. Winton (2006) Strand-specific quantitative reverse-transcriptase PCR for detecting genomic and positive-sense RNA forms of infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus. J. Virological Methods. 132:18-24.

Rodriguez, M.F., G. Wiens, M.K. Purcell and Y. Palti (2005) Characterization of Toll-like receptor 3 gene in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Immunogenetics. 57:510-519.

Roach, J.C., G. Glusman, L. Rowen, A. Kaur, M.K. Purcell, K.D. Smith, L. Hood and A. Aderem. (2005) The evolution of the Toll-like receptors. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 102:9577-9582.

Purcell, M.K., G. Kurath, K. Garver, R.P. Herwig and J.R. Winton (2004) Quantitative expression profiling of immune response genes in rainbow trout during IHNV infection or following vaccination with a DNA vaccine against IHNV. Fish and Shellfish Immunology. 17: 447-462.

Miller, K.M., A. Schulze, M.K. Purcell and J.R. Winton (2004) Major histocompatibility complex loci are associated with susceptibility of Atlantic salmon to infectious hematopoietic necrosis virus. Environmental Biology of Fishes. 69:307-316.

Purcell, M.K., G. Mackey, E. Lahood,H. Huber and L. Park (2004) Molecular methods for the genetic identification of salmonid prey from Pacific harbor seal (Phoca vitulina richardsi) scat. Fishery Bulletin. 102: 213-220.

Lage, C., M.K. Purcell, M.J. Fogarty and I.L. Kornfield (2001) Microsatellite evaluation of haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) stocks in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. Canadian Journal of Fish. Aquat. Sci. 58(5): 982-990.

Purcell, M.K., D.C. Higgins, R. Elango, J.L. Mu, S. Harris and B.J. Paigen (2001) Fine mapping of Ath6, a quantitative trait locus for atherosclerosis in mice. Mammalian Genome. 12: 495-500.

Purcell, M.K., I.L. Kornfield, M.J. Fogarty and A. Parker. (1996) Interdecadal heterogeneity of mitochondrial DNA in Atlantic haddock (Melanogrammus aeglefinus) from Georges Bank. Molecular Marine Biology and Biotechnology. 5:185-192.

Purcell, M.K., I.L. Kornfield, M.J. Fogarty and A. Parker. (1996) Interdecadal heterogeneity of mitochondrial DNA in Atlantic haddock from Georges Bank using archived scales. Molecular Marine Biology and Biotech. 5(3): 185-192.


My Science Topics

Science Topic
Ecology and Environmentaquatic ecosystems

Bacterial Kidney Disease

Image of Current Focus for Bacterial Kidney Disease



Diagnostic Protocols for Renibacterium salmoninarum

Contact Information

Maureen Purcell
6505 NE 65Th Street
Seattle, WA 98115
206-526-6654 - Fax
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