Staff profile

Romain  Paillot

Dr Romain Paillot



Senior Lecturer in Equine


As a Principal Investigator, my main research focused on immunity and respiratory pathogens (mainly in equids, but also in other veterinary species). My work aimed to improve our understanding of immunity induced by the pathogens during infection and by vaccination and to elucidate specific mechanisms used by pathogens to evade or deregulate the immune response. I have been strongly involved with veterinary vaccine manufacturers, as Study Investigator, in the evaluation of equine vaccines. I have also trained and mentored numerous undergraduate and post-graduate students, and supervised 3 PhD students. I am now a Senior Lecturer at Writtle University College (UK), which allows me to share my passion for veterinary sciences with the next generation of research associates and scientists.


Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches (HDR, Higher Doctorat/Habilitation equivalent), Caen (FR)
Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act, 1986. Home Office Personal Project Licence
Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act, 1986. Modules 1, 2 and 3 (horse), and 5
PhD, Immunology, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (EPHE); Paris (FR)
Diplôme EPHE (MSc equivalent), Immunology, EPHE; Paris (FR)
Certificate of Histotechnology & Electron Microscopy, Lyon (FR)
BTEC Higher National Diploma in Biotechnology (BTS Biotechnologie), Cannes (FR)
BTEC National Diploma in Biochemistry (Bac. Tech. F7 Biochimie), Cannes (FR)

Subject Areas

My research career began in 1995 in the field of transplantation Immunology. I studied the immunosuppressive drug methotrexate and described a new mechanism of action. From 1998 to 2004, I worked in the Discovery Research Department for a Veterinary Vaccine Manufacturer to develop new immunological assays in several veterinary species. In 2004, I moved to the Animal Health Trust to start a PhD on cell mediated immunity induced by EIV and EHV-1. I held the position of Immunology Team Leader in the department of infectious diseases at the AHT from 2007 to 2012. My work focused on immunity and protection induced by several modern equine vaccines. Several novel superantigens produced by streptococcal species were identified and investigated. As Head of Immunology, I managed my own research group as well as being strongly involved with all European Veterinary Vaccine Manufacturers for the evaluation, characterisation and/or registration of equine influenza vaccines and other equine pathogens. I took part to a reference serum project, as Project Leader, for the European Directorate for Quality of Medicine and Healthcare (EDQM). I have been part of the Animal Health Trust Ethical Committee for 5 years. In 2016, I was awarded a French Habilitation to Direct Research (HDR, Higher Doctorate/Habilitation equivalent) from Normandy University. From 2018 to 2020, I was in charge of the Equine Health research at LABÉO (Research Division) where I took part to the equine infectious disease surveillance in France and Europe. I am a member of the International Committee for the organisation of the 11th and 12th International Equine Infectious Diseases conferences (2021 and 2024).


Titles/Publication (as main author, senior author or co-author): h-index 26 (Scopus OCT22)

108 publications (cf annexe); 113 oral presentations; 57 poster presentations. 2294 citations by 1582 documents (Scopus OCT22)

Research Grants (started in the last 8 years): (PI: Principal Investigator, CoI: Co-Investigator)

- Fonds Eperon/IFCE/Région Normandie (RIN): (PI). OVERLORD, Chaire Immunologie Equine : développement de l’Expertise Normande et Rayonnement International. 646,034€. 2018 to 2021.

- GIS/Centaure/Fonds Eperon : (PI). Organisation of the International Equine Infectious Diseases Congress. 37,800€. Target date : September 2021.

- Fonds Eperon/IFCE/GIS Centaure: (PI). Efficacy of Valganciclovir in the target species against Equine Herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1). 84.000€. October 2019 to September 2020.

- IFCE : (PI). Field evaluation of a equine farm managment protocol against Rhodococcus equi. 20,000€. September 2019 to September 2021.

- Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC): (CoI). Velcro vaccines: directing an enhanced immune response to Streptococcus equi, £268,746. January 2017 to January 2020.

- PetPlan Charitatble Trust: (CoI). Improving the safety of future strangles vaccines. £86,022. January 2017 to December 2018.

- Animal Welfare foundation: (CoI). Validation of equine cell lines as a cellular replacement (3Rs) to model equine primary cells for in vitro studies, £40,100. November 2016 to November 2017.

- Horserace Betting Levy Board: (CoI). Establishing the safety of allogeneic equine embryonic stem cells for tendon regeneration., £143,775. October 2016 to October 2018.

- PetPlan Charitatble Trust (2015-2016): (CoI). The role of Toll-Like Receptors and superantigens in innate immunity against strangles. £9,870.

- PetPlan Charitatble Trust (2015-2016): (CoI). Randomised controlled trial of Clostridium botulinum type C vaccination for prevention of Equine Grass Sickness. £25,850.

- MSD Animal Health, Hong Kong Jockey Club, AHT (2015-2016): (PI). Sero-epidemiological surveillance of Equine Influenza vaccination in Hong Kong. £30,000.

- Horserace Betting Levy Board (2014): (PI from June 2014). Technical transfer and validation of an EHV-1 and EHV-4 ELISA. £7,500.

- Horserace Betting Levy Board (2014-2016): (CoI). Randomised controlled trial of Clostridium botulinum type C vaccination for prevention of Equine Grass Sickness. £118,739.

- Basse-Normandie Council and FEDER (2013-2015): (Holder). Chair of Excellence: Equine Immunology. University of Caen Basse-Normandie. 86,416€ (£67,700).

- Horserace Betting Levy Board (2012-2013): (CoI). Streptococcus equi evolution: quantification of the importance of key genome acquisition events. £84,649.

- PetPlan Charitable Trust pump priming grant (2013) (CoI). Development of equine serological assays for C. botulinum type C. £9,389.

- PetPlan Charitatble Trust (2012): (CoI). Determining the immune properties of equine stem cells. £24,572.

Vaccine studies & Industrial contracts (since 2007):

Study Investigator for all main European Veterinary Vaccine Manufacturers, with up to 48 studies conducted since 2007, including 30 live phase studies in the natural host (vaccination, with or without challenge) and 18 studies as Analytical Investigator. Study purposes cover vaccine registration, immunological characterisation and/or vaccine registration. Study types cover efficacy, duration of immunity, strain specificity, pilot, batch stability/consistency, valence equivalence etc. Pathogens covered are primarily Equine Influenza virus, Equine Herpes virus type 1/4 and Streptococcus equi. Total funding in excess of £1,835,191.