Naamdr. BHG Rockx

OmschrijvingSenior onderzoeker
OrganisatieWageningen Bioveterinary Research
OrganisatieeenheidVirologie & Moleculaire Biologie
Telefoon secretariaat+31 320 238 800
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BezoekadresHoutribweg 39
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Ma Di Wo Do Vr
  • Universitair Docent - Erasmus MC
    apr 2022 - mrt 2024

    Inhoudelijke begeleiding van 3 onderzoekers in opleiding.


Senior Scientist Arboviruses

Dr. Rockx received his PhD from Utrecht University in 2004 for studies on Norovirus susceptibility and antibody responses. Following his PhD, In the USA he initially worked on the evolution and pathogenesis of SARS-CoV and the development of broadly reactive therapeutic antibodies as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of North Carolina. He subsequently joined the Laboratory of Virology at the Rocky Mountain Laboratories of the National Institutes of Health in Montana where he studied the pathogenesis and vaccine development of SARS-CoV, Influenza, Henipaviruses and Filoviruses in a range of animal models under biosafety level 4. He continued this line of research as a tenure-track Assistant Professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas.

In 2014, Dr. Rockx returned to The Netherlands as Head of the Department of Rare and Emerging Viral Infections and Response at the Center for Infectious Disease Control of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in Bilthoven. He subsequently moved to the Department of Viroscience at the Erasmus MC in Rotterdam, where he was Head of the Exotic viruses workgroup.

Since 2022 Dr. Rockx is a Senior Scientist and projectleader at the Department of Virology & Molecular Biology at Wageningen Bioveterinary Research.

Research lines
His main research lines involve studies on the tropism, pathogenesis and host responses of emerging zoonotic viruses causing hemorrhagic, respiratory and neurological diseases, including orthohantaviruses and arboviruses in a variety of in vitro and in vivo models. He has authored over 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications, several book chapters and has supervised several post-doctoral fellows and PhD students.

Sociale media
  Barry Rockx op Linkedin
  Barry Rockx op Twitter



In vitro and in vivo models to study tick-borne viruses

Ticks can transmit a wide-range of pathogens (viruses, bacterial and parasites) that can damage the health of animals and humans. New tick-borne pathogens continue to be discovered, and existing pathogens expand their geographic range, including in the Netherlands. In addition to new viruses, new tick species may also be introduced in the Netherlands through migratory birds, which may harbour exotic viruses. Expertise in the transmission and pathogenesis of tick-borne pathogens is important because ongoing changes in climate and land-use will lead to further spread and introduction of different tick-species and the potential pathogens they carry.

The goal of this project is to develop expertise on tick-borne viruses under biosafety level 3 conditions using both cell culture and animal models which will allow us to study the role of ticks and specifically the tick bite in the transmission and pathogenesis of emerging tick-borne viruses.

In-vitro and ex-vivo systems: Development of an ovine placental barrier to study arbovirus infection in vitro

Many arboviruses are known to cause disease in ruminants like cattle, goats, and sheep. Several of these viruses infect and subsequently cross the placenta of pregnant animals, frequently resulting in abortion, malformation, or stillbirth of the fetus. The exact mechanisms of this transplacental transmission remain elusive. Whereas for the human placenta in vitro models are in place to study the placental barrier and its susceptibility to different pathogens, in vitro models mimicking the ruminant placental barrier, which has distinct anatomy, have not yet been described. In this project, we recapitulate the ovine placental barrier by co-culturing primary maternal epithelial cells, isolated from the placenta of a pregnant sheep, and fetal trophoblast cells and use Rift Valley fever virus as a prototype pathogen for infection experiments.


Guest lecturer for:

Frontiers in Biology 

Principles in Virology

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