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Mark Fast, PhD

Mark Fast, PhD


Associate Professor, Department of Pathology and Microbiology

Expertise

  • Fish health immunity
  • Parasitology
  • Host-pathogen interactions
  • Fish physiology

Research Areas

  • Atlantic salmon immunity
  • Sea lice genomics and impacts on Atlantic salmon
  • Assessment of fish vaccines
  • Sturgeon genomics and immunity

Capabilities for Industry Collaborations

  • Efficacy trials for vaccines and anti-parasiticides
  • Biomarker discovery for stress and immune responses in fish
  • Diagnostic marker discovery for drug resistance
  • Application of oral and immersion delivery systems for fish
  • Applied genomics to aquaculture problems
  • Sea lice management

Growing up on the shores of Lake Ontario, Mark Fast has always been a self-described "fish person". So it came as no surprise when he did his undergraduate degree in marine biology, his master's in fish health specifically related to sea lice, and pursued research in immunology.

With 80% of the global fish population depleted there is an urgent need for sustainable access to protein and Fast believes aquaculture is the only solution.

Fast's research focuses on improving fish health for better efficiency and sustainability in the food production industry in ways that are beneficial for both business and the environment. He is dedicated to the study of aquatic species of conservation concern and determining their health and anthropogenic impacts.

Fast works with Atlantic salmon fish farms to develop best practices and tools to better understand and manage salmon, and to prevent and treat parasitic infections such as sea lice. Parts of his research focuses on improving the general immune health of salmon so that they experience less stress, are naturally more robust, and are able to resist and fight infections on their own. He also collaborates with animal health companies to help them understand the immune system of salmon and how parasites respond and become resistant to drugs.

The aquaculture industry is currently experiencing a higher demand for production while striving to be ecologically sustainable. Both the business and physical environments are constantly shifting, presenting new opportunities and challenges such as climate change, new species, and new farm locations. Fast's research is contributing to a stronger industry both on land and sea. 

Mark Fast Profile