Pip Beard

Senior Lecturer and Principal Investigator


I graduated from Sydney University with a degree in veterinary science. After a year in practice in North Yorkshire I moved to Edinburgh and did a PhD in veterinary pathology based at the Moredun Research Institute. I then studied herpesvirus replication at Cornell University, New York, under Professor Joel Baines, before being awarded a Wellcome Trust Intermediate Clinical Fellowship which allowed me to move to London to work on poxviruses with Professor Geoff Smith. I then spent in a year in Mongolia as a specialist veterinary advisor to the Mongolian government, based at the State Central Veterinary Laboratory in Ulaanbaatar, before setting up my own research laboratory studying poxviruses at The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh. My research investigates the interactions between poxviruses and their host cell. Since 2016 I have held a joint appointment between The Roslin Institute and The Pirbright Institute, where I lead the Large DNA Virus team.


BVSc (Sydney University)

PhD (University of Edinburgh)

Responsibilities & affiliations

Director, Genomia Fund

Board Member, International Veterinary Vaccinology Network

Leader, EU DISCONTOOLS expert groups for lumpy skin disease, sheeppox and goatpox

Member of Microbiological Society

Member of American Society of Microbiology

Research summary

The aim of my research is to understand the interactions between large DNA viruses and their host, and translate this knowledge into clinical outcomes. My research team focuses on the three capripoxvirus species (lumpy skin disease virus, sheeppox virus and goatpox virus) which each cause severe disease in livestock in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. 

In addition to my research I am the OIE laboratory expert for capripoxviruses at the Pirbright Institute and provide advice to international agencies on the control of these viruses. I lead the European Commission funded project DEFEND which is tackling the emergence of African swine fever and lumpy skin disease in Europe in partnership with 31 other consortium members including industry partners ID-VET and Zoetis. (EU H2020 research programme 773701).

Current project grants

2020-2022 BBSRC responsive-mode grant “Vector-borne transmission of Lumpy Skin Disease Virus II”
2018-2023: H2020 project “Addressing the dual emerging threats of African Swine Fever and Lumpy Skin Disease in Europe (DEFEND)”
2018-2023: BBSRC responsive-mode grant “Development of rationally designed live-attenuated lumpy skin disease vaccines”

Past project grants

2017-2019: BBSRC responsive-mode grant “Vector-borne transmission of Lumpy Skin Disease Virus”