The Roslin Institute
Roslin Logo

Roslin Scientist announced as new Director for the Institute for Animal Health

The Roslin Institute would like to congratulate Professor John Fazakerley, Professor of Virology, on his appointment as the new Director of the Institute for Animal Health (IAH).

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), which provides institute strategic grants to both The Roslin Institute and the IAH, announced the appointment on 1st March; Professor Fazakerley will join the IAH as its new Director from 1 June 2011.

Professor Fazakerley will be taking over the leadership of IAH as significant investment by the BBSRC begins to bear fruit with new lab facilities coming online and as a new Institute science strategy, focused on virology and supporting technology, moves forward. The £100M+ redevelopment of the IAH laboratory at Pirbright is due for completion in 2013.

John Fazakerley is a first class scientist and an excellent communicator. I look forward to working closely with him to foster collaborative relationships between our two Institutes.

Professor David HumeThe Director of The Roslin Institute


There are some exciting and challenging years ahead for IAH, with the completion of the new world-class facilities at Pirbright and a new science strategy. John Fazakerley brings the skills and vision to lead the Institute through this period and to build on its position as a central hub in UK and global animal health research and surveillance.

John has a renowned research track record in virology and is an experienced senior manager. His role in laboratory redevelopment programmes, including the new Easter Bush facility near Edinburgh, means he understands what is required to deliver the new Pirbright laboratory and to consolidate IAH science onto a single site. As head of a BBSRC Institute Strategic Programme at The Roslin Institute, John is familiar with the role of the BBSRC family of institutes and the strengths they bring to the UK research base.

Professor Doug KellBBSRC Chief Executive

Professor Fazakerley is currently Group Leader and Professor of Virology at The Roslin Institute, an Institute of the BBSRC within the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at the University of Edinburgh. He is a recognised world expert on arthropod (mosquito- and tick-borne) virus diseases, immune responses to virus infections and virus pathogenesis.

Professor Fazakerley has played a central role in the development of the new buildings for The Roslin Institute at Easter Bush, near Edinburgh, leading planning for the move of virologists into the facility.

I am delighted to be joining IAH as its new Director. The Institute has a distinguished international reputation for its work on virus infections of animals and it has many world leading researchers.

Professor John Fazakerley

Following research appointments in the UK and USA, Professor Fazakerley moved to the Centre for Infectious Diseases at the University of Edinburgh in 1994. He is currently Chair of Virology in the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine. In addition, when The Roslin Institute joined the University of Edinburgh in 2009, he became a Roslin Institute Group Leader and Head of the Roslin Arbovirus Group. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists, has an MBA degree and is an editor of the Journal of General Virology.

Prof Fazakerley succeeds Prof Martin Shirley as Director of IAH. Prof Shirley retired in October 2010. Prof David Paton has been Acting Director in the interim.

The BBSRC press release for this announcement can be found at:


For further information please contact:

BBSRC External Relations

Matt Goode

Contact details


Nancy Mendoza

Contact details


Mike Davies

Contact details



Notes to Editors


The BBSRC is the UK funding agency for research in the life sciences and the largest single public funder of agriculture and food-related research.

Sponsored by Government, in 2010/11 BBSRC is investing around £470 million in a wide range of research that makes a significant contribution to the quality of life in the UK and beyond and supports a

number of important industrial stakeholders, including the agriculture, food, chemical, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors.

BBSRC provides institute strategic research grants to the following:

The Babraham Institute, Institute for Animal Health, Institute for Biological, Environmental and Rural Studies (Aberystwyth University), Institute of Food Research, John Innes Centre, The Genome Analysis Centre, The Roslin Institute (University of Edinburgh) and Rothamsted Research.

The Institutes conduct long-term, mission-oriented research using specialist facilities. They have strong interactions with industry, Government departments and other end-users of their research.

For more information see: