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Roslin scientist honoured by SRUC

Professor David Hume, former Director at The Roslin Institute, has been presented with an honorary fellowship by Scotland’s Rural College.

Professor David Hume at his desk

Professor David Hume, former Director of The Roslin Institute, who – in the words of Bill Gates – has helped turn the city into “a world capital for livestock health and genetics”, has been presented with an honorary fellowship by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC).

Professor David Hume has been recognised for his support in bringing together SRUC’s animal scientists with the expertise at Roslin to create a world-leading research hub.

Addressing participants at the SRUC winter graduation ceremony at the University of Glasgow’s Bute Hall on Friday 3 November, College Principal Professor Wayne Powell paid tribute to Professor Hume.

 David’s drive and energy, combined with similar attributes in key SRUC, Moredun and University staff, has allowed Edinburgh to become a world-leading hub for research in animal biosciences and associated agricultural systems. This is encapsulated in the Easter Bush Research Consortium (EBRC) and proved its worth in 2014 when the joint application by SRUC and the University of Edinburgh to the UK’s Research Excellence Framework exercise was ranked top in research power.

Professor Wayne PowellCollege Principal

Previously Director of the ARC Special Centre for Functional and Applied Genomics at the Institute for Molecular BioScience at the University of Queensland, proud Australian Professor Hume FRSE, FSB, FMedSci became Director at The Roslin Institute in 2007.  He will return to Australia to take up a new position in Brisbane in 2018, but will retain an honorary professorship and many ongoing collaborations in Edinburgh. 

 He is a global leader in his field of genome sciences, with a particular focus on the function of macrophages, specialised cells of the immune system involved in infection, inflammatory disease and cancer.  

Professor Hume’s research studies the genomics of immune response in a range of species including chicken, sheep and pigs. Increasingly, tools like this are emerging in molecular biology that can be applied to the grand challenges facing agriculture worldwide.

Professor Wayne Powell

 Outwith the UK, the Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health, collaboration between Roslin, SRUC and the International Livestock Research Institute in Nairobi, owes much to Professor Hume who, with others such as Andy Peters, successfully negotiated £10 million of funding from the Gates foundation and a further £4m from the Department for International Development.  David was also a leading figure in the creation of the UK Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock (CIEL), also involving SRUC and Roslin as major partners, which attracted around £20M of additional capital investment to the Easter Bush campus and in the creation of the new £30M Roslin Innovation Centre.  

I am very proud to receive this recognition from my friends and colleagues at SRUC.

Professor David HumeThe Roslin Institute


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