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Virology

Our staff

Group Leaders

Name (sorted in ascending order) Role Research Interests
Pip Beard Senior Lecturer and Principal Investigator

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).

Professor Mark Bronsvoort Personal Chair of Veterinary Epidemiology

I currently have a broad portfolio of interests including the epidemiology of foot-and-mouth disease and bovine tuberculosis and using molecular tools to understand transmission and spread at different scales in LMICs.  

Professor Paul Digard Chair of Virology

Replication and pathogenesis of influenza viruses.

Dr Finn Grey Senior Research Fellow

Identifying host pathogen interactions using systems approaches

Dr Samantha Lycett Senior Lecturer / Group Leader - Pathogen Phylodynamics

Pathogen Phylodynamics - evolution and epidemiology of viruses and bacteria using bayesian and machine learning methods.

Professor Tanja Opriessnig Chair of Infectious Disease Pathology, Group Leader

Infectious disease models; Intervention strategies; Pathology; Veterinary diagnostics; Pigs.

Professor Lonneke Vervelde Personal Chair of Veterinary Immunology &Infectious Diseases

Host-pathogen interactions and immunomodulation in avian species.

In vitro/ex vivo organ cultures - organoids.

Career Track fellow

Name (sorted in ascending order) Role Research Interests
Dr Christine Tait-Burkard Tenure Track Fellow/Research Fellow

Her research focuses on understanding how porcine and zoonotic viruses interact with their hosts and how this understanding can be used to identify genetic susceptibility/resistance and develop diagnostics and treatments. Braving the split between human and animal viruses and technologies Christine is, for example, involved in the generation of genome edited pigs resistant towards one of the most costly pig viruses but also part of the IMI CARE consortium aiming to identify and repurpose drugs against SARS-CoV-2 infection causing COVID-19.