Edinburgh Research Explorer
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Willingness to take Ph.D. students: Yes

none presently

Education / Academic qualification

2004Master of Science, Sheffield Hallam University
Applied Statistics
1998Master of Science, University of California, Davis
Preventive Veterinary Medicine
1998Doctor in Philosophy, University of Liverpool
The epidemiology of foot-and-mouth disease in the Adamawa Province of Cameroon
1993Master in Science, University of Wales, Bangor
1983Bachelor of Veterinary Science, University of Bristol

Professional Qualifications

Diplomate of European College of Veterinary Public Health, DiplECVPH
Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, MRCVS

Area of Expertise

Research expertiseEpidemiology, Statistics, Study Design, Infectious Diseases, Tropical Livestock

Current Research Interests

I curently 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.

Biography

I am a veterinary epidemiologist working at the Roslin Institute where I lead the Epidemiology, Economics and Risk Assessment (EERA) Group (www.eeragroup.org). We are a mix of veterinarians, statisticans, mathematical modellers, molecular epidemiologists, social scientists, geographers and geneticists working on a number of globally important infectious diseases of livestock and humans including rabies, foot-and-mouth disease, bovine tuberculosis, blue tongue and liver fluke.

After working in general practice as a clinican I spent some time in the tropics where I became interested in ecology which lead me to a research position at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine where I worked as a research assistant managing a drug screening programme for human river blindness in Cameroon. I subsequently studied the epidemiology of foot-and-mouth disease in endemic settings in Africa on a Wellcome Trust Fellowship. In 2003 I move to the University of Edinburgh as a lecturer and worked on a number of large field based studies including the "Infectious Diseases of East Africa" (IDEAL) study and the epidemiology of bovine tuberculosis in Cameroon.

The group is focused on improving methods of surveillance, understanding and predicting transmission and disease spread, mapping diseases and antimicrobial resistance, evaluation of diagnostic tests and developing and support improved disease control strategies both in the United Kingdom and in the tropics particularly sub-Saharan Africa. 

Research students

- Paolo Motta

- Florian Duchatel

- Andrew Gibson

- Charlotte Woolley

- Isobel MacLachan

Research Interests

The group currently works on a number of infectious disease projects in Africa, as well as the UK. One of the main areas of interest is the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) epidemiology in endemic countries, with on going work on diagnostic test evaluation, modelling surveillance, molecular epidemiology and phylogeography and evaluation of surveillance activities. We collaborate with Mission Rabies and World Veterinary Services providing technical epidemiological support for vaccination and neurtering programmes in Malawi and India. We are part of a Scottish Consortium providing expert advice and technical support to the Scottish Government on exotic disease outbreaks and I lead the surveillance topic within this pregramme. I also have been working on bovine tuberculosis epidemiology in Cameroon and the United Kingdom, looking particularly at diagnostic test performance, coinfections with liver fluke and using molecular epidemiological tools to understand transmission and spread. Finally I am also a programme coordinator for the Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health (CTLGH) focusing on identifying and exploiting genetic variation in disease resistance and tolerance to improve disease control in Africa.

 

Collaborations
The group has a number of active collaborations including:

International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) – Kenya

Onderstepoort Veterinary School – South Africa

Institute for Animal Health (IAH) – UK

Institute for Research in Development (IRAD) - Cameroon

Makerere University Veterinary School - Uganda

Mission Rabies Charity - United Kingdom

World Veterinary Services - United Kingdom

University of Buea - Cameroon

University of Calibar - Nigeria

The Tuberculosis Reference Laboratory, Bamenda - Cameroon

 

Collaborative Activity

Prof. Jakob Zinstaag - Head of Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss Tropical Public Health

Dr Vincent Tanya - Director of Research/IRAD, Technical Adviser No1, Cameroon

Dr Lucy Ndip - Lecturer, Microbiology, University Buea, Cameroon

Dr Eric Fevre - Wellcome Trust Research Fellow, University of Edinburgh

Dr Dylan Clements - Senior Lecturer in Small Animal Orthopaedics, R(D)SVS,

Prof. Mark Woolhouse - Chair of infectious disease epidemiology, University of Edinburgh

Prof. Koos Coetzer - Professor of Tropical Veterinary Medicine, University of Pretoria

Dr Rowland Kao - Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow, University of Glasgow

Dr Alex Rowe - Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow, University of Edinburgh

Dr. Henk Smit - The Royal Tropical Institute, Netherlands

Dr Phil Toye - International Livestock Research Institute, Kenya

Dr. Richard Mallemby - University of Edinburgh

Dr. Alistair MacRae - The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies



Websites

Please visit our group web site.

EPIC - http://www.epicscotland.org

CTLGH - http://www.ctlgh.org

Mission Rabies - http://www.missionrabies.com

 

 

 


Teaching

Course Organiser for Veterinary Public Health rotation for final years.

Teaching VPH, statistics and epidemiology to graduate entries, first, second, fourth and final years.

Course Organizer for the new undergraduate veterinary Evidence Based Veterinary Medicine Course running through years 2-4 

Qualifications

Career since graduating: 

I qualified as a vet in 1988 and worked in general practice until 1995 when I started my research career first as an RA at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine managing a tertiary drug screening programme for WHO for three years in Cameroon. This work lead to the discovery that tetracyclines are macrofilaricidal and doxyxyxline is now in human trials in Ghana for the treatment of human riverblindness. 

In 1998 I was awarded a four year Wellcome Trust Training Fellowship in Tropical Clinical Epidemiology. This award included 12 months study period at UC Davis, CA, where I gained a Masters in Preventive Veterinary Medicine. In 1999 I moved back to Cameroon to carry out my PhD field work studying the epidemiology of foot-and-mouth disease in an endemic region of Africa. This was the first population based study of FMD in an endemic setting and has lead to a number of peer reviewed publications including the observations that what are viewed as endemic settings may in fact be repeated epidemics of different serotypes of FMD. As part of this project I worked in the World Reference Laboratory for FMD at Pirbright for 18 months including the period of the 2001 FMD outbreak where I was trained in a range of diagnostic tests including virus isolation, ELISA and PCR and provided diagnostic support during the early weeks of the 2001 outbreak. 

Following my PhD I worked as a consultant at the Danish EpiLab on a risk assessment for exotic disease introductions to the swine industry in Denmark. This project included consulting widely within the swine industry, government services, port authorities etc to develop qualitative and quantitative risk models for disease introduction. 

Since November 2003 I have worked as a lecturer and researcher at Edinburgh. I have been a co-applicant on a number of successful grant applications for major projects both in the UK and Africa as well as wining several smaller grants as PI. I am also active in managing these grants in the field ensuring the smooth progression and quality of the research. In 2007 I started the epidemiology, economics and risk assessment (eera) focus group to develop projects and training in quantitative techniques across campus and raise the profile of epidemiology at the school.

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