Edinburgh Research Explorer

Dr Pip Beard

Senior Lecturer

Profile photo

Phone: +44 (0)131 651 9234

Willingness to take Ph.D. students: Yes

Education / Academic qualification

1998Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Moredun Research Institute
1992Bachelor of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Edinburgh
Epidemiology and pathogenesis of paratuberculosis

Professional Qualifications

Associate of Royal College of Pathologists
Diploma of Management
Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, MRCVS


I graduated from Sydney University Veterinary Faculty in 1997. After a year in mixed veterinary practice on the North York Moors I undertook a PhD at the Moredun Research Institute into the epidemiology and pathogenesis of paratuberculosis. After being awarded the degree I moved to Cornell University in upstate New York to work on the cleavage and packaging reaction of Herpes Simplex Virus 1. I was then awarded a prestigous Wellcome Trust Clinical Fellowship which allowed me to return to the UK to work at Imperial College, London, on the pathogenesis of poxviruses. In 2008 I took a year out of academic life to work as a specialist veterinary advisor for the Mongolian government. I was based at the State Central Veterinary Laboratory in Ulaanbaatar. In 2009 I took up my current position as Career Track Fellow / Veterinary Pathologist at The Roslin Institute / Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. I was promoted in 2015 to Group Leader. In 2015 I accepted a joint Group Leader appointment between The Roslin Institute and The Pirbright Institute.

Current Research Interests

Pip Beard is an investigative academic pathologist who leads a research laboratory which aims to decipher the molecular interactions between poxviruses and their host cell. There are two current research themes in the laboratory:

  1. The identification and characterisation of novel cellular proteins which influence poxvirus replication
  2. Investigations into the unique interactions between poxviruses and the host cell's miRNA system

Research Interests

I am principal investigator (PI) of a laboratory which investigates the pathogenesis of Vaccinia virus, the prototype poxvirus. Our work is focused on using Vaccinia virus as a tool to learn more about cellular biology including miRNA biogenesis, anti-viral host responses and vesicle transport. My research group at The Pirbright Institute aims to identify new methods of diagnosis and control of veterinary diseases caused by large DNA viruses including capripoxviruses and African Swine Fever virus.

In addition to my role as a PI I am a veterinary pathologist. I am consultant pathologist for research teams within The Roslin Institute and externally.

Research students

PhD students:

Primary supervisor:

- Kate Harrison (2013-2016)

- Laura Dunn (2015-2019)

Secondary supervisor:

- Stephen Chiweshe (2012-2015)

- Niramol Juntaweing (2013-2016)

MSc students:

- Danielle Reynolds (2012)

- Rebecca Featherstone (2013)

- Yunling Wang (2014)

- Ejovwoke Yomi-Onilude (2015)

- Jialin Hou (2015-2016)

Summer students:

- Alexandre Houzelle (2012)

- Neil Turnbull (2013)

- Alice Roche (2013)

- Amrita Mohanty (2011)

- Francesca Iwanyckyj (2015)

SSC2 students:

- Emily Thetford-Smith (2013)

- Catherine Ross (2012)

- Leilani Norden (2010)

Collaborative Activity

I have collaborated as a pathologist for the following research groups:

Andreas Lengeling (listeriosis)

Ross Fitzgerald (Staphlococcus)

Andrew McDonald (Schistomiasis)

David Hume (macrophage biology)

Kenny Baillie (genetic resistance to influenza infection)

Bernadette Dutia (influenza pathogenesis)

Megan Davey (developmental biology of chicken embryos)

Paul Digard (influenza pathogenesis)

Tom Burden (development of novel models of disease)

Peter Simmonds (influenza pathogenesis)

Paul Hocking (mineral deficiencies in avain species)

Barry McColl (neurobiology)

Colin Farquharson (bone metabolism)

Jean Manson (neurobiology)

Bruce Whitelaw (genetically modified models


I lecture on virology and pathology in the following courses:

Veterinary Pathology III

Animal Body II

Virology honours

Veterinary Professional skills

MSc One Health

I also run a two week course for Animal Biosciences MSc students on Comparative Animal Models

Administrative Roles

I serve on the Roslin Institute Biosafety Committee, I am ISP4 co-convenor, and a member of the Royal College of Pathologist's Special Advisory Group (Veterinary Pathology)


Major Grants:

Equine Grass Sickness Fund “Microarray analysis of cranial cervical ganglia from grass sickness and control horses” Sept 2009 - Sept 2010

Wellcome Trust Flexible Travel Award “Investigating poxviral diseases in Mongolia” Feb 2008- Feb 2009

Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Trust “Veterinary Diagnostic Pathology in Mongolia”, Feb 2008 – Feb 2009

University of Edinburgh small grant awards “Prevalence of Lumpy Skin Disease Virus in Cameroon”, Feb 2008 – Feb 2009

Wellcome Trust Intermediate Clinical Fellowship extension “Vaccinia virus – host interactions” 2007-2008

Wellcome Trust Vacation Scholarship The protein – protein interactions of the Vaccinia virus kelch protein C2, June – July 2006

Wellcome Trust Intermediate Clinical Fellowship “Vaccinia virus – host interactions” 2004-2007

Research activities & awards

  1. Careers in Science

    Activity: Public engagement and outreachSchools engagement

  2. Primary and early secondary years initiative

    Activity: Public engagement and outreachSchools engagement

  3. Diagnostic options

    Activity: Public engagement and outreachSchools engagement

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