Pip Beard

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Personal profile

Biography

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 worked 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 a position as Career Track Fellow / Veterinary Pathologist at The Roslin Institute / Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. I was awarded Associate status (by examination) of the Royal College of Pathologists in 2010. In 2015 I was promoted to Group Leader, and in 2016 to Senior Lecturer. In 2016 I accepted a joint Group Leader appointment between The Roslin Institute (20%) and The Pirbright Institute (80%). I am Head of the Large DNA Virus research group at The Pirbright Institute, focusing on viruses on veterinary importance such as lumpy skin disease and African swine fever. 

Current Research Interests

The pathogenesis of the highly specialised large DNA viruses which replicate in the cytoplasm of the cell

Research Interests

I hold a joint appointment between the Roslin Institute (20%) and the Pirbright Institute (80%). I lead a research team which investigates the pathogenesis of a particular group of large DNA viruses which replicate in the cytoplasm of the host cell. This specalised group includes poxviruses. My research can be split into three areas:

1. The pathogenesis of Vaccinia virus. Our work focuses on using Vaccinia virus, the prototype poxvirus, as a tool to learn more about cellular biology including miRNA biogenesis, anti-viral host responses and vesicle transport. We then extrapolate our findings to clinically relevant related viruses such as the capripoxviruses and African swine fever virus.

2. Capripoxviruses. The most important poxviruses of livestock are the three species of the Capripoxvirus (CPPV) genus which each cause severe systemic disease. Lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV) causes lumpy skin disease in cattle, Sheeppox virus (SPPV) causes sheeppox in sheep and Goatpox virus (GTPV) causes goatpox in goats. The three viruses are currently expanding beyond their traditional geographic niches in Africa and Asia. LSDV in particular has spread since 2012 from the Middle East into Europe, Russia and across Asia, affecting thousands of cattle and causing substantial economic loss to affected regions. 

My team is studying the pathogenesis of the three CPPV species, with a focus on the immunological response of livestock to infection with these viruses, and the vector-borne transmission of LSDV. We apply the outputs of our research in order to improve the current control, prevention and eradication programmes.

3. African swine fever virus.  This virus is closely related to poxviruses, sharing a number of biological features. It causes the high consequence, transboundary disease African swine fever. My team is studying the replication cycle of the virus in the porcine macrophage, focusing on the interactions between the macrophage and the virus.

 

Research students

PhD students:

Primary supervisor:

- Charlotte Cook (2018-2022)

- Isabel Lewis (2018-2022)

- Najith Wijesiriwardana 2018-2021

- Kate Harrison (2013-2016)

- Laura Dunn (2015-2019)

Secondary supervisor:

- Stephen Chiweshe (2012-2015)

- Niramol Juntaweing (2013-2016)

- David Walker (2013-2016)

MSc students:

- Danielle Reynolds (2012)

- Rebecca Featherstone (2013)

- Yunling Wang (2014)

- Ejovwoke Yomi-Onilude (2015)

- Jialin Hou (2015-2016)

- Rey Suckoo (2019)

Summer students:

- Alexandre Houzelle (2012)

- Neil Turnbull (2013)

- Alice Roche (2013)

- Amrita Mohanty (2011)

- Francesca Iwanyckyj (2015)

- Steven Fiddaman 2017

- Matthew McKeating 2019-2020

- Linda Ge 2019

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

Teaching

I lecture on virology and pathology in the following courses:

University of Edinburgh:

  • BVM&S Animal Body II
  • BVM&S Veterinary Professional skills
  • MSc One Health

University of Surrey:

  • MSc Veterinary Microbiology
  • BVMSci Poxviruses

Vaccinology in Africa

  • Capripoxviruses
  • African swine fever

Administrative Roles

Qualifications

Bachelor of Veterinary Science, first class honours (University of Sydney 1996)

PhD in Veterinary Pathology (University of Edinburgh 2001)

Diploma of Management (Chartered Institute of Management 2006)

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Edinburgh

Award Date: 1 Jan 2003

Bachelor of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney

19921996

Award Date: 1 Jan 1997

Veterinary Pathology, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Moredun Research Institute

19982001

External positions

Group Leader, Pirbright Institute

1 Sep 2015 → …

State Central Veterinary Laboratory, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia (sabattical)

Feb 2008Jan 2009

Wellcome Trust Clinical Fellowship, Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh

Aug 2007Jan 2008

Wellcome Trust Clinical Fellowship , Imperial College London

Feb 2004Jul 2007

Post-doctoral assistant, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Cornell University Veterinary College, New York

Feb 2001Jan 2004

Keywords

  • QR355 Virology
  • Poxvirus
  • Vaccinia virus
  • capripoxvirus
  • African swine fever virus
  • RB Pathology
  • Veterinary pathology

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