Inaugural Professor James McCall Memorial Lecture

Professor David Onions is to give the Inaugural Professor James McCall Memorial Lecture.

The public lecture, established in memory of the founder of the Glasgow Veterinary College, will mark the opening of the academic year and is aimed at staff, students and guests alike.

Professor Onions’ lecture is titled ‘Viruses, Vaccines, Pandemics and Paranoia’ will explore the biotechnology industry and the factors which have combined to make virus vaccine development one of the fastest growing segments of the market.

The lecture takes place on October 16 at 6pm in the Charles Wilson Lecture Theatre on University Avenue.

Professor Onions said: “Concerns about pandemic influenza have been a major driver of growth but the application of new technologies in vaccine production, the development of new markets in Asia and the discovery of new pathogens are becoming very important.

“The study of virus diseases is an area where there is an intimate interaction between veterinary and human medicine and where veterinary medicine has made critical contributions, in epidemiology, in the study of viral pathogenesis and in the development of vaccines.”

David Onions is the Chief  Scientific Officer and a member of the board of BioReliance.  He was formerly Chief Medical Officer of Invitrogen and before that  Director of the Leukaemia Research Fund’s Virus Centre and Professor of Veterinary Virology at the University of Glasgow.

He has been awarded the Norman Hall Gold Medal for Research into Animal Diseases from the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the Animal Health Trust Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement and The British Veterinary Association’s Dalrympel-Champney Cup and Medal for contributions to veterinary science.

In 2005 he was awarded the Nexxus award for contribution to Life Sciences 2005, and the Scottish Enterprise award for Leading Individual Contribution to Life Sciences in 2005 and the  Invitrogen’s employee of the year( Quest) Award 2005. In 2006 he received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Glasgow.

James McCall (1834-1915) was the founder and first Principal of the Glasgow Veterinary College.

A graduate of the Royal (Dick) College, McCall became a vet in Symington in Ayrshire before returning to the College in 1857 as Professor of Anatomy and Physiology.

He came to Glasgow in 1859 to set up in practice, but provided classes for budding vets in a building in Sauchiehall Lane and subsequently in premises he purchased in Parliamentary Road and then in Garnethill.

In 1863 he obtained a Royal Warrant for his college, to prepare students for the examinations of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. The first vets qualified from the Glasgow Veterinary College in 1865 and it was incorporated in 1909, when the Governors purchased the college buildings in Garnethill from their Principal.

McCall was a president of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons and he held a number of public offices, including those of Veterinary Inspector and Advisor to the Board of Agriculture, and Veterinary Inspector and Advisor to the City of Glasgow. He was influential in Glasgow becoming the first city in Britain introduce market meat inspections and to licence the city's dairies.


First published: 13 October 2008

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