£1.3M India-UK Collaboration in Farmed Animal Health and Disease

Issued: Thu, 14 Nov 2013 23:12:00 GMT

The University of Glasgow has been granted over £1.3 million in India-UK Collaboration funding for research into Farmed Animal Health and Disease.

Sir Mark Walport, the UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser, announced the award during a visit to India. The research projects aim to tackle major livestock diseases which threaten food security in the UK and globally.

£6.5M has been awarded by the UK’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), with matched funding from India’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT), for collaborative research projects between universities and research institutes in both countries. It is the first international call on animal health for DBT and covers many important livestock species.

Science Minister David Willetts said: "In the face of a rapidly growing global population, it is vital that we work together to find innovative solutions to animal diseases and global food security. This significant £13 million investment is ensuring this important work can take place and supports the Government's wider Agri-Tech strategy. This is helping UK businesses, including farmers, make the best use of new technologies and techniques to meet the needs of consumers and food producers worldwide, as well as contributing to economic growth."

Professor Jackie Hunter, BBSRC Chief Executive said: “Livestock health is a huge global problem, impacting on the economy and food security. These projects will enable collaboration and shared knowledge in a bid to create novel control measures and technologies to combat infectious diseases that devastate farms in the UK and India.”

Anton Muscatelli, Principal and Vice Chancellor said “The University of Glasgow is delighted that three of our projects have been successful in the current round of BBSRC-DBT UK-India research funding. Together with our partners in India, this funding will enable us to tackle some of the global challenges facing livestock health. More generally, it reaffirms the determination in the University of Glasgow to expand our strategic collaborations with India.  These outstanding research projects will further deepen our excellent research partnerships for the mutual benefit of our two countries and food security around the world.”

The University of Glasgow has been awarded three grants totalling just over £1.3M.

The projects include: creating biosensors for infectious reproductive diseases of cattle and the molecular epidemiology of ticks and tick-borne disease.

The announcement was made as a part of Sir Mark Walport's keynote address during RCUK India's fifth anniversary celebrations in New Delhi. These new projects form a part of the £150-million strong UK-India research portfolio that RCUK India has facilitated since 2008.

Projects funded through the £13M Farmed Animal Health and Disease fund include:

  • Development of multiplexed diagnostic biosensor for infectious reproductive diseases of cattle and buffaloes       
    • Jonathan Cooper, University of Glasgow, and Pallab Chaudhuri, Indian Veterinary Research Institute
  • Molecular epidemiology of ticks and tick-borne disease, host resistance and development of novel pathogen vaccines  
    • Brian Shiels, University of Glasgow, and Sunil Kolte, Nagpur Veterinary College
  • Hsp90 as a modulator of pathogenicity, virulence and transmission in veterinary infections caused by Theileria and Babesia species  
    • Eileen Devaney, University of Glasgow, and Utpal Tatu, Indian Institute of Science