Dr Kirstyn Brunker
- Research Associate (Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health & Comparative Medicine)
My research interests lie in the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases. My current research aims to exploit whole genome sequencing to uncover patterns of spread and persistence in viral pathogens, in my case rabies virus.
Rabies is a devastating and incurable disease with horrific clinical symptoms that have inspired a multitude of sci-fi/horror literature and film. But this very real disease still kills around 55,000 people every year in Africa and Asia despite being entirely preventable. The disease is maintained and transmitted primarily by domestic dogs, and for this reason patterns of viral dissemination are likely to be heavily influenced by human behaviour and ecology. Recent successful control programmes in South and Central America through large scale mass-vaccination of domestic dogs have demonstrated the feasibility of canine rabies elimination. However, rabies in Asia and Africa continues to escalate.
I am a STEM ambassador and regularly participate in Glasgow Science Festival engagement activities.
I have recently helped to develop a link between IBAHCM and United Glasgow FC, an organisation embracing diversity by bringing the community together through the common interest of football.
I worked as a research technician on a one year contract with Prof Graham Coombs and Dr Saskia Decuypere on the "Heterogeneity of antimonial resistant Leishmania donovani in natural populations" at the University of Strathclyde.
Grants and Awards listed are those received whilst working with the University of Glasgow.
- Moving from laboratory-based to real-time genomic surveillance of canine rabies virus in the field.
Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
2017 - 2017
- Tracing transmission pathways of endemic canine rabies (ISSF Catalyst)
2014 - 2015