University of Glasgow to take directorship of EPIC Centre of Excellence
The Scottish Government has today announced the re-commissioning of EPIC, the Pan-Scottish Centre of Expertise on Animal Disease Outbreaks. For the next 5 years EPIC will be led from the University of Glasgow by Professor Dominic Mellor, Professor of Epidemiology and Veterinary Public Health at the School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM).
The Centre receives £1.97m from the Scottish Government for their first year, as part of £48m announced today for funding into Scottish agriculture, food and environment research. In Glasgow, EPIC will be supported by researchers from SVM and the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine (IBAHCM). In addition to Dominic Mellor, EPIC will include Prof Rowland Kao, Drs Louise Matthews, Sibylle Mohr and Theo Pepler from the BAHCM and Dr Lisa Boden from the SVM.
From April 2016, the EPIC will be commissioned by RESAS (Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services) to provide top quality epidemiological and economic advice to the Scottish Government in preparation for and in response to, animal disease outbreaks. The consortium will flexibly occupy the continuum between applied, policy-responsive work and longer term, curiosity-driven research.
EPIC is a collaborative, interdisciplinary-research consortium comprising six major partner organizations: Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland, the University of Edinburgh/Roslin Institute, the University of Glasgow, the James Hutton Institute, the Moredun Research Institute and Scotland's Rural College.
Speaking of the announcement, Prof Mellor said:
Professor Dan Haydon, Director of the IBAHCM, said:
Over the last five years, EPIC’s mission has been to deliver the highest-quality scientific evidence to the Scottish Government. EPIC has fostered a unique and synergistic environment in which scientists who are expert in veterinary science, epidemiology, genetics, physics, mathematics, social science and economics can come together to respond to policy-relevant questions in ‘peace-time,’ as well as during animal disease emergencies.
The initiative also involves partnership with Scottish Government veterinarians, scientists and policy officials, as well as engagement with stakeholders and the public. This capitalizes on shared knowledge and expertise, and ensures that decisions for local action are based on robust evidence, which is fundamental to improving further the resilience of Scottish livestock industries.
Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said:
Find out more about some of our research in this sector:
- Case study: Risk-based surveillance and testing defines government policy on bovine tuberculosis
- Podcast: Prof Rowland Kao discusses 'Animal movements and risk', EPIC
- Working at the science-policy interface, Editorial by Dr Lisa Boden in The Veterinary Record
- ‘Supershedding’ cows could be the biggest cause of E. coli, Dr Louise Matthews in The Conversation
- Will farmers adopt of a new diagnostic blood test for sheep scab, Dr Louise Matthews
First published: 21 March 2016