INSPIRE Veterinary Ambassadors

INSPIRE Veterinary Ambassadors

Dr Pablo Murcia

Dr Pablo MurciaOpportunities
Opportunities to attend lab meetings, seminars, individual meetings; opportunities for the supervision of summer projects.

Main expertise/area of interest
Zoonotic Infections and Viral Emergence; Virus Pathogenesis.


Professor Sarah Cleaveland

Professor Sarah CleavelandOpportunities
Opportunities to meet with Sarah Cleaveland and other colleagues working on One Health, tropical veterinary medicine and wildlife conservation to discuss international research activities and career opportunities for vets. 

Opportunities to join special interest groups that might be of interest to vets e.g. Disease Ecology, Bacteriology, Diversity interest groups, as well as journal club activities and seminars, including activities organised through the Boyd Orr Centre for Population and Ecosystem Health and the Glasgow Centre for International Development.

Some opportunities for summer projects and work experience, although given financial, logistic and administrative challenges of setting up short-term work placements in Africa, these opportunities are likely to be limited to desk-based work on existing data, but might include work at the research/policy interface.  Potential opportunities for lab projects involving analyses of archived samples in collaboration with other centres and collaborating institutions.

Opportunities to support students in establishing contact networks for international veterinary work.

Main expertise/area of interest
One Health; Tropical Veterinary Medicine; Wildlife Conservation


Professor Massimo Palmarini

Professor Nicholas Jonsson

Professor Nicholas JonssonOpportunities
Lab-based and bioinformatics projects. Occasional possibilities of field-based projects. In the future we hope to be able to offer projects in the field in Botswana.

Sample projects:

  1. CD45 – PTPRC: PTPRC is a gene of importance for the regulation of immune response is highly polymorphic in cattle. We wish to determine the architecture of the gene, confirm the presence and frequencies of polymorphisms in the gene, propose an evolutionary history for the gene, and determine the extent to which variation in the gene is responsible for variation in immune responsiveness. The project will involve sequencing of defined areas of the gene, as suggested by NGS work that we have already conducted, followed by phylogenetic analysis.

  2. Octopamine/tyramine receptor and the beta-adrenergic octopamine receptor of the cattle ticks of subgenus Boophilus: The Boophilid ticks are of great economic importance and resistance to acaricides used for their control is increasingly common. Both the named receptors have been shown to be associated with resistance to amitraz, an otherwise very useful acaricide. We wish to confirm the presence of previously identified polymorphisms in the octopamine/tyramine receptor in samples from around the world, relate that to known acaricide resistance status, propose an evolutionary history for the genes, and determine the extent of genetic linkage between them. This project will involve sequencing of the octopamine/tyramine receptor and analysis of data.

  3. Differential gene expression in ruminal papillae of sheep and cattle after challenge with soluble carbohydrates: We wish to compare the gene expression of ruminal papillae of sheep and cattle before and after challenge with a heavy load of soluble carbohydrates to determine the extent to which sheep could be useful as a model for soluble carbohydrate overload in cattle. We have conducted the experiment and have the next generation sequencing (NGS) reads ready for analysis. This is a bioinformatics project in which the student will take a set of NGS reads through the analysis pipeline to identify genes that are differentially expressed in cattle and in sheep.

Main expertise/area of interest
Veterinary Parasitology; Ticks; Tick-Borne Disease; Genetics.


Professor Dominic Mellor

Professor Dominic MellorOpportunities
My time is divided between working for Health Protection Scotland (HPS)(equivalent to Scotland’s National Public Health agency) as a consultant on zoonoses and on antimicrobial resistance, and being Director of a multi-institution research programme called ‘EPIC: Scotland’s Centre of Expertise on Animal Disease Outbreaks’. Both can be described as ‘One Health’ initiatives.

The team at HPS is comprised of doctors, nurses, epidemiologists, statisticians and scientists specializing in public health.  The work involves 1) responding to outbreaks (almost exclusively of human infectious diseases) – identifying and interviewing cases about their exposure histories, and making decisions about what investigations to carry out and what interventions to make to prevent further cases; 2) working on projects to assess disease risks and develop evidence based guidance and support for the health service and for patients.  Opportunities here can exist for small numbers of students to attend planned topic specific meetings that discuss issues of zoonotic diseases and/or AMR.  It is potentially possible to run small desk based research projects that review evidence in support of policy decisions.

EPIC is concerned with providing scientific evidence to inform animal health policy at Scottish Government level, principally in response to and/or in mitigation against exotic notifiable animal disease outbreaks.  Again the work is epidemiological in focus, but draws on social science and is heavily influenced by the need to make the work relevant for policy, often with very short timescales.  Opportunities involve attendance at various scientifically focussed meetings, interactions with policy makers and government veterinarians, as well as the potential to run desk based projects developing evidence to inform policy.

In either component, the unique key skills development opportunities are exposure to decision making as it happens in terms of human and animal health policy as well as rapid and coherent summary of scientific evidence to inform policy decisions.

  • Individual meetings
  • Supervision of summer projects

Main expertise/area of interest
‘One Health’, Policy; Epidemiology; Communication.


Dr Tim Parkin

Dr Tim ParkinOpportunities
For anyone interested in epidemiology, evidence-based veterinary medicine, clinical research or veterinary public health I would be happy sit down and discuss career options. For those determined to follow an academic or research career path I would be happy to discuss the pros and cons of going into practice and using those long studied for clinical skills, before commencing further studies. I would also be happy to supervise summer students who are particularly interested in the analysis of large datasets to which I have access.

  • Individual meetings
  • Supervision of summer projects  

Main expertise/area of interest
My own particular areas of research are risk prediction in the sports horse, with a specific focus on fatal and non-fatal injury in the racehorse. My group has taken the epidemiology of sports horse injury from the identification of risk factors to the identification of horses ‘at risk’.


Professor Margaret Hosie

Professor Margaret HosieOpportunities
Currently working in the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research, I pursue my interests in feline virology, with projects on diagnostics and vaccine development.  My research has implications for improving feline welfare as well as having wider, comparative significance.  I encourage and support veterinary graduates wishing to pursue research careers and, to date, 5 of the 10 PhD projects that I have supervised to completion were conducted by veterinary graduates.  If students are considering research careers, I would be pleased to meet to discuss potential career paths and to help arrange laboratory placements so that students can gain experience of working in a research environment.

Main expertise/area of interest
Comparative feline virology; Diagnostics; Vaccination. 


Professor Rowland Kao

Professor Rowland KaoOpportunities
I lead a large research group (currently 11 members) with mixed backgrounds and skills including backgrounds in mathematics, physics, veterinary medicine, ecology, statistics and computer science) creating a diverse research environment. Students are welcome to come and discuss with me or any member of my group our areas of research, or research topics they are interested in, if they think our expertise is relevant. For students with appropriate quantitative or computational interests (and preferably some prior experience) we would be able to offer tailored projects and can also offer supervision of projects in which they have an interest, so long as our expertise is relevant.

  • Attend journal clubs

Main expertise/area of interest
Mathematical modelling; Epidemiology; Genomic data; Bovine Tuberculosis; Foot and mouth disease; Social Network Analysis


Professor Ruth Zadoks

Professor Ruth ZadoksOpportunities
Through the Institute for Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine and through the University-wide Special interest group in Bacterial Infectious Diseases (SIGBID) there are many opportunities to attend seminars related to bacterial, viral or vectorborne diseases that affect human health, livestock health or both. In the summer off 2017, we hope to open our new OHRBID laboratory at Garscube (One Health Research in Bacterial Infectious Disease). There, we will be able to offer students summer projects, and possibly access to journal clubs or lab meetings.

  • Journal clubs
  • Lab meetings
  • Opportunities for Individual meetings

Main expertise/area of interest
Livestock; Infectious disease; Molecular epidemiology; AMR; Food security


INSPIRE Biomedical Ambassadors

INSPIRE Biomedical Ambassadors

Professor Maureen Bain

Dr Collette Britton

Dr Collette BrittonOpportunities
Happy to show students round our lab facilities and explain what we do. In most years I have also  supervised Veterinary undergraduate summer projects.

Main expertise/area of interest
Parasite; Nematode; Vaccines; Drugs; Genes.


Professor Eileen Devaney

Dr Julia Edgar

Professor Neil Evans

Professor Neil EvansOpportunities
Our laboratory welcomes students who wish to gain research experience wither during term time or during vacations. In addition we are happy to host intercalated MSc students.

Main expertise/area of interest
Neuroendocrinology; Toxicology; Stress; Welfare; Gender Dysphoria; Puberty.


Dr Annette MacLeod

Dr Louise Matthews

Dr Dorothy McKeegan

Dr Dorothy McKeeganOpportunities
There are opportunities to meet with Dr McKeegan to discuss her research and relevant topics in animal welfare and veterinary ethics. Summer project supervision is also occasionally available; contact Dr McKeegan to discuss possibilities.

  • Individual meetings
  • Supervision of summer projects

Main expertise/area of interest
Animal Welfare; Behaviour; Veterinary Ethics; Avian; Poultry.


Professor Peter O'Shaughnessy

Professor Peter O'ShaughnessyProf O’Shaughnessy’s group are interested in development with a particular emphasis on male reproduction and how it might be affected by maternal lifestyle. This “fetal programming” is likely to be fundamental to understanding health problems in the mature and ageing population. Most of the work is related to the human or uses mouse models to try to understand basic mechanisms of development. There are opportunities to meet with Prof O’Shaughnessy and other members of the group to discuss their research or any other work which is relevant.

Main expertise/area of interest
Development; Reproduction; Fetal Programming.


Professor Brian Shiels

Professor Brian Willett