Dr. Bryan Charleston, has been appointed as Institute Director for The Pirbright Institute, a world-leading centre for the prevention and control of viral diseases of livestock, which receives strategic investment from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).
With a background in veterinary medicine, Dr. Charleston is a leading expert in the study of foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV). His research focusses on the immune response to FMDV in cattle to develop new and improved vaccines and diagnostics. He joined The Pirbright Institute (formerly known as the Institute of Animal Health) in 1994 and provides advice and expertise on the design of effective vaccine testing models for a wide range of pathogens in important agricultural species. He will take up the post immediately.
The Pirbright Institute is a UK National Institute of Bioscience. It carries out pioneering research into a variety of high consequence livestock diseases and develops innovative vaccines and diagnostics for use in the UK and globally.
Dr. Bryan Charleston said: “I am honoured and delighted to have been given the opportunity to lead The Pirbright Institute. Pirbright provides the UK with its capability to control highly infectious diseases such as foot-and-mouth and bluetongue with a combination of fundamental research into host-virus interaction, development of new vaccines and advanced diagnostic testing.
“With its global reputation for excellence in research that improves animal health and fights disease, Pirbright helps protect the livelihoods of farmers and national economies around the world. I look forward to guiding the Institute to continued success and to strengthening our research collaborations at home and abroad”.
Professor Quintin McKellar, Chair of the Institute’s Trustee Board said: “I am very pleased to announce that Dr. Bryan Charleston has been appointed to the position of Institute Director on a permanent basis.
“Bryan has already demonstrated his leadership ability over the past 14 months as interim Director. He has played an integral role in the success of the Institute over the past 22 years, during which time he has become a world-leader on immune responses in cattle to foot-and-mouth disease virus. The Trustee Board is certain that his experience, collaborative approach to scientific research and high quality leadership will ensure an outstanding future for the Institute”.
Professor Melanie Welham, BBSRC Chief Executive, said, “I’m delighted that Dr Bryan Charleston will be leading The Pirbright Institute. The excellent research of the Institute is key to preventing livestock disease and improving welfare and so safeguarding agriculture in the UK and around the world”.
Notes to Editors
Dr. Charleston obtained his degree in veterinary medicine from the Royal Veterinary College, University of London in 1982. After a period of time working in large animal practice, he studied for a Masters degree in Molecular Biology at University College London in 1988. He gained his PhD as a Wellcome Trust Scholar, from the University of London in 1991.
He is chair of the Veterinary Vaccinology Network and is Finance Director for the Executive Committee of the Global Foot-and-Mouth Disease Research Alliance. Dr. Charleston succeeds Professor John Fazakerley, who stepped down from the role of Director in December 2015. Since then, Dr. Charleston, previously the Institute’s Director of Science, has been acting as interim Director.
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About The Pirbright Institute
The Pirbright Institute is a world leading centre of excellence in research and surveillance of virus diseases of farm animals and viruses that spread from animals to humans. Based in the UK and receiving strategic funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the Institute works to enhance capability to contain, control and eliminate these economically and medically important diseases through highly innovative fundamental and applied bioscience.
With an annual income of nearly £26.1 million from grants and commercial activity, and a total of £5 million strategic investment from BBSRC during 2016-2017, the Institute contributes to global food security and health, improving quality of life for animals and people.
For more information about The Pirbright Institute see: www.pirbright.ac.uk
The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.
Funded by Government, BBSRC invested £473 million in world leading bioscience, people and research infrastructure in 2015-16. We support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.
For more information about BBSRC, our science and our impact see: www.bbsrc.ac.uk
For more information about BBSRC strategically funded institutes see: www.bbsrc.ac.uk/institutes