Professor Martin Shirley, Director of the Institute for Animal Health since July 2006, has been awarded a CBE for Services to Science in the 2010 Queen’s Birthday Honours. His research on the protozoan parasite Eimeria, a major cause of poor health and performance in chickens, led him to develop the first attenuated live vaccine to control it. This is now used in over a billion chickens annually to reduce gut disease.
The IAH’s Professor Mark Stevens (pictured being filmed) stars in, and wrote the script for, a short film made by the BBC on the subject of the bacterium Escherichia coli O157. Although the guts of all of us contain types of E. coli that are harmless, the O157 type produces a toxin that can cause serious disease in people. The number of reported cases is only around 1000 each year but a small proportion of these can result in life-threatening kidney and blood damage.