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Research News

Call for Paradigm Shift in Avian Influenza risk management

7 April 2014

Professor Dirk Pfeiffer, with Joachim Otte of the FAO, has produced a new Research Brief for the Animal Production and Health Commission for Asia and the Pacific, to highlight the need for natural scientists working in risk analysis to involve others to ensure balanced assessments of all factors – epidemiological, environmental and socio-economic – that drive risk of avian influenza.

The piece calls for animal health policy making to recognise human behaviour as a key issue in viral spread, so that policies support modification of practices associated with risk rather than driving them underground.

Read the research brief: Managing Avian Influenza Risk, the Need for a Paradigm Shift (PDF)

Photogrammetry used to reconstruct a 3D model of dinosaur trackways

3 April 2014

Scientists from the Royal Veterinary College have used freely available software to bring a significant paleontological site back to life in new research published in the journal PLOS ONE (3 April 2014).

Falkingham PL, Bates KT, Farlow JO (2014) Historical Photogrammetry: Bird's Paluxy River Dinosaur Chase Sequence Digitally Reconstructed as It Was prior to Excavation 70 Years Ago. PLoS ONE 9(4): e93247.

Read the Press Release: New technique brings previously lost paleontological sites back to life

HBLB Grant awarded: “Nature versus nurture: modelling environmental and genetic contributions to risk of racecourse injury in UK Thoroughbreds”

26 March 2014

The Royal Veterinary College has been awarded a project grant of £199,115, led by Dr Kristien Verheyen with the assistance of Dr Ruby Chang, to investigate environmental and genetic contributions to injury risk in British flat racing. More....

European PCV2 Research Award awarded to Professor Dirk Werling

20 March 2014

The European Porcine Circovirus (PCV2) Research Award is an annual award sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim that recognizes research proposals in the area of applied immunological PCV2 research. This year three awards, each with a value of € 25,000 were made, one of which we are pleased to announce was awarded to RVC's Professor Dirk Werling. More...

New video from Reuters TV: Scientists seek vaccine for deadly East Coast fever

18 March 2014

Watch this good, short (2-minute) film by Jim Drury of Reuters TV about an international group of scientists is developing a vaccine to combat deadly East Coast fever, a disease that decimates cattle herds in 12 countries of sub-Saharan Africa. The scientists believe the vaccine could also help malaria and cancer research.

To watch the video and read more about this project see Improved vaccines for the control of East Coast fever in cattle in Africa (6 February 2014).

Post Weaning Multisystemic Wasting Syndrome

14 March 2014

Research led by the Royal Veterinary College, and published on 11 March 2014 in the journal PLoS One, has generated valuable insights into a disease that strikes a large number of animals and costs farmers millions of pounds.

Mavrommatis B, Offord V, Patterson R, Watson M, Kanellos T, Steinbach F, Grierson S, Werling D.(2014). Global Gene Expression Profiling of Myeloid Immune Cell Subsets in Response to In Vitro Challenge with Porcine Circovirus 2b. PLoS ONE 9(3): e91081 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0091081

Read the News Update: New research into Post Weaning Multisystemic Wasting Syndrome

Controlling enteric pathogens of poultry: Host/microbiota interactions, risk assessment and effective management interventions

24 February 2014

A research consortium led by RVC's Dr Damer Blake has recently been awarded £630k by BBSRC and the Indian Department of Biotechnology for the study ‘Controlling enteric pathogens of poultry: Host/microbiota interactions, risk assessment and effective management interventions’. More...

PhD studentship awarded to investigate the role of tonsillar dendritic cells in classical swine fever infection

18 February 2014

Prof Dirk Werling has recently been awarded a PhD studentship together with Dr Simon Graham (AHVLA Weybridge), to investigate the role of tonsillar dendritic cells in Classical Swine Fever (CSF) infection. More...

Proteomic analysis of tendon reveals disease stage-specific fragmentation of extracellular matrix proteins.

12 February 2014

In a series of articles, researchers in the Tendon Biology group at the RVC have established the importance of inflammatory mediators in acute tendon disease and the reduced ability to resolve inflammation in chronic disease and in older individuals. In their most recent study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, Dr Stephanie Dakin from the group and collaborators at the University of Lund, Sweden, investigated the subtle protein cleavages induced by inflammation in normal and injured equine flexor tendons using a proteomics approach. More...

RVC involved in European consortium working on "KOlimastIR: Controlling the impact of Escherichia coli mastitis through modulation of immune responses"

07 February 2014

Prof Dirk Werling is leading the RVC work as part of a wider European consortium involving partners from INRA (France), University of Ghent (Belgium), Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel) and Zoetis Animal Health, and led by the University of Glasgow, funded through the EMIDA-ANIHWA call.

The project, entitled “KOlimastIR: Controlling the impact of Escherichia coli mastitis through modulation of immune responses", is worth €1.712.738 and investigates new methods to control E.coli mastitis. More...

Improved vaccines for the control of East Coast fever in cattle in Africa

06 February 2014

The RVC (through Professor Dirk Werling) is involved in a multi-national program grant entitled “Improved vaccines for the control of East Coast fever in cattle in Africa”. This project was initially jointly led by the late Professor Declan McKeever and Professor Werling and the RVC is proud to continue taking forward this important project despite Professor McKeever’s recent sad death.

The grant, worth nearly $15 Million, is funded through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Normal Borlaug Commemorative Research Initiative (NBCRI) of Feed the Future and the CGIAR Research Programme on Livestock and Fish. More...

HBLB Project Grant awarded - “Early Detection of Musculoskeletal Injury in the Thoroughbred through Monitoring of Movement Symmetry”

04 February 2014

The Royal Veterinary College in collaboration with the Singapore Turf Club has just received funding of £187k from the Horserace Betting Levy Board and the Racing Foundation to conduct a two-year project into the use of state-of-the-art inertial sensor based gait analysis techniques for the prediction of impending injuries to the musculoskeletal system in racing Thoroughbreds. More...

Canine experts prioritise pet dog welfare issues in Great Britain

3 February 2014

A study, by The Royal Veterinary College, published on 3rd Feb 2014 in the scientific journal Animal Welfare, reveals the highest priority welfare issues impacting companion dogs in Great Britain, as ranked by a panel of independent experts.

The report will be helpful in determining where future resources can most cost-effectively be targeted by stakeholders, to bring about the greatest improvement.

BUCKLAND, E.L., CORR, S., ABEYESINGHE, S. M., & WATHES, C. M. (2014) Prioritisation of companion dog welfare issues using expert consensus. Animal Welfare 23 (1): 39-46. http://dx.doi.org/10.7120/09627286.23.1.039

Read the Press Release: Canine experts prioritise pet dog welfare issues in Great Britain

New Arthritis Research UK grant awarded to the RVC: Adjustable in vivo joint loading to identify the mechanical drivers of osteoarthritis

30 January 2014

Professor Andy Pitsillides has been awarded a new grant by Arthritis Research UK to work on "Adjustable in vivo joint loading to identify the mechanical drivers of osteoarthritis". More...

Results from multi-country Bovine Neonatal Pancytopenia (BNP) study published in PLoS One

20 January 2014

Bovine neonatal pancytopenia (BNP) first emerged as a novel disease syndrome in 2007; initially in Germany, and soon afterwards in several other European countries including the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, France and Belgium.

In 2010 a consortium of veterinary researchers from France (ONIRIS from Nantes), Germany (LMU from Munich), Belgium (Ghent University) and the Netherlands (Utrecht University and GD Animal Health) under the leadership of Prof. Dirk Pfeiffer of the Veterinary Epidemiology, Economics and Public Health Group at the Royal Veterinary College, London, conducted a case-control study (funded by Pfizer Animal Health) to investigate risk factors for BNP at the level of the individual calf. Results from this study have recently been published in PLoS One. More...

RVC are partners in a consortium awarded a major EU grant to study the interaction between genes and environment in dairy cows

16 January 2014

An RVC team consisting of Professors Claire Wathes and Dirk Werling together with Drs Geoff Pollott, Zhangrui Cheng and Ali Fouladi are part of a successful consortium which has just been awarded EU funding. The consortium has 17 academic and industry partners from 7 EU states together with the USA and China. It is led by Professor Mark Crowe of University College, Dublin and will run for 5 years. The total value is just under €9 million, of which the RVC will receive €707,000. More...

New research proves that birds in V formation arrange themselves in aerodynamically optimum positions

15 January 2014

Nature coverGroundbreaking Royal Veterinary College research, which appears on the front cover of the journal Nature, proves for the first time that birds flying in a distinctive V formation strategically position themselves in aerodynamically optimum positions, and experience positive aerodynamic interactions that maximise upwash (“good air”) capture.

The data, captured from free-flying migrating birds using specially developed GPS technology, reveals novel mechanisms by which birds flying in V formation can both use areas of beneficial upwash while avoiding regions of detrimental downwash (“bad air”).

The full scientific account of the study and the findings, along with the data and the collar technology, have been published in the journal Nature: “Upwash exploitation and downwash avoidance by flap phasing in ibis formation flight” Portugal, S.J., Hubel, T.Y., Fritz, J., Heese, S., Trobe, D., Voelkl, B., Hailes, S., Wilson, A.M. & Usherwood, J.R. (doi:10.1038/nature12939)

See Press Release and Animal behaviour study 3: V Flight formation in migratory Ibises for more information.

VetCompass unravels longevity and mortality in dogs

19 December 2013

Improved understanding of longevity represents a significant welfare opportunity for the domestic dog, given the unparalleled morphological diversity of dogs. Research undertaken by the RVC has highlighted major breed differences for longevity and supports the concept of hybrid vigour in dogs. More..

Interactive Visualisation of a Quantitative Analysis of the Caseload in First Opinion Veterinary Practice

19 December 2013

The RVC has been awarded a RCVS Knowledge grant for £5000 to develop an interactive web site to report results from VetCompass. The new project will build on ongoing developments within VetCompass and allow visual representation of key prevalence results from the project. More...

New BBSRC/ANIHWA grant awarded - Improved Understanding of Epidemiology of PPR (IUEPPR)

13 December 2013

IUEPPR is an exciting new seminal research project on Peste-des-petits ruminants virus (PPRV), a negative strand RNA virus, belonging to Morbillivirus genus in the family Paramyxoviridae. It causes a devastating disease in domestic sheep and goats leading to serious economic losses in the small ruminant industry and a threat to camels in many developing countries and also can impact endangered wildlife species populations especially, the mountain caprinae and gazellinae families. More...

New study into the equine muscle disorder: tying up

12 December 2013

Charlotte Maile has been awarded a 2 year Morris Animal Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship to continue her research into equine exertional myopathies, better known as ‘tying up’. More...

New EU FP7 grant award for the RVC

11 December 2013

The continuing growth of the world population translates into a demand for animal protein that requires technological advances in farming, and is accompanied by intensification of livestock production and expansion of farmed land. This situation, combined with an increasing international trade of animals and their products, facilitates the rapid spread of infectious animal diseases across borders and the emergence of new pathogens. China has a particularly important role in this context, due to its comparatively high economic growth and resulting increasing demand for meat amongst its human population. It is in fact the world’s largest livestock producer and consumer, with pig and poultry meat being the most consumed meats. Significant research are required to deal with infectious pathogen threats, including those aimed at improving our understanding of their spread (epidemiology) and the development of better diagnostics for disease detection and surveillance.

The LinkTADs project (Linking Epidemiology and Laboratory Research on Transboundary Animal Diseases and zoonoses in China and EU) will provide research institutions in the European Union (EU) and China with an opportunity to network and coordinate their research so that duplication can be avoided and synergies can be exploited. The project is funded by the EU’s Seventh Framework programme (for €145,212.00 EUR) and RVC’s Veterinary Epidemiology, Economics and Public Health Group leads a comparative assessment of animal health priorities and is involved in the epidemiology training component of the project.

RVC team wins at Biotech YES competition

10 December 2013

A team from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) has won an award for innovation in a prestigious biotechnology competition.

The team scooped the award with their company 'Bio-Rilliant' and their concept pet microchip tracking product in the Biotechnology YES finals, held in London on 2 December 2013. More.....

RVC researcher involved in the discovery of a new species

29 November 2013

RVC researcher Dr Julian Drewe, in collaboration with colleagues in South Africa, has discovered a new species of bacterium that causes tuberculosis (TB). The discovery is reported in the December 2013 issue of the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases. More....

RVC study provides large-scale analysis of blood cells in dog breeds

27 November 2013

A Royal Veterinary College study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, provides the first ever large-scale analysis of blood cell parameters in different dog breeds.

See press release: RVC study provides large-scale analysis of blood cells in dog breeds

Lawrence, J; Chang, YM; Szladovits, B; Davison, LJ; Garden, OA (2013)
Breed-Specific Hematological Phenotypes in the Dog: A Natural Resource for the Genetic Dissection of Hematological Parameters in a Mammalian Species.
PLoS One

New grant to investigate livestock value chains link with maternal and child nutrition in Nairobi, Kenya.

05 November 2013

The RVC in collaboration with Dr Kathleen Colverson (International Livestock Research Institute), Prof Eric Fèvre (University of Liverpool), and Dr Elaine Ferguson (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) have been awarded a grant from the CGIAR Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) Research Program (“Enhancing nutrition in value chains activities” component) for the study: "Investigation of the relationship between livestock value chains and nutritional status of women and children: a pilot study in Kenya”.

This one year seed project aims to investigate the relationship between consumers’ access to and use of different food sources and their nutritional status. It makes use of synergies with an ongoing interdisciplinary MRC-ESEI funded project called “Epidemiology, Ecology and Socio-Economics of Disease Emergence in Nairobi”, which investigates how new diseases develop and spread in an urban environment. More...

H7N9 virus - RVC researchers comment in the Lancet Journal on Live Poultry Markets closures in China and the impact on the H7N9 virus

31 October 2013

Avian influenza A(H7N9) virus was first reported to infect humans earlier this year in China. After the isolation of the virus from poultry in live poultry markets (LPMs), and reports that several people who were infected with the virus had visited such markets a few days before disease onset, LPMs were suspected to be a main source of human exposure to H7N9 in China. LPM closure was subsequently enforced in several Chinese cities.

In a comment in the Lancet, Dr Guillaume Fournié and Professor Dirk Pfeiffer discuss the impact of epidemiological and socioeconomic factors that may have coincided with LPM closure, and the relevance of this intervention if outbreaks were to occur again in China or in neighbouring countries. More...

RVC academic appointed to BBSRC Committee and Pool of Experts

23 October 2013

Dr Michelangelo Campanella has been selected to become a member of the BBSRC Committee and Pool of Experts, from January 2014 until 2020. This is in recognition of his international profile in the field of mitochondrial and cell biology. He joins 5 RVC academics currently serving on BBSRC strategic and grant awarding committees

RVC Professor invited to join BBSRC TRDF 2 Panel

22 October 2013

Professor Dirk Werling has been appointed to serve on the panel that will assess applications to the second call of BBSRC’s Tools and Resources Development Fund (TRDF) for bioinformatics tools and computational approaches to the biosciences.

A win for the RVC at Biotechnology YES

18 October 2013

Congratulations to the RVC team of David Killick, Andrea Pollard, Andrew Lessey and Francesca Soutter, who have won this year’s Biotechnology YES semi-final with their company “Bio-Rilliant” and their concept pet microchip tracking product. More.....

New BBSRC (Animal Health Research Club) grant awarded to Dr Damer Blake

11 October 2013

Dr Damer Blake has been awarded £340k by the BBSRC for the following study: "Understanding resistance and differential vaccine responses to Eimeria in the chicken - novel biomarkers and genetic control".

This will be a collaborative project, working with Prof Pete Kaiser and colleagues from the Roslin Research Institute to map sequences within the chicken genome that associate with innate resistance or susceptibility to eimerian infection, offering opportunities to improve resistance of poultry to infectious disease. More....

NEAT - Networking to enhance the use of economics in animal health education, policy making and research in Europe and beyond- First annual meeting, 10-11 September 2013

09 October 2013

80 people from all over the world participated in the First NEAT Annual Network Meeting hosted and coordinated by the RVC in London from 10-11 September 2013. NEAT partners were joined by people interested in improving educational material on the use of economics of animal health. More.....

RVC Researcher wins the George Stephenson Gold Medal

04 October 2013

Congratulations to Dr Nathan Phillips for winning the George Stephenson Gold Medal, awarded by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers for the best original paper published by the Institution during the previous year: "Effect of flapping kinematics on the mean lift of an insect‐like flapping wing". More.....

New AKC Canine Health Foundation award to investigate Inflammatory Bowel Disease in German Shepherd Dogs

02 October 2013

RVC scientist, Dr Karin Allenspach, has been awarded a grant of £73k by AKC Canine Health Foundation to do investigations into the Genetic basis of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in German Shepherd Dogs using a Genome-Wide Association Study. More...

Joint RVC/Animal Health Trust/Cambridge University Veterinary School article receives tribute from Equine Veterinary Journal

26 September 2013

An article by Dr Jackie Cardwell, has been selected by the Equine Veterinary Journal as being one of the most clinically relevant to appear on their Early View section this month.

As a result, a synopsis of the article has been circulated to equine practitioners via the British Equine Veterinary Association's e-News and also sent to other organisations such as the American Association of Equine Practitioners. The article will also be free to all users online for the next 8–10 weeks. More...

RVC imaging team uses state-of the art portable x-ray equipment to establish a novel radiographic technique for elephants suffering from foot problems

20 September 2013

Foot problems are the most common health issues in captive elephants and can result in euthanasia in advanced stages. It is hence vital to detect foot problems as early as possible to initiate the appropriate treatment. Radiography is the only practical imaging technique possible in these big animals and the RVC imaging team has used its state-of the art digital radiography system to develop a standardised radiographic technique for elephants in collaboration with the Zoological Society London. Further details available here.

New research finds that enzyme is absent in Crohn’s disease sufferers

17 September 2013

Royal Veterinary College researcher Dr David Bishop-Bailey, alongside collaborators from University College London, Queen Mary University London, the University of Umeå and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences / National Institutes of Health have discovered that an enzyme which helps immune cells to clear infections caused by bacteria appears to be absent in patients suffering from Crohn’s disease. Further details here.

Vaccinating cattle against E. coli O157 could cut human cases of infection by 85%, say scientists

16 September 2013

The bacteria, which cause severe gastrointestinal illness and even death in humans, are spread by consuming contaminated food and water, or by contact with livestock faeces in the environment. Cattle are the main reservoir for the bacterium.

See press release: Vaccinating cattle against E.coli

Two new grants from PetPlan

13 September 2013

The RVC have been awarded two new grants from PetPlan.

Dr Simon Priestnall along with collaborators at the Animal Health Trust, University of Nottingham, Sanger Centre and Anglia Ruskin University, have been awarded £76,701 by PetPlan for the project "Improved diagnosis and epidemiological understanding of Streptococcus zooepidemicus in dogs". Further details available here.

Dr Judy Mitchell and Professor Joe Brownlie, have been awarded a PetPlan Grant to work on ‘The prevalence, strain variation and tropism of canine pneumovirus’. The amount awarded is £75,000 over 2 years. Further details available here.

The contribution of local animal populations to human drug-resistant Salmonella infections may previously have been overstated

12 September 2013

Genomic study shows that Salmonella populations in humans and animals living side by side are more different than expected.

See press release: Salmonella infections

Jurassic jaws: how ancient crocodiles flourished during the age of the dinosaurs

11 September 2013

RVC research has revealed the hidden past of crocodiles, showing for the first time how these fierce reptiles evolved and survived in a dinosaur dominated world.

See press release: Jurassic jaws

Stubbs, T; Pierce, S; Rayfield, E; Anderson, P.
Morphological and biomechanical disparity of crocodile-line archosaurs following the end-Triassic extinction
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: doi:10.1098/rspb.2013.1940

RVC study tackles the controversial topic of global foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) economic impact

27 August 2013

In the UK we are painfully aware of the impact of FMD outbreaks in countries where the disease is not normally present. But much of the global FMD burden falls on the world’s poorest communities, and those which are most dependent upon the health of their livestock.

A study by Theodore Knight-Jones and Jonathan Rushton estimates that the annual impact of FMD in terms of visible production losses and vaccination in endemic regions of the world alone amount to between US$6.5 and $21 billion. In addition, outbreaks in FMD-free countries and zones cause losses of in excess of US$1.5 billion a year.

The study, The economic impacts of foot and mouth disease – What are they, how big are they and where do they occur? has been published in Preventive Veterinary Medicine.

Knight-Jones, TJD; Rushton, J.
The economic impacts of foot and mouth disease – What are they, how big are they and where do they occur?.

RVC Professor appointed member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the German Institute of Risk Assessment

22 August 2013

Professor Katharina Staerk has been appointed as a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BFR) in Germany. This appointment is for 4 years.

In total, 15 scientists from various universities and non-university research establishments advise the BfR. They mainly come from the fields of food chemistry and technology, food safety, food hygiene and toxicology. The disciplines of psychology, philosophy and education research are also represented.

The Scientific Advisory Board advises the institute on the definition of its core fields of research to help it perform its research remit and on all scientific questions of risk assessment and risk communication. It also facilitates contacts and cooperation between the BfR and other research establishments in Germany and abroad, advises the institute on appointments to the BfR committees and supports the BfR in specialist issues relating to its communication with the relevant supervisory ministries. The BfR reports to the German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection.

Longer ‘sausage dogs’ are at risk of slipped discs

24 July 2013

  • New research finds that smaller, fatter dogs with longer backs are at greater risk of slipped discs, which can cause debilitating pain and paralysis.
  • Short-legged dwarf dogs are affected, including Dachshunds, Pekingese, Shih Tzus, Basset Hounds and dwarf cross breeds

Long-and-low dwarf breeds are prone to painful and debilitating slipped discs, and a new study from the RVC published on 24th July 2013 in the journal PLoS ONE, reveals that dogs with longer backs relative to their legs are in more danger of this happening. This means that breeding dogs to be longer in the body and shorter in the leg is putting them at risk.

See press release: Longer ‘sausage dogs’ are at risk of slipped discs

Packer, RMA; Hendricks, A; Volk, HA; Shihab, NK; Burn, C.
How Long and Low Can You Go? Effect of Conformation on the Risk of Thoracolumbar Intervertebral Disc Extrusion in Domestic Dogs.
PLoS One (2013), 8;7:e69650.

Paleo-robotics and the Innovations of Propulsion in Amphibians – PIPA

23 July 2013

Dr Chris Richards has been awarded a five year ERC starting grant to find the‘missing links’ between major vertebrate lineages to explain the origin of new groups. The research aims to clarify our understanding of limb evolution, resolve long-standing evolutionary questions and discover general principles that will ultimately advance limbed robotics and prosthetics engineering.

Aiming to bridge gaps in both evolution and biomechanics, Dr Richards will use a combination muscle physiology experiments, computational modelling and innovative muscle-controlled paleo-robots to hypothetically ‘replay’ the anatomical and physiological transformations of frog evolution, to investigate a long-standing mystery: how did musculoskeletal transformations drive the origin and radiation of frogs? Dr Richards will be joining the RVC's Structure & Motion Laboratory from Harvard to undertake this research.

Dr Richards is one of 287 top scientists who have been selected to receive this award, which is the last competition to be held under the EU's Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7). This funding enables early career researchers such as Dr Richards to develop their best, innovative ideas across the European Research Area (ERA).

RVC research featured on BBSRC news page - PMWS Calculator counts the cost of pig disease

10 July 2013

Results from research carried out by BBSRC funded RVC scientists has been featured on the BBSRC news page: http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/news/food-security/2013/130709-n-cost-of-pig-disease.aspx. This article highlights how the researchers (including Professor Dirk Werling and Dr Pablo Alarcon), who have been studying post-weaning multi-systemic wasting syndrome (PMWS), devised the PMWS calculator to allow farmers to see just how much the disease, present in 99% of pig farms, has cost them.

The calculator can be found at: www.bpex.org.uk/articles/303060

New grant from Animal Welfare Foundation to work on developing a diagnostic test for laminitis predisposition

09 July 2013

Dr Nicola Menzies-Gow has been awarded a grant of £42k by the Animal Welfare Foundation to work on developing a diagnostic test for laminitis predisposition. Further details about what the project will involve is available here.

RVC collaborates with European Commission for the Control of Foot and Mouth Disease to produce an online learning environment

03 July 2013

The RVC has recently entered into a new collaboration with the European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (EuFMD). The EuFMD is a commission of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), specialising in supporting member countries in the European region to prevent outbreaks of foot and mouth disease (FMD). Part of the EuFMD’s role is to provide training in diagnosis, epidemiology and control of the disease to veterinarians and stakeholders from member states, and further afield.

The EuFMD will collaborate with the RVC’s e-Media and Distance Learning departments to develop and evaluate a new online learning environment that will deliver innovative online learning courses to veterinarians around the world. Further details available here.

RVC involved in EU ERA-NET ANIHWA grant

03 July 2013

A group of international researchers, including Professor Richard Kock, Professor Dirk Pfeiffer and Bryony Jones from the RVC, have been awarded a grant by the EU ERA-NET ANIHWA scheme entitled: Improved understanding of the epidemiology of peste-des-petits ruminants (PPR) IUEPPR. Further details about what the project will involve are available here.

Aim to introduce a global strategy to control Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD)

02 July 2013

A recently published review involving wildlife expert Professor Richard Kock from the RVC, has identified the need to re-evaluate livestock sector development, ensuring other non-domestic species and ecosystem services of economic importance are considered in strategies in disease control and rangeland landscape management strategies in Africa for example Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) but also TB and others. Further details are available here.

Research shows that the innate immune system differs between species

27 June 2013

In a series of articles, the Molecular Immunology group at the RVC has shown that the innate immune system differs between species. Further details available here.

Research Award to RVC researcher

24 June 2013

The 2013 Society for Comparative Endocrinology Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Knowledge Concerning Small Animal Endocrinology has been granted to Stijn Niessen at this year’s ACVIM annual conference in Seattle.

The award was given specifically for the publication:

Niessen, SJ; Fernandez-Fuente, M; Mahmoud, A; Campbell, SC; Aldibbiat, A; Huggins, C; Brown, AE; Holder, A; Piercy, RJ; Catchpole, B; Shaw, JA; Church, DB.
Novel diabetes mellitus treatment: mature canine insulin production by canine striated muscle through gene therapy.

RVC PhD student awarded a Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship

24 June 2013

Congratulations to Raphaelle Metras, a RVC PhD student, who has been awarded a Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship. This fellowship scheme provides a unique opportunity for the most promising newly qualified postdoctoral researchers to make an early start in developing their independent research careers, working in the best laboratories in the UK and overseas.

Raphaelle will be working on the following project: ‘Studying drivers of arboviral emergence: the case of Rift Valley fever in Mayotte’

Her host institution will be LSHTM and the research team that she will be working with is:

Sponsor: Prof. John Edmunds (LSHTM)

Research Sponsor: Dr Eric Cardinale (CIRAD)

Mentor: Prof. Matt Keeling (Warwick)

New grant from the Batten Disease Family Association

14 June 2013

Dr Claire Russell has been awarded a grant of £13.5k to purchase DanioVision equipment with co-Principal Investigator Professor Robert Harvey from the UCL School of Pharmacy. Further details available here.

Groundbreaking RVC research shows wild cheetah reaching speeds of up to 58mph during a hunt

13 June 2013

Nature coverResearchers at the Royal Veterinary College have captured the first detailed information on the hunting dynamics of the wild cheetah in its natural habitat. Using an innovative GPS and motion sensing collar that they designed, Professor Alan Wilson and his team were able to record remarkable speeds of up to 58mph.

The results, from the team at the Royal Veterinary College’s Structure & Motion Laboratory, are published today (13 June 2013) in Nature and are also featured on the journal’s cover.

The full scientific account of the study and the findings, along with the data and the collar technology, have been published in the journal Nature: “Locomotion dynamics of hunting in wild cheetahs” A. M. Wilson, J. C. Lowe, K. Roskilly, P. E. Hudson, K. A. Golabek & J. W. McNutt (doi:10.1038/nature12295)

See Press Release and Dynamics and Energetics of Hunting in the Cheetah for more information.

The Secret Life of the Cat

Broadcast: Horizon, BBC2, 9.00pm, Thursday 13 June 2013
(Follow-up programme 10.00pm, Friday 14 June 2013)

Tune in to BBC2 this Thursday evening, to find out what your cat really gets up to when it leaves the cat flap.

In a groundbreaking experiment, carried out by researchers at the Royal Veterinary College, 50 cats from a village in Surrey are tagged with GPS collars and their every movement is recorded, day and night, as they hunt in our backyards and patrol the garden fences and hedgerows.

Cats are fitted with specially developed cat-cams which reveal their unique view of our world.

You may think you understand your pet, but their secret life is more surprising than we thought.

See: The Secret Life of the Cat for more information.

RVC awarded a cross-college LIDC fellowship grant

04 June 2013

The RVC were awarded a LIDC fellowship grant as part of a cross-college team, at the LIDC Bi-Annual Conference on 23 May. The funding is intended as seed money to support new interdisciplinary research projects in international development across Bloomsbury Colleges.

The London International Development Centre (LIDC) launched its new Fellowship Scheme in February 2013 with a view to supporting new collaborative research in international development between academics from at least two different Bloomsbury Colleges – LIDC members (Birkbeck, Institute of Education, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, SOAS and Royal Veterinary College).

The RVC's successful application was ‘Does land use change influence macaque behaviour and interactions with humans: implications for infectious disease transmission’ and the team consists of Dr Kimberly Fornace (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine), Dr. Julian Drewe and Dr. Martha Betson.

The projects are expected to start this spring. A new round of Fellowships funding will be announced in early 2014.

See also RVC news Press Release.

Prospects for Emerging Infections in East and Southeast Asia 10 years after Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome

24 May 2013

A review involving the RVC, that has recently been published, has looked at whether the East and South East Asia have developed an improved capability for predicting, identifying and controlling biologic threats since severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) emerged 10 years ago.

Further details available here.

Zoonosis emergence linked to agricultural intensification and environmental change

20 May 2013

In collaboration with the International Livestock Research Institute in Nairobi, the Royal Veterinary College has been involved in a systematic review to qualitatively analyze best available scientific evidence on the effect of agricultural intensification and environmental changes on the risk of zoonoses for which there are epidemiological interactions between wildlife and livestock. Results of this study have been published in PNAS - please see here for further information.

Chronic Kidney Disease in Dogs in UK Veterinary Practices: Prevalence, Risk Factors, and Survival

14 May 2013

A new study conducted by RVC researchers has been published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. The aim of the study was to estimate the prevalence and identify risk factors associated with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) diagnosis and survival in dogs. Further details available here.

New Marie Curie Actions Grant awarded to RVC: Can biomechanical measurements of joints predict severity of osteoarthritis?

13 May 2013

A new Marie Curie Actions Grant has been awarded to Professor Andrew Pitsillides and Dr Yu-Mei Chang. For further details about the project please see here.

Dogs Trust Canine Welfare Award for the RVC

10 May 2013

The RVC has been awarded a Dogs Trust Canine Welfare Grant for a project entitled ‘Evidence-based prioritization of canine inherited diseases’. The project is in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Cambridge and Queen’s University Belfast and combines ongoing data collection within the VetCompass project (www.rvc.ac.uk/VetCompass) with welfare scoring of major canine conditions. By harnessing expertise in primary practice data collection and the impact of disease on animal welfare, the project will progress and re-focus the priorities for improving canine health. See here for further details.

Small-scale disinfections can stem large-scale spread of avian influenza in Asia

08 May 2013

Researchers at the Royal Veterinary College examining how the live bird market in Asia helps spread H5N1 avian flu have recommended targeted strategies that may help control future epidemics. The research is published this week in the journal PNAS. For further details please see here.

New Winn Feline Foundation grant awarded to Professor Virginia Luis Fuentes

08 May 2013

Professor Virginia Luis Fuentes has been awarded a grant for £15,347 to work on "Phenotypic characterization of feline cardiomyopathy in Norwegian Forest cats using echocardiography, plasma biomarkers and histopathology". Further information about the project is available here.

Royal Veterinary College research highlights the most urgent welfare issues for pet dogs

02 May 2013

Research from the Royal Veterinary College, commissioned by the RSPCA, has highlighted the most urgent issues that need to be rectified for the improvement of pet dog welfare in Britain. These include owners’ lack of awareness of welfare needs, poor health due to obesity, inherited disease or exaggerated physical features, intensive and unregulated puppy rearing and a lack of appropriate provision for behavioural needs. Further details available here.

New Leverhulme Trust grant awarded to Professors John Hutchinson and Andrew Pitsillides

02 May 2013

Professors John Hutchinson and Andrew Pitsillides have been awarded £284,288 by the Leverhulme Trust to work on "The evolutionary biomechanics of sesamoid bones in vertebrate limbs: a synthesis". Further details available here.

Mesozoic yoga: How changing body shape affected balance and posture during the evolution of dinosaurs

24 April 2013

Research led by scientists at the RVC, published in the journal Nature, uses 3D reconstructions to reveal that gradual enlargement of the forelimbs caused two-legged dinosaurs to stand and move like birds.

For more information please see the following pages:

Mesozoic yoga:... (press release)

http://whatsinjohnsfreezer.com/2013/04/24/3d_dinosaurs/ (personal blog; story behind the paper)

http://www.rvc.ac.uk/SML/Projects/Evolution3DDinos.cfm (lab website story)

Two illustrative videos on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vwQR1Rh2Q9E and http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=g7FSTgX6nOY

Allen, V; Bates, KT; Zhiheng, L; Hutchinson, JR
Linking the evolution of body shape and locomotor biomechanics in bird-line archosaurs. Nature (2013), published online. doi:10.1038/nature12059

RVC article awarded runner up prize in BioMed Central's Annual Research Awards

23 April 2013

Each year BioMed Central’s Annual Research Awards celebrate excellence in scientific research published within their portfolio of open access biology and medical journals. Their aim is to recognise the achievements of particular research teams across ten subject-specific award categories spanning Biology, Medicine and Health Services research.

This year, an article written by Dr Holger Volk was a runner up in in the Animal science, Veterinary Research and Zoology category Research Award as judged by leading experts in the field.

Schmidt, MJ; Ondreka, N; Rummel, C; Volk, H; Sauerbrey, M; Kramer, M.
Volume reduction of the jugular foramina in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels with syringomyelia.
BMC Veterinary Research (2012), 8;158.

New BPEX grant awarded to RVC

11 April 2013

Dr Mandy Nevel has been awarded a grant by the British Pig Executive to work on the "Investigation of factors influencing the prevalence of Enzootic Pneumonia (EP) - like lesions in the BPEX Pig Health Scheme". Dr Nevel explains what the project will involve: "Respiratory disease of pigs is common and has huge welfare and economic impacts on the industry. Monitoring of respiratory lesions in abattoirs by pig vets has been ongoing for a number of years and analysis has shown that since 2009, some particular types of lesions have been increasing.

The British Pig Executive (BPEX) have funded a project to investigate the reasons and to try to identify the cause for the increases being observed. Researchers at the RVC will undertake detailed investigations into the causes and pathology underlying the lesions and assist colleagues at Scotland's Rural College (SRUC) to investigate the epidemiological aspects of the trends observed. The project will link in with Veronica Brewster's PhD as she has developed diagnostic tests for some pig pathogens (not available elsewhere in UK) that are key to the investigations. Adriana Diaz will work on the project and Henny Martineau will assist with the interpretation of the complex histopathological investigations". The total grant is for £83.5k, of which the RVC will receive £55k.

New blog launched to share work that is being done to improve the health of broiler chickens

11 April 2013

Researchers funded by the BBSRC at the RVC and the University of Manchester have set up a new website in order to share the work they are doing to improve the health and anatomy of the 30 billion broiler chickens that are bred each year for human consumption: www.thechickenofthefuture.com

They will keep the website updated with their latest work and hope to engage in feedback and interaction with interested people. Please check it out.

For further information please also see the BBSRC news report.

New research paper published which demonstrates an open-source computer vision controlled treadmill

10 April 2013

A new RVC paper demonstrates an open-source, computer vision controlled treadmill for insects and mice. It allows the animals to run freely, whilst they are tracked with a camera by a computer, so that data collection and perturbations can be applied automatically. It means that we can examine the neuromechanics of legged locomotion much more precisely, and coupled with new technologies like optogenetics, we can uncover how the nervous and musculoskeletal systems enable animals to run quickly. This has applications in human and animal welfare, as well as prosthetics and robotics.

Spence, AJ; Nicholson-Thomas, G; Lampe, R.
Closing the loop in legged neuromechanics: an open-source computer vision controlled treadmill. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 2013.

A successful SVEPM conference for the VEEPH Group!

28 Mar 2013

Once again, there was good representation from the VEEPH Group at the annual conference of the Society for Veterinary Epidemiology & Preventive Medicine (SVEPM).  The meeting was held in Madrid from 20th – 22nd March 2013 and attended by just over 200 delegates. Members of the Group orally presented five papers and were included in two others as co-authors – a great result considering a total of 21 oral presentation slots! Group members also helped to deliver two pre-SVEPM workshops and presented a number of posters.

In addition, Timothée Vergne, one of the VEEPH research assistants, won one of the three poster prizes for his excellent poster on the ASFORCE project (cordis.europa.eu).

Another achievement was that Kristien Verheyen, a Senior Lecturer in the VEEPH Group, was accorded the Presidency of SVEPM for 2013-14.

Congratulations to all!

New research finds that cattle and badgers with TB rarely meet

27 Mar 2013

Direct contact between badgers and cattle is rare, suggesting that it may also be rare for bovine tuberculosis (TB) to be passed on through the two species meeting each other on pasture, new research led by Dr Julian Drewe of the RVC and the Food and Environment Research Agency published in the journal Epidemiology and Infection (Cambridge University Press) reveals.

See the press release: New research finds that cattle and badgers with TB rarely meet for details.

BES Poster Award

26 Mar 2013

Congratulations to Dr Vicky Cabrera-Sharp who won a 'Highly commended' poster award (from almost 400 considered) at the Annual Society for Endocrinology Conference last week. Her poster was entitled 'BMP4 induces terminal differentiation of primary trophoblast cells and increases chorionic gonadotrophin secretion'.

RVC academic researcher speaking at the Parliamentary & Scientific Committee

18 March 2013

Dr Andrew Spence has been invited by the Parliamentary & Scientific Committee to speak at a seminar on Speed, as part of National Science and Engineering Week, on Thursday 21 March. His talk is entitled "Fast Horses". Other speakers include David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, and Dr. Paul Golby, Chair of the EPSRC.

RVC Researcher wins award at European conference

14 March 2012

A Royal Veterinary College (RVC) doctoral researcher working on a fatal childhood neurological disease has won an oral presentation award at a European conference.

Kim Wager, who is jointly supervised by Dr Claire Russell at the RVC and Professor Robert Harvey of University College London's School of Pharmacy, won the award at the 2nd International Juvenile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (JNCL) PhD Symposium. The event took place in Frankfurt on March 7 and 8. As a result, Kim was asked to present his talk, entitled: ‘A Novel Zebrafish Model of JNCL’ at the 7th European ‘Brains for Brain’ meeting in Frankfurt on March 9

Further details available here.

The evolution of terrestrial locomotor performance in early tetrapod vertebrates

25 February 2013

Professor John R. Hutchinson and Dr. Stephanie Pierce have been awarded an NERC grant for £420k to expand on their prior NERC-funded studies of locomotion in the earliest tetrapods, but changing gears to focus on experimental validation of computational approaches and then specific reconstructions of likely motions used by the earliest land vertebrates, in order to reconstruct how locomotion on land first evolved. This work is in collaboration with Professor Jenny Clack (also now conducting an NERC Consortium Grant—“The Mid-Palaeozoic Biotic Crisis - Setting the Trajectory of Tetrapod Evolution”) of Cambridge University and Nadja Schilling of Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover, as well as Julia Molnar, PhD student at the RVC. A summary of the work planned is available here.

A genomics approach to increasing disease resistance in dairy cows through improvements in innate immunity

20 February 2013

Professor D Claire Wathes has been awarded an EU FP7 grant (£251k) to work on “Innately Better Cows: a genomics approach to increasing disease resistance in dairy cows through improvements in innate immunity”. More information available here

The role of MMP inhibitors in ameliorating muscular dystrophy

20 February 2013

Professor Dominic Wells and Dr Sue Brown have been awarded a grant for £360K from the MRC for a collaborative study with AstraZeneca to evaluate a potential treatment for muscular dystrophy. Further details about the project is available here.

Good disease awareness needed for early detection of African Swine Fever virus

19 February 2013

New research published in Preventive Veterinary Medicine by RVC Researchers shows the importance of having good disease awareness in all European Member States (MS) for early detection of African swine fever (ASF) virus, if it was to be introduced from neighbouring non-EU countries. 

ASF is a notifiable viral pig disease with high mortality and serious socio-economic consequences. Since ASF emerged in Georgia in 2007 the disease has spread to several neighbouring countries and cases have been detected in areas bordering the European Union (EU). It is uncertain how fast the virus would be able to spread within the unrestricted European trading area if it were introduced into the EU, although this information will be required for effective control. The researchers therefore developed a model for the spread of ASF within and between the 27 MS of the EU during the period immediately following introduction. The model can be used to identify MS which during that period are most likely to contribute to ASF spread or MS that are most likely receive to cases from other MS. This information can then be used to develop tailored control and prevention strategies which should allow minimising the adverse impact of an introduction.

Nigsch, A; Costard, S; Jones, BA; Pfeiffer, DU; Wieland, B.
Stochastic spatio-temporal modelling of African swine fever spread in the European Union during the high risk period.
Preventive Veterinary Medicine (2013): 108;4:262-275.

New Research Grant awarded to Dr Oliver Garden

18 February 2013

Congratulations to Dr Oliver Garden who has been awarded a new research grant (£103k) by Queen Mary University of London to work on The comparative cytological and immunoregulatory phenotypes of canine multicentric and human non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Dr Garden explains what his project will involve: "Lymphoma is a common cause of morbidity and mortality in dogs, accounting for up to 24% of all cancers in this species. Relatively little is known about the way in which different cellular and immune types of lymphoma impact the diagnosis and prognosis of this important disease, which is associated with less than 20% survival at two years following a diagnosis. Nevertheless, the most common type of canine lymphoma, diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL), shows many characteristics in common with the DLBCL subtype of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in man, suggesting that it may represent an animal model for NHL. However, a critical comparison of the disease in the two species has not yet been undertaken. The goal of this project is therefore to advance knowledge of both canine and human lymphoma, comparing the cellular and molecular phenotypes of multicentric lymphoma in the dog with NHL in man. We will be focusing on the derangement of normal immune regulatory mechanisms, which are subverted by the cancer to promote its own survival in vivo". Dr Garden will be working with Dr Anneliese Stell (RVC) and Professor John Gribben, QMUL, on this project.

New MRC grant awarded

15 February 2013

Dr Rob Fowkes has recently received an MRC Project Grant (£54k) awarded jointly with the University of Bristol (£346k). The grant, entitled "Roles and interdependence of calcineurin/NFAT and ERK pathways in pulsatile GnRH effects on gonadotrophin expression" continues a long-term collaboration between the Endocrine Signalling Group at the RVC and Prof. McArdle's neuroendocrinology group and mathematicians in Bristol.

"Those of us who have been working on gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH) signalling for the past 30 or so years have somehow managed to ignore the physiological way in which GnRH is released from the hypothalamus - in pulses - and it's understanding how the pituitary interprets these changes in GnRH pulsatility that controls reproductive function in most species" says Rob. "Our own contribution to this project builds on several years of investigating the pathway between membrane receptors and gene transcription in pituitary gonadotroph cells. Some of the pilot data for this project was generated by an intercalating BVetMed student at the RVC, so it's very reassuring to see this rewarded by receiving Research Council funding". The project has already yielded three publications, with a further in submission at the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

RVC PhD student appointed as BBSRC schools regional champion

13 February 2013

Congratulations to Lisa Pritchard (PhD student) who has been appointed as a BBSRC schools regional champion. Lisa is one of only 7 newly appointed champions nationally. Lisa will receive support from the BBSRC to undertake public engagement (with a focus on secondary schools) around the BBSRC’s strategic priorities. As a school regional champion, Lisa will be responsible (along with a network of other champions) for developing and sharing best practice, tools and activities. This is a great achievement for Lisa.

PhD student awarded top poster prize

13 February 2013

Rosie Naylor, PhD student within the Comparative Neuromuscular Diseases Laboratory, has been awarded the top poster prize at the recent European College of Equine Internal Medicine Conference in Le Touquet France.

Rosie's poster was entitled "Development of a conditionally-immortalised equine skeletal muscle cell line" - this work forms part of her PhD looking at muscle protein synthesis in horses.

New study published looking at epilepsy in dogs in private veterinary practice

01 February 2013

Investigators at the RVC have published a new study looking at epilepsy in dogs in private veterinary practice. Analysis of clinical data from 92 primary veterinary practices within the VetCompass project (www.rvc.ac.uk/vetcompass) estimated aprevalence for epilepsy of unknown origin (EUO) of 0.62% (95% CI 0.57% to 0.67%) among UK dogs. Predisposed breeds included the Border Terrier and the German Shepherd Dog. The study highlights the clinical importance of epilepsy and also demonstrates the utility of veterinary practice data for research.

Dr Volk (Head of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Royal Veterinary College) describes this as "an exciting paper that estimates for the first time the prevalence of epilepsy in a large first-opinion clinic population of dogs".

Kearsley-Fleet L,O'Neill DG,Volk HA,Church DB,Brodbelt DC.
Prevalence and risk factors for canine epilepsy of unknown origin in the UK.
Vet Rec.2013 Jan 7. [Epub ahead of print]

Adolescents Care but don’t Feel Responsible for Farm Animal Welfare

23 January 2013

A study at the Royal Veterinary College in collaboration with the Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the Institute of Education examined for the first time the knowledge, beliefs and attitudes about farm animal welfare held by 14-15 year olds in the UK. Further details about the study are available here.

Scientists reassemble the backbone of life using a particle accelerator

13 January 2013

Research published in the journal Nature documents, for the first time, the intricate three-dimensional structure of the backbone in the earliest four-legged animals (tetrapods).

The international team of scientists, led by Dr Stephanie E. Pierce from The Royal Veterinary College and Professor Jennifer A. Clack from the University of Cambridge, bombarded 360 million year old early tetrapod fossils with high energy synchrotron radiation. The resulting high resolution X-ray images allowed the researchers to reconstruct the backbones of the extinct animals in exceptional detail.

For further information see the press release: Scientists reassemble the backbone of life using a particle accelerator.

Do Hens have Best Friends? - It seems not!

7 January 2013

The RVC have recently had an article accepted by Applied Animal Behaviour Science, following research funded by Biotechnology and Biological Research Council (BBSRC) on whether hens develop friendships. Further information about this research is available here.

RVC researcher awarded €3m to lead groundbreaking study of large African carnivores and their prey

12 December 2012

Professor Alan Wilson, Head of the Structure & Motion Laboratory at the Royal Veterinary College, has been awarded a prestigious €3million grant to undertake a detailed study of large African carnivores and their main prey on the southern African savannah.

Professor Wilson is the first UK veterinary surgeon to be awarded a European Research Council Advanced Grant, for the five year project beginning in April 2013, entitled ‘Locomotion, hunting and habitat utilisation among large African carnivores and their prey (LOCATE)’

For further information see Professor Wilson's LOCATE project page and the LOCATE press release.

New Petplan Charitable Trust grant awarded to RVC

03 December 2012

Dr Richard Piercy has received continued funding (£34,000) from the Petplan Charitable Trust to further investigate the pathophysiology of type 1 equine polysaccharide storage myopathy. Building on work conducted in part by PhD student, Charlotte Maile and former equine SCTS, Rosie Naylor, Dr Piercy’s group will look further into the mechanisms that cause horses to develop a painful muscle disorder, known as tying up, when they carry a mutation in a key enzyme that is normally responsible for storing glycogen in skeletal muscle. Their hope is that by understanding the mechanisms that result in abnormal regulation of this enzyme, they might develop novel treatments for this common disorder of horses in the UK.

Fighting fish "take a breather"

29 November 2012

Dr Steven Portugal's research into the breathing behaviour of Siamese fighting fish during their territorial displays has been featured on the BBC's Nature website: Fighting fish 'take a breather'

Steven's research, carried out with colleagues from the University of Queensland, Australia, was published in Comparative Biology and Physiology Part A: "Balancing the competing requirements of air-breathing and display behaviour during male–male interactions in Siamese fighting fish Betta splendens".

RVC research published in Nature could transform the understanding and treatment of human anaemias

26 November 2012

A study published in the latest edition of the journal Nature reveals a breakthrough in understanding the molecular mechanism by which haem - the complex red organic pigment containing ferrous iron, present in haemoglobin – is correctly synthesised.

Through a comparative study starting with a specific type of Zebrafish (Pinotage) devoid of haemoglobin, Dr Michaelangelo Campanella together with research colleagues at US based centres (principally Harvard Medical School) discovered that a deficiency in the molecule Atpif1 reduces the efficiency of vertebrate Fech (an enzyme) to synthesize haem, resulting in anaemia.

Dr Campanella’s research group is the only European group involved in the study, and is a world leader in Atpif1 biology.

Shah, D; Takahashi-Makise, N; Cooney, JD; Liangao, L; Schultz, IJ; Pierce, EL; Narla, A; Seguin, A; Hattangadi, SM; Medlock, AE; Langer, NB; Dailey, TA; Hurst, SN; Faccenda, D; Wiwczar, JM; Heggers, SK; Vogin, G; Chen, W; Chen, C; Campagna, DR; Brugnara, C; Zhou, Y; Ebert, BL; Danial, NN; Fleming, MD; Ward, DM; Campanella, M; Dailey, HA; Kaplan, J; Paw, BH.
Mitochondrial Atpif1 regulates haem synthesis in developing erythroblasts.
Nature (2012): 491: 608-612.

See also our Press Release on this.

New research findings relating to Chiari-like malformation and syringomyelia

22 November 2012

New research published by RVC researchers relating to Chiari-like malformation (CM) and syringomyelia (SM) shows that the clinical signs and morphological features of the disease change over time. Further details available here.

European Funding Successes

21 November 2012

The Royal Veterinary College have recently been very successful with FP7 funding applications. See here for details about what the projects are.

Risk factors and pathologies associated with early pregnancy loss in Thoroughbreds

20 November 2012

Dr Amanda de Mestre, Professor Claire Wathes and Dr Kristien Verheyen have been awarded just under £100k by the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) and Thoroughbred Breeders' Association (TBA) for an inaugural HBLB/TBA Veterinary Research Training Scholarship in Equine Reproduction. For further details about this scholarship please see here.

Development of novel biotherapeutics to S.aureus infection

16 November 2012

Dr Liam Good and Professor Dirk Werling have been awarded a Pfizer supported BBSRC case studentship for £200k to develop new bio-therapeutics for infectious disease control in cattle.

Further details about what the project will involve is available here.

Resolving an inflammatory concept: the importance of inflammation in equine tendinopathy

15 November 2012

A recent study, published in PLOS ONE, by Dr Stephanie Dakin and other researchers from the Royal Veterinary College's Tendon Biology group, investigated the role of prostaglandins and inflammation-resolving mediators in naturally occurring equine tendon injury. The study showed that during early stage injury, alterations in tendon prostaglandin metabolism and lipid mediator profiles were present compared to normal (uninjured) tendons. Injured tendons showed an age-associated decline in expression of the inflammation-resolving lipoxin A4 receptor with concurrent increased PGE2 levels with age. An in vitro model of tendon inflammation showed IL-1β treated tendon explants from younger but not older horses were better able to mount a protective resolving response to inflammation. The findings from this study suggest prostaglandins such as PGE2 are implicated in the development of tendon inflammation and its ensuing resolution. Furthermore, tendons from aged individuals exhibit a reduced capacity to resolve inflammation, which may contribute to the development of tendon re-injury.

Dakin SG, Dudhia J, Werling NJ, Werling D, Abayasekara DRE, Smith, RKW (2012) Inflamm-Aging and Arachadonic Acid Metabolite Differences with Stage of Tendon Disease. PLoS ONE 7(11): e48978. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0048978

Probiotics as a prophylactic treatment to reduce the incidence and severity of diarrhoea in dogs receiving chemotherapy with doxorubicin

15 November 2012

Dr Karin Allenspach has been awarded £31k by Probiotics International Ltd to work on "Probiotics as a prophylactic treatment to reduce the incidence and severity of diarrhoea in dogs receiving chemotherapy with doxorubicin".

Dr Allenspach explains what the study will involve: "Roughly one dog in three will suffer from cancer during their lives and although great advances have been made in treating cancer, there are side effects associated with these treatments. A common and potentially debilitating side effect is diarrhoea. There is increasing interest in the use of probiotics to treat diarrhoea in both humans and animals and they have been shown to be beneficial in the treatment of travellers’ diarrhoea in people and stress-induced diarrhoea in dogs and cats. A prospective, placebo-controlled, double-blinded clinical trial will be starting in the RVC’s referral hospital to assess the efficacy of probiotics. The treatment will be given as a prophylactic supplement to dogs with cancer, who will be receiving doxorubicin therapy. Doxorubicin commonly causes diarrhoea, which can be severe, and it is hoped that prophylactic supplementation with probiotics will reduce the incidence and severity of this diarrhoea and thus enhance the quality of life of the dog."

HBLB Launches Racehorse Health: a resource for information on equine veterinary science

14 November 2012

The RVC are pleased to report that the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) has launched an online resource, aimed at those interested in research and the thoroughbred racing and breeding horse. The site contains brief summaries describing recent and current research on diseases and injuries of the thoroughbred, including research projects being undertaken by the RVC. The resource can be found at racehorsehealth.hblb.org.uk

Interaction between cPLA2 and prion-diseases identified by RVC researchers

14 November 2012

Researchers at the RVC have recently identified an important interaction between cPLA2 and prion-diseases.

The findings suggest that cPLA2 plays a vital role in the action of human prion proteins/peptides and that the colocalisation of p-cPLA2 with beta III tubulin, a component of the cellular skeleton could be central to the progress of neurodegeneration caused by prion peptides.

Further details available here.

Good living conditions for backyard chickens in London, but flock keepers risk spreading disease through lack of knowledge

09 November 2012

Research from the Royal Veterinary College published this month in the journal British Poultry Science, has revealed that chicken-keepers around Greater London have a lack of disease knowledge and insufficient awareness of laws, which could potentially have implications on disease control and animal welfare. The main findings were:

  • Research finds that three quarters of flock owners do not realise that feeding kitchen waste to their chickens is not permitted
  • Limited awareness is present around serious poultry and zoonotic diseases
  • Disease prevention measures such as vaccination are rare

Further details available here.

Apprentice to Journeyman: the influence of jockey technique on Thoroughbred racehorse locomotion

31 October 2012

Dr Thomas Witte, Lecturer in Equine Surgery and co-applicants Dr Thilo Pfau and Professor Alan Wilson have been funded by the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) to work with the British Racing School (the centre of excellence for training in the UK racing industry) to study the influence of jockey technique on Thoroughbred racehorse locomotion. Further information about the project available here.

New PetPlan Charitable Trust award

25 October 2012

RVC academics, Dr Michelangelo Campanella and Professor Ken Smith have been awarded £70k by the PetPlan Charitable Trust for "Defective autophagy pathways in the canine and feline mammary tumours: the role of the 18Kd protein TSPO"

Dr Campanella explains what the project will involve: "Autophagy is the process whereby cells remove damaged organelles and is abnormal in human cancer. Aberration of autophagy is thus an acknowledged priming feature in human cancer. In this grant, we will investigate whether the same occurs in canine and feline mammary tumours, which are common in both species. This will be characterized via the molecular and pharmacological modulation of the 18Kd mitochondrial Translocator Protein (mTSPO) and its association with canine and feline mammary tumour grade, evasion of apoptosis and deregulation of the mitochondrial quality control via selective autophagy: mitophagy. The research will improve our understanding of cancer cell biology and may develop into novel diagnostic or therapeutic strategies for dogs and cats with mammary tumours. In light of the similarities between human breast cancer and mammary tumours in dogs and cats, this work may also benefit human medicine"

New BBSRC grant awarded for "Foundations of Neuromechanical Systems Biology"

24 October 2012

Dr. Andrew Spence, RCUK Academic Research Fellow, has been awarded a £822k BBSRC grant for a 3-year project entitled “Foundations of Neuromechanical Systems Biology.” With co-investigators Prof. John Hutchinson and Prof. Dominic Wells, this project will use a technique from the frontier of molecular genetics, optogenetics, to tease apart the contributions of the nervous and mechanical systems to fast legged locomotion. Further details about the project are available here.

RVC PhD student wins prize

23 October 2012

Congratulations to Rebecca Terry who won one of the four Elsevier Prizes for the best oral or poster presentations by young scientists at the 17th International World Muscle Society Congress in Perth, Australia. Her poster was entitled “Treatment with oral metformin significantly improves muscle function in mdx mice”.

RVC researcher helps to lead pioneering study offering new hope to owners of dogs with fatal heart disease

18 October 2012

A major international study published online today (Thursday 18 October) in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine has for the first time, revealed a clear survival benefit associated with the administration of a drug in the preclinical phase of a common canine heart disease. Further information available here.

RVC have another highly accessed paper

17 October 2012

The RVC have had another paper identified as being "highly accessed" by BioMed Central. This means that it has been identified as an article that has been especially highly accessed, relative to its age, and the journal in which it was published.

Volume reduction of the jugular foramina in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels with syringomyelia
Schmidt, MJ; Ondreka, N; Rummel, C; Volk, H; Sauerbrey, M; Kramer, M
BMC Veterinary Research.(2012): 8;158:

This paper was recently featured on Research News as the results of this research demonstrated that King Charles Spaniels affected by syringomyelia have a smaller jugular foramina than non-affected dogs

Strengthening Food Security through Family Poultry and Crop Integration in Eastern and Southern Africa

11 October 2012

A grant has recently been awarded to the Royal Veterinary College to provide support for a Small Research Activity (SRA) project relating to increased poultry and crop value chain efficiency and household food security. Further information here.

BVetMed student makes front cover of Anatomical Science Education

09 October 2012

Congratulations to Francesca Braid, BVetMed student, who has made the front cover of Anatomical Science Education - the highest ranked journal in medical education. She is with a group of third-year undergraduate veterinary medicine students, and two RVC academics, demonstrating to them equine anatomy using "Anato-Rug" - an innovative tool depicting topographical anatomy and key areas for lung, heart and gastrointestinal auscultation on a live horse.

Anatomical Science Education - Cover Image

(2012), Anatomical Sciences Education Vol. 5, Issue 5, 2012 Cover Image. Anat Sci Ed, 5: C1. doi: 10.1002/ase.1319

NEAT -Networking to enhance the use of economics in animal health education, policy making and research in Europe and beyond

05 October 2012

Congratulations to Dr Jonathan Rushton, Barbara Haesler and Jeanette Mueller (accelopment) who have been awarded an EU Erasmus Lifelong Learning scheme grant to support a network (NEAT) to develop training materials for the use of economics in animal health.

The aim of the consortium is to share how to improve the use of economics in animal health, due to an increasing demand for disease impact assessment, improvement of the allocation of resources for disease surveillance and control and discussions on who should meet animal health costs with a cost-sharing framework.

The NEAT consortium links different sectors covering higher education, research, industry, private consultants, public bodies and international organisations. Further information about the consortium is available here.

RVC have "Highly Accessed" article in BMC Neuroscience

04 October 2012

A recent article by the RVC has been categorised as "highly accessed" by BioMed Central. This means that it has been identified as an article that has been especially highly accessed, relative to its age, and the journal in which it was published.

In the article researchers of the RVC were able to demonstrate that cPLA2, a key-enzyme involved in the generation of inflammatory mediators, plays a vital role in the action of specific prion-peptides. Furthermore, they were able to show that colocalisation of the active form of cPLA2 with specific components of the cytoskeleton is central to the progress of neurodegeneration caused by prion peptides, and this effect could be partially blocked using cPLA2 inhibitors, leading to the protection of neurons from prion peptide-induced neurodegeneration.

Inhibition of cytosolic phospholipase A2 prevents prion peptide-induced neuronal damage and co-localisation with Beta III tubulin
Victoria Last, Alun Williams and Dirk Werling
BMC Neuroscience 2012, 13:106, doi:10.1186/1471-2202-13-106

Field approaches to identifying Mycobacterium bovis infection in badger populations

24 September 2012

Julian Drewe, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the RVC, has been awarded funding from the Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) to work on "field approaches to identifying Mycobacterium bovis infection in badger populations". Further information about the project is available here.

New research involving RVC researcher demonstrates that King Charles Spaniels affected by syringomyelia have a smaller jugular foramina than non-affected dogs

21 September 2012

Around 70% of cavalier King Charles spaniels (CKCSs) older than 6 years of age can be diagnosed with syringomyelia. In research that has been recently published we were able to demonstrate that CKCS affected by syringomyelia have a smaller jugular foramina than non-affected dogs. Further information available here.

RVC receives new grants to work on One-Health Studies

21 September 2012

The Royal Veterinary College has been awarded funding, to work in collaboration with other institutions, on the following One Health projects:

  • US UK Collaboration: Ecological and Socio Economic Factors Impacting Maintenance and Dissemination of Antibiotic Resistance in the Greater Serengeti Ecosystem funded by NSF-BBSRC
  • Epidemiology, Ecology and Socio-Economics of Disease Emergence in Nairobi funded by MRC-ESEI
  • Rapid assessment of potential benefit to human health and nutrition from research on livestock and fish market chains in Asia and Africa funded by ILRI

Further details of the projects are available here.

Petplan Charitable Trust PhD Project - Degenerative mitral valve disease in dogs attending UK practices

18 September 2012

Petplan Charitable Trust has awarded the RVC £133,141, over three years, for a PhD studentship to look at degenerative mitral valve disease (DMVD) within the VetCompass project. The study will evaluate the survival characteristics of dogs with degenerative mitral valve disease (DMVD) attending a large cohort of primary practices and determine the prognostic role of clinical and biochemical indicators. The RVC practice electronic record project, VetCompass (www.rvc.ac.uk/VetCompass), works with over 100 UK practices, routinely recording animal clinical data. The project will evaluate in this broad population, the survival characteristics of dogs with DMVD and will determine the predictive value of specific clinical and major biochemical indicators on death improving veterinarians’ assessment of their DMVD patients and their advice to clients. It will document the current prevalence of the disease and will assess current DMVD treatment to allow improvement in the management of an important condition seen in practice.

Dr David Brodbelt comments: ‘This is an exciting opportunity to build on continuing work within the VetCompass project as well as Prof Adrian Boswood’s work following the clinical and biochemical progression of DMVD in dogs attending two central London primary practice. It will complement other VetCompass projects by focusing in detail on canine mitral valve disease and linking routinely collected epidemiological data with biochemical samples in dogs with the condition. We are grateful to the Petplan Charitable Trust for supporting this novel project.

The project will involve Dr David Brodbelt, Professor Adrian Boswood and Professor David Church.

New research published relating to Toll-like receptor (TLR)-mediated vascular inflammation

17 September 2012

New research involving RVC researchers shows that antibodies to Apo-A1, a major component of the high-density lipoprotein complex ("good cholesterol") helping to clear cholesterol from arteries, bind because of a molecular mimicry effect to the innate immune receptor Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2. The interaction of these auto-antibodies with the TLR2/CD14 receptor complex promote inflammation, which may contribute to atherosclerosis-related complications in patients with coronary heart-diseases.

Pagano, S; Satta, N; Werling, D; Offord, V; DeMoerloose, P; Charbonney, E; Hochstrasser, D; Roux-Lombard, P; Vuilleumier, N
Anti-apolipoprotein A-1 IgG in patients withmyocardial infarction promotes inflammation through TLR2 ⁄ CD14 complex
Journal of Internal Medicine.(2012); 272; 344-357. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2796.2012.02530.x

RVC Postgraduates Awards success at the ECVIM congress

12 September 2012

RVC postgraduates were very successful at the recent ECVIM Congress in Maastricht, receiving several awards for their abstracts. Further details available here.

Professor John Hutchinson interviewed on the Planet Earth Podcast

4 September 2012

An expert on animal locomotion from the RVC has appeared on the popular Planet Earth Podcast to discuss what the first creatures to walk on land would have been like.

Professor John Hutchinson was interviewed along with anatomist Stephanie Pierce from the University of Cambridge for the online broadcast. John Hutchinson is professor of evolutionary biomechanics at the RVC.

The scientists were asked to talk about the pivotal moment in evolution 370 million years ago when the first creatures emerged from the water and stepped onto land.

Listen to the podcast at 'Early tetrapods, upland rivers, North Anatolian Fault'.

The webpage also includes a full transcript of the interviews.

See also: RVC Professor among new Royal Society Fellowship appointments

Understanding the disease mechanisms in horses that lead to a common form of exertional rhabdomyolysis

16 August 2012

Rosie Naylor and Richard Piercy and other members of the Royal Veterinary College’s Comparative Neuromuscular Diseases Laboratory, collaborating with veterinary surgeons from the University of Auburn, have recently published a research study that sheds light on the mechanisms that lead to muscle damage in horses with an intermittent form of muscle disease (exertional rhabdomyolysis, or tying up), known as type 1 Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy (PSSM1). Further information is available here.

Framework being developed to assess the risk of exposure to
E. coli O157of visitors to open farms

30 July 2012

A team led by Professor Javier Guitian and Dr Liam Good have received a DEFRA grant award and are working with Westpoint Veterinary Group to develop a framework for the assessment of the risk of exposure to E. coli O157of visitors to open farms. It is envisaged the framework will serve as a tool for individual farms to establish bespoke risk control strategies and prevent further disease outbreaks. Further details available here.

Potential Role of Natriuretic Peptides in the regulation of the human pituitary gland

26 July 2012

Latest findings from RVC researchers, Dr Rob Fowkes and Dr Imelda McGonnell, provide the first evidence of the potential role of natriuretic peptides in the regulation of the human pituitary gland. Their recent study, published in Endocrine Related Cancer, reveals that C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) and its' associated receptor, guanylyl cyclase B (GC-B) are expressed in human pituitaries during fetal and adult life. Further details available here.

Integration of novel treatments, vaccines and diagnostics into Animal African Trypanosomiasis control programs: situation analysis and field investigation

24 July 2012

Congratulations to Professor Javier Guitian and Dr Richard Selby who have been awarded a grant by GALVmed to do a baseline study for the integration of novel treatments, vaccines and diagnostics into Animal African Trypanosomosis control programs. Further details of the project available here.

Dynamics and Energetics of Hunting in the Cheetah

23 July 2012

Professor Alan Wilson, Professor of Locomotor Biomechanics and leader of the Locomotion (Muscle, Tendon and Biomechanics) Research Group, has been awarded a BBSRC grant of £600k, to study the dynamics and energetics of hunting in the cheetah, in order to identify what enables cheetahs to sprint so fast. Further information about what the project will involve is available here.

Research into a new diet for dogs suffering from canine idiopathic epilepsy

16 July 2012

The Royal Veterinary College is working with a small animal health and wellness company to confirm the efficacy and safety of a novel diet in the management of dogs with idiopathic epilepsy being treated with phenobarbitone and/or potassium bromide. More details available here.

The Veterinary Biomedical & Pharma Sciences Congress:
15 to 16 October 2012 - Birmingham

10 July 2012

The Veterinary Biomedical & Pharma Sciences (VBMPS) Congress will be the first gathering of its kind ever to be held in the UK. This unique meeting recognises the intrinsic links and interdependence between human and veterinary biomedical science. Further details available here.

RVC Academic wins Young Animal Welfare Scientist of the Year Award

28 June 2012

RVC lecturer, Charlotte Burn, is the recipient of this year's Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW) Young Animal Welfare Scientist of the Year Award.

The award recognises the achievements of young scientists who have made significant contributions to improving the welfare of animals. It is open to postgraduate students, anywhere in the world, currently studying for a doctoral degree or in post-doctoral work within six years of their PhD.

Charlotte Burn and James Kirkwood
Dr James Kirkwood, chief executive and scientific director of UFAW with Charlotte Burn

Dr Burn joined the RVC as a research fellow in 2008 and became a lecturer in 2010. She obtained her PhD from the University of Oxford's Department of Zoology and an MSc in applied animal behaviour and animal welfare from the University of Edinburgh. Her doctoral research focused on the effects of husbandry regimes on rat welfare.

Dr Burn received her award, which came with a prize of £1,000, at the federation's 'Recent advances in animal welfare science' conference in York on June 21. The citation accompanying the award alludes to her doctoral work and also refers to her recent study of tail-chasing behaviour in dogs and owners' reactions to it, based on clips on YouTube. This has been published in the journal PLoS One.

High speed galloping in cheetahs and racing greyhounds

26 June 2012

A team from RVC's Structure & Motion Laboratory have had an article published in The Journal of Experimental Biology about a project investigating factors behind the speed of cheetahs.

Their research compared the motion of cheetahs with racing greyhounds to investigate why the fastest land animal exceeds the galloping capacities of other mammals. The team, composed of Penny Hudson, Alan Wilson and Sandra Corr, conducted their research at Whipsnade Zoo and The Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre in South Africa.

See High speed galloping in cheetahs and racing greyhounds

RVC Success at the International Pig Veterinary Society Congress

14 June 2012

Congratulations to Pablo Alarcon who has won a IPVS travel award for his 2 oral presentations given at the International Pig Veterinary Society Congress held in Korea earlier this week. One presentation was on the PMWS economic model (cost of PMWS to the industry) and the other covered the models assessing control options for PMWS at farm level. The conference is targeted at pig practitioners and scientists worldwide and therefore this award acknowledges the quality and relevance of Pablo's recent work.

The RVC was very well represented at the Congress with a total of 6 oral presentations and 2 posters!

RVC researchers are key contributors to animal health surveillance research

11 June 2012

Selected papers of the International Conference on Animal Health Surveillance (ICAHS) were recently published in a special edition of Preventive Veterinary Medicine. RVC researchers contributed to almost half of the papers, documenting their outstanding contributions to the development, implementation and evaluation of surveillance systems. Research into surveillance systems including risk-based approaches will continue to be a strategic priority for the RVC’s Veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health group.

RVC Pioneers celebrate innovative success in using a hypophysectomy to treat acromegaly in a cat!

08 June 2012

Clinicians at the RVC’s Queen Mother Hospital for Animals are celebrating after becoming the first team in the UK to successfully use a hypophysectomy to treat acromegaly in a cat. Removing the pituitary gland and the associated tumour that causes acromegaly or hyperadrenocorticism is the gold standard treatment in humans, but previously, the only treatments for acromegalic cats in the UK were radiation therapy or treatment of the resulting diabetes mellitus. Further details available here.

RVC researchers assess potential of live bird markets to act as reservoirs of avian influenza A (H5N1) virus

08 June 2012

A study led by RVC researchers, Guillaume Fournié, Javier Guitian and Dirk Pfeiffer, was recently published in PLoS ONE, assessing the potential of live bird markets to act as reservoirs of avian influenza A (H5N1) virus.

The survey was conducted in Vietnam and Cambodia in collaboration with local veterinary authorities. Some live poultry traders were shown to engage in practices that were likely to promote conditions favourable for maintaining H5N1 in markets. Market characteristics, including type and location, could be used to predict the profiles of traders frequenting the market and, thus, the risk of a given market becoming a virus reservoir. These results show that easily collected, basic information can be used to identify markets which could potentially sustain H5N1 viruses. Control strategies could potentially be targeted to these specific market groups. This is particularly important in resource-scarce settings where the live bird market system is extensively developed.

Fournié G., Guitian J., Desvaux S., Mangtani P., Ly S., Vu Chi C., San S., Do Huu D., Holl D., Pfeiffer D.U., Vong S., Ghani A.C. (2012) Identifying Live Bird Markets with the Potential to Act as Reservoirs of Avian Influenza A (H5N1) Virus: A Survey in Northern Viet Nam and Cambodia. PLoS ONE 7(6): e37986. http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0037986

RVC PhD student receives Society for Comparative Endocrinology award at ACVIM Forum

07 June 2012

Congratulations to Tim Williams, who received the Society for Comparative Endocrinology award for the best resident/student abstract in the Endocrinology stream, at the 2012 ACVIM Forum in New Orleans held last week. This was for his abstract on “Restoration of euthyroidism in medically treated hyperthyroid cats with iatrogenic hypothyroidism improves renal function.”

Tim is part of the clinical team led by Professor Jonathan Elliott and Dr Harriet Syme who are investigating three common problems of elderly cats: Chronic kidney disease (CKD), Hypertension and Hyperthroidism.

Petsavers Award 2012 for best clinical research paper published in 2011 in the Journal of Small Animal Practice

07 June 2012

Congratulations to Ana Mateus, RVC PhD student, who was awarded the Petsavers Award 2012 for the best clinical research paper published in 2011 in the Journal of Small Animal Practice, for the paper “Antimicrobial usage in dogs and cats in first opinion veterinary practices in the UK”. The award was announced at the BSAVA/FECAVA/WSAVA annual congress in Birmingham, in April. Further information available here.

RVC Researcher contributes to LIDC blog on rabies

06 June 2012

Following the recent death of a British woman in a London hospital, after contracting rabies while on holiday in South Asia, RVC researcher, Dr Barbara Haesler, was asked to contribute to a London International Development Centre (LIDC) blog, to provide advice on rabies: Rabies – an ancient disease continues to claim thousands of lives every year, but there is hope on the horizon.

This is an excellent piece and is well worth a read.


06 June 2012

Congratulations to Dr Rosanne Jepson, who has been selected by the IRIS Board as the recipient of the 2011 IRIS Award. The award is presented on behalf of IRIS and Novartis Animal Health to an individual early in his/her research career for outstanding fundamental or clinical research performed in veterinary nephrology. Dr Jepson won this award for her work has advanced veterinary nephrology and helped veterinary practitioners better diagnose, understand and treat kidney disease in cats and dogs.

This award is a very great achievement by Rosanne, as it is the most prestigious career development award in veterinary nephrology, and is a great honour.

Rosanne was presented with her award at the 2012 ACVIM Forum in New Orleans on Friday 1st June by Dr Larry Cowgill (president of IRIS), where she also gave a brief overview of her research directions in nephrology "Feline kidney disease; pressure, proteinuria and proteomics".

HR Excellence in Research Award - Royal Veterinary College achieves ‘HR Excellence in Research’ Award

06 February 2012

The Royal Veterinary College has been recognised by the European Commission for its 'HR Excellence in Research'. This award recognises the positive actions that the College has taken and will continue to take to support the career development of researchers and the actions in place to implement the principles of the Concordat to Support the Development of Researchers.

HR Excellence in Research Award

The College is one of only 50 UK higher education institutions to be recognised in this way.

This is a UK-wide process, overseen by Vitae, enabling UK HEIs to gain the European Commission’s ‘HR Excellence in Research’ badge, which acknowledges their alignment with the principles of the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for their Recruitment. The UK process incorporates both the QAA Code of Practice for Research Degress Programmes and the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers to enable institutions that have published Concordat implementation plans to gain the ‘HR Excellence in Research’ badge. The UK approach includes ongoing national evaluation and benchmarking.

For more information about this significant achievement and to view our Concordat implementation strategy action plan, please visit the Research Staff web-page.


Further Information

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