Published: 16 Feb 2023 | Last Updated: 16 Feb 2023 13:01:14

The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the University of Oxford's Pandemic Sciences Institute (PSI) to become a partner institute. The partnership aims to facilitate collaborative research into infectious disease and explore a One Health approach; a concept which recognises the relationship between health and disease at the interfaces between human, animals and the environment.

The PSI was established in 2021 as a multi-disciplinary centre of global research collaboration and excellence in pandemic sciences. Its mission is to ensure that the world is better equipped to prepare for, identify and counter future pandemic threats. Building on decades of medical research on infectious disease and data science, the Institute is applying the same innovation, collaboration and agility that yielded critical breakthroughs during COVID-19, to future health challenges.

As a partner institute, the RVC will work alongside PSI in key areas including: infectious diseases that originate from wild or domesticated animals and which can cause disease in humans; infectious diseases that may pass to and from humans and animals, including among people who work with wild or domestic animals; impacts of infectious disease on livestock, food production systems and food security; and One Health approaches to human and animal health, including anti-microbial resistance. As part of the initial phase of the collaboration, the RVC and PSI will meet in early Spring to set out the broad aims of the partnership and discuss a way forward in exploring key issues.

Professor Stuart Reid CBE, President and Principal of the RVC said:

“As recent events bear testament, pathogens often respect neither geographical nor species boundaries. This important partnership will allow our institutions to work towards a level of understanding and preparedness as we bring together minds and facilities in a way that ensures synergy, novelty and above all excellence in addressing global disease threats.”

Professor Oliver Pybus FRS, Vice Principal for Research and Innovation and Professor of Infectious Diseases at the RVC said:

“This partnership will bring together PSI’s and RVC’s world-leading and complementary expertise in human and animal disease. I’m excited to be part of this collaboration and to develop new inter-disciplinary approaches to tackling the threat of future epidemics and pandemics.”

Professor Sir Peter Horby, Director of the PSI said:

“During the COVID-19 pandemic we saw time and again the critical importance of scientific collaboration in finding solutions to urgent public health challenges. By working across disciplines, this partnership between PSI and the RVC will mean we are better equipped to prepare for, identify and counter future pandemic threats.”

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About the RVC

  • The Royal Veterinary College (RVC) is the UK's largest and longest established independent veterinary school and is a Member Institution of the University of London.
  • It is one of the few veterinary schools in the world that hold accreditations from the RCVS in the UK (with reciprocal recognition from the AVBC for Australasia, the VCI for Ireland and the SAVC for South Africa), the EAEVE in the EU, and the AVMA in the USA and Canada.
  • The RVC is ranked as the top veterinary school in the world in the QS World University Rankings by subject, 2022.
  • The RVC offers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in veterinary medicine, veterinary nursing and biological sciences.
  • The RVC is a research led institution with 88% of its research rated as internationally excellent or world class in the Research Excellence Framework 2021.
  • The RVC provides animal owners and the veterinary profession with access to expert veterinary care and advice through its teaching hospitals and first opinion practices in London and Hertfordshire.

About the Pandemic Sciences Institute

  • The Pandemic Sciences Institute (PSI) at the University of Oxford is a multidisciplinary research centre that is creating collaborative, science-driven solutions to identify, prepare for, and counter pandemic threats.

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