RVC appoints Oxford professor as part of a new partnership

Professor Oliver Pybus, an expert in virus evolution in the Department of Zoology at the University of Oxford, has been appointed by the Royal Veterinary College (RVC)

As part of a programme to drive more collaboration between the two world-leading universities, Pybus began his new role as Professor of Infectious Diseases at the RVC in November. He will work to strengthen the RVC’s research base in pathogen evolution and epidemiology, as well as to explore ways in which the RVC and Oxford’s Department of Zoology can work together on research, building on complementary skills and interests across a range of fields in biological science.

Previously, Pybus, who is also Professor of Evolution and Infectious Disease at the University of Oxford’s Department of Zoology, has worked with RVC academics such as Professor Fiona Tomley, Dr Nicola Lewis and Dr Guillaume Fournie, primarily on avian and swine influenza viruses and the driving factors that lead to the emergence of highly pathogenic and zoonotic strains. Applying evolutionary principles to other globally important pathogens is a major goal of this partnership between Oxford Zoology and RVC.

Commenting on the appointment, Professor Oliver Pybus said: “I am delighted to take up this appointment at RVC and looking forward to strengthening the bond between Oxford’s Zoology Department and RVC. I am excited by the opportunity of applying my expertise to important problems in veterinary science, animal health and food security.”

RVC vice-principal for research & innovation Professor Jonathan Elliott said: “Understanding how pathogens evolve to pass from wildlife into domestic animals and people is a major research goal for RVC’s infectious disease researchers and Professor Pybus’ skills in pathogen evolution will help us enormously to make an impact in this field.”