Veterinary Virology research visit to Columbia University, USA

In this blog, Dr Dan Horton (Lecturer in Veterinary Virology, School Research Director and Programme Leader for MSc Vet Microbiology) writes about his visit to Columbia University, supported by Santander Universities UK

Zoonotic and epizootic viruses continue to threaten both public health, and economic stability; however, our ability to predict and mitigate these risks remains limited. The undisputed global leaders in this field of wildlife zoonosis transmission and epidemic prediction are the Ecohealth Alliance, a consortium of veterinarians and scientists including Dr Simon Anthony based at Columbia University in New York. Prior to the visit I had established a collaboration with Dr Anthony , including a collaborative PhD student and initiated plans for a grant bid to the BBSRC. This visit was intended to allow pastoral support for the student, consolidate the collaboration and start writing the bid and plan tech transfer of the techniques used at Columbia to the UoS

This visit built the foundations of a BBSRC grant proposal to improve prediction of virus transmission and emergence and the livestock-livestock-human interfaces. It also consolidated the collaboration with the EcoHealth Alliance, allowing meetings with the wider network of scientists including Professor Ian Lipkin and the drafting of a collaborative review paper. Finally, the visit gave me the opportunity to provide our collaborative PhD student with pastoral care, and additional supervision and support with presenting her work not possible through our regular video meetings.

My thanks for this opportunity, it was a very productive visit.