Share this page:
Other services (opens in new window)
Sets a cookie

Martin Shirley appointed Director of Institute for Animal Health

20 June 2006

Professor Martin Shirley, a world expert in the biology of parasitic diseases of poultry has been appointed Director of the Institute for Animal Health (IAH) by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the IAH Governing Body.   

Professor Shirley has been Acting Director of IAH since November 2004, during which time he has led a major re-focusing of the Institute's science strategy and institute restructuring to deliver it.

"I am delighted that Martin Shirley has been appointed from within a strong international field of candidates," said Professor Julia Goodfellow, Chief Executive of Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) which sponsors IAH. "He has played a vital role in reshaping IAH's science so that it best meets scientific and UK policy needs in animal health - and in addressing the knock-on consequences for food safety and human health."

Professor Shirley is an authority on the parasite Eimeria that causes the devastating and economically important diseases coccidiosis in poultry. His research was instrumental in the development of 'Paracox' vaccine (with Schering-Plough Animal Health Ltd) and around 800 million doses of the vaccine are now sold annually worldwide.

In addition to his research at IAH and academic positions - he is, for example, Visiting Professor in the Department of Veterinary Parasitology at the University of Liverpool - Professor Shirley has strong links with the UK and international poultry industries. He won the Research Medal of the Royal Agricultural Society of England in 2004.

Professor Shirley also has extensive international collaborations and links. These include a Visiting Professorship at the Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences in China.

"I am delighted and very proud to be taking over as Director of the IAH at a time when BBSRC investment in animal health and welfare research is increasing,"said Professor Shirley. "We have new opportunities to bring together different disciplines and expertise including that of the new genomics technologies to create research partnerships that will help to keep the UK a world leader in animal health research. The redevelopment of the Pirbright site of IAH and the new EBRC in Scotland are particularly exciting."



The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is the UK funding agency for research in the life sciences. Sponsored by Government, BBSRC annually invests around £380 million in a wide range of research that makes a significant contribution to the quality of life for UK citizens and supports a number of important industrial stakeholders including the agriculture, food, chemical, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors.

About Institute for Animal Health

The Institute for Animal Health is a world-leading centre of excellence for research into infectious diseases of livestock; integrating cutting-edge laboratory studies with targeted research in containment facilities that are unrivalled in the UK. The IAH houses national and international reference and surveillance laboratories and is located on three sites; Compton in Berkshire; Pirbright in Surrey; and the Neuropathogenesis Unit in Edinburgh.


Professor Martin Shirley, Director of the Institute for Animal Health. (151 KB)

Click on the thumbnail to view and download full-size image.

Larger image

Note that this image is protected by copyright law and may be used with acknowledgement of BBSRC and the Institute of Animal Health.


Matt Goode, Head of External Relations

tel: 01793 413299

Tracey Jewitt, Media Officer

tel: 01793 414694
fax: 01793 413382