Eminent veterinary epidemiologist Dirk Pfeiffer has joined the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) as chief epidemiologist on a part-time secondment.

Prof Pfeiffer is head of the Veterinary Epidemiology, Economics and Public Health Group at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC). He will work with APHA’s epidemiological scientists to strengthen and develop epidemiological capability in the agency.

He is working on several projects covering animal health surveillance methods and animal diseases such as avian influenza, peste des petits ruminants and African swine fever.

Kath Webster, director of scientific services at APHA, said: “This is a marvellous opportunity for APHA scientists to draw on his experience and will help strengthen our disease prevention planning and disease management capability.”

Principal of the RVC Stuart Reid commented: “We are excited that the college, through Prof Pfeiffer and his group, can work in partnership with APHA and contribute to work that will help protect the UK’s livestock industry from significant disease threats it faces. Dirk brings experience, scientific excellence and leadership to what will be an exciting opportunity for all involved in the initiative.”
Prof Pfeiffer added: “I am delighted to be taking on this exciting new role. I’m looking forward to leading and supporting scientists from across the agency in building epidemiological capability, keeping the agency at the forefront of disease planning and evaluation strategies.”
Prof Pfeiffer is also head of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organisation’s Reference Centre in Veterinary Epidemiology at the RVC, a member of the Exotic Diseases Subgroup of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ Science Advisory Council and has extensive experience in animal disease surveillance.
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