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Professor Louise Cosby, pictured, has taken up the position of Head of Virology in the Veterinary Sciences Division of the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI).

Louise will provide overall management of the Virology Branch where she will lead a multidisciplinary programme of research aimed at improving the diagnosis and control of viral diseases of farmed animals. This includes work on new and emerging viral infections of animals. She will also have a major role in AFBI’s provision of an emergency response capability for outbreaks of diseases which pose a threat to the health and welfare of livestock in Northern Ireland.

Professor Cosby joins AFBI from Queen’s University, Belfast where she was a full time member of staff for over 30 years. Her most recent position in Queen’s was as Chair of Microbiology in the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences. She will retain an honorary professorship in Queen’s. Louise is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists and a Fellow of the UK Society of Biology. In her early career she was a visiting Associate Professor in the Veterinary School in Cornell University USA and, more recently, a visiting scientist at the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Pirbright Institute in Surrey.

Virology branch offers a wide range of diagnostic tests for viral infections of cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry and fish to the local industry. This includes the capability for testing new and emerging viruses, including a number of which are insect borne and which present an increased threat due to climate change. The branch also has expertise in design, production and validation of viral vaccines and can offer advice on any of these aspects.