Funding strengthens Pirbright and Glasgow Centre for Virus Research partnership

The long-term partnership between The Pirbright Institute and MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research (CVR) has been strengthened by a joint funding award of £500,000 from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

Pirbright and the CVR are the only facilities under UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) that focus entirely on viruses and the diseases they cause.  Creating closer collaboration between the organisations will accelerate and expand research into zoonotic viruses which will increase the UK’s capability in this area.

Whilst Pirbright works to improve the understanding and control of important viral diseases of livestock and viruses that spread from animals to humans, CVR is focused on the study of viruses of humans and the human-animal interface. This partnership of veterinary and medical viral disease research creates one of the largest groups of researchers in the UK which will initially concentrate on vector borne viral disease, zoonoses and virus cross-species jumping. This creates excellent opportunities for greater collaboration in One Health studies.

The new funding will address BBSRC/MRC UKRI strategic priorities, specifically:

  • Collaboration, partnerships and knowledge exchange – enabling alliances across disciplines and sectors, with users of research, nationally and internationally
  • Promote ‘One Health’ – combining biological, veterinary and medical research to improve the health and wellbeing of animals and people
  • People and talent – attracting and developing a flexible and diverse workforce to deliver modern bioscience
  • Infrastructure – ensuring that the UK bioscience community has access to the facilities, resources and services necessary to carry out ground-breaking research, and support its translation into economic and societal impact

Prof Bryan Charleston, Director and CEO of The Pirbright Institute said “We have been working in partnership with Glasgow for some time to forge collaborations and that has culminated in funding from BBSRC UKRI to specifically bring the two institutes together. This has been welcomed in many areas as a key step to advancing veterinary and medical viral disease research.”

Prof Massimo Palmarini, Director of the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research said “We are delighted that this joint funding award will strengthen and grow our strategic partnership with Pirbright. Even closer collaboration between our two organisations will help to accelerate and expand research into viruses at the human-animal interface, an area of research the pandemic has highlighted as vitally important.”

This study was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

Image credit: Andy Newbold

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