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Aberystwyth University receives royal honour for parasite research
Aberystwyth University vice-chancellor Prof Jon Timmis receives the award from the Queen.
The Queen presented the award for research on parasitic flatworms.

Scientists from Aberystwyth University have been recognised during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace for their work on One Health parasite research.

The Queen’s Anniversary Prize celebrated the work of scientists at the University’s Department of Life Sciences, which have been been investigating a group of parasitic flatworms which cause disease in livestock and humans.

The flatworms can cause livestock to develop the devastating disease known as fasciolosis, which affects more than 300 million cattle and 250 million sheep across the world. This costs the agriculture industry over £2.5 billion each year.

It can also cause the tropical disease schistosomiasis in humans. The disease, spread through contaminated fresh water, kills an estimated 12,000 people and infects more than 200 million individuals each year.

The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes are awarded every two years as part of the British Honours system, and recognise outstanding work that benefits the wider world. Run by the Royal Anniversary Trust, they are the highest honours that can be awarded to further and higher education institutions in the UK.

Queen Camilla presented the award to the university’s vice-chancellor Professor Jon Timmis at a ceremony held at Buckingham Palace on Thursday, 22 February.

Prof Jon Timmis said: “It was a great honour to receive the prize from Her Majesty The Queen on behalf of the University. I am so proud that the pioneering work by our scientists is being recognised in this way.”

He added: “Our academics have been studying these parasites for more than a century, analysing their complex lifecycles and host interactions to an unprecedented level of detail and identifying vulnerabilities which can be targeted by new vaccines or drugs. I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to all those involved in this research, both past and present.”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak congratulated the winners, writing: “As your work shows, there is some extraordinary work taking place in British colleges and universities today – and it is being conducted in a spirit of inquiry, public good and a quest for knowledge.

“So let me thank all the Queen’s Anniversary Prize winners for everything you are doing.”

Image © Aberystwyth University

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RCVS Knowledge appoints Veterinary Evidence editor-in-chief

News Story 1
 RCVS Knowledge has welcomed Professor Peter Cockcroft as editor-in-chief for Veterinary Evidence.

A world-renowned expert in evidence-based veterinary medicine, Prof Cockcroft will lead the strategic development and editorial quality of the open-access journal. He was previously in the role from 2017-2020.

Katie Mantell, CEO of RCVS Knowledge, said: "We are excited about the extensive knowledge of evidence-based veterinary medicine and clinical veterinary research that Peter brings, and we look forward to working with him over this next phase of the journal's development." 

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Defra to host bluetongue webinar for vets

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) will be hosting a webinar for veterinary professional on bluetongue on Thursday, 25 April 2024.

Topics covered will include the transmission cycle, pathology and pathogenesis, clinical signs (including signs seen in recent BTV-3 cases in the Netherlands), and control and prevention.

The session, which will take place from 6pm to 7.30pm, is part of Defra's 'Plan, Prevent and Protect' webinar series, which are hosted by policy officials, epidemiologists and veterinary professionals from Defra and the Animal and Plant Health Agency. The bluetongue session will also feature insights from experts from The Pirbright Institute.

Those attending will have the opportunity to ask questions. Places on the webinar can be booked online.