The Moredun Group have announced the appointment of Dr Tom McNeilly as their new Scientific Director and CEO.

Dr McNeilly, a qualified veterinary surgeon, is an immunologist and infectious disease biologist with expertise in ruminant immunology. He joined Moredun Research Institute in 2006 following the completion of his PhD at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Science, University of Edinburgh.

Over the years, Dr. McNeilly’s work has involved the development of vaccines to control parasitic, viral and bacterial infections in both cattle and sheep, as well as providing an improved understanding of the immune basis of disease resistance.

Dr McNeilly has been a Head of the Department at Moredun Research Institute since 2016. He will take over from Professor Julie Fitzpatrick who has successfully led the organization for nearly 20 years.

Dr McNeilly said, “I am excited and honoured to take on the role of Scientific Director and CEO of the Moredun group from my colleague and mentor Professor Julie Fitzpatrick. Since arriving in 2006, I have seen the full breadth of work performed at Moredun, and the value of our research to the livestock sector and in providing a strong evidence base for the development of government policy. There are many challenges facing the livestock industry as it adapts to new biodiversity and Net Zero targets. However, improved animal health will play a key role in addressing these challenges by increasing food production efficiency and reducing drug treatments that can damage the environment. As such ­Moredun, with its emphasis on the development of vaccines to prevent disease, diagnostic tests to target treatments, and new disease management strategies, aligned with our strong emphasis on communicating our research to farmers and vets, is well placed to help the industry adapt to these challenges. I very much look forward to working with colleagues and partners to maintain Moredun’s status as a global champion of animal health and welfare.”

Professor Fitzpatrick has been CEO since 2004 and has overseen significant scientific advances and technologies that can be practically applied on the farm to improve the health and welfare of farm livestock.

Professor Fitzpatrick said, “I am delighted that Dr Tom McNeilly will become the next Director and CEO at Moredun. Tom has a strong research track record and is keen on commercialising outputs and ensuring the longstanding link between Moredun and the livestock sector is maintained and strengthened. I wish Tom the very best in what is an exciting and rewarding post.”

Sir Muir Russell, Chairman of Moredun Research Institute said, “For some years now, Dr McNeilly has been one of the lynchpins of the research work of the Moredun Research Institute, winning vital research income and leading his colleagues in the translation of research into practical results for the welfare and productivity of farm animals. He is ideally placed to take Moredun Research Institute forward to new research successes and to lead the Moredun Group in its UK-wide and worldwide mission. I look forward to working with him in his new role.”

Mr Gareth Baird, Chairman of the Moredun Foundation said, “Dr McNeilly came through a very robust recruitment process with flying colours. His passion and ambition for all things Moredun really impressed the selection panel and we were all absolutely delighted when Dr McNeilly accepted the position. His commitment to animal health and welfare is mirrored by his determination to lead a successful and happy team at Moredun and we are all looking forward immensely to working with him in his new role.”

Dr. McNeilly will take up his new appointment at the beginning of October.