Skip to navigation Skip to content

Spotlight on veterinary epidemiology, population health and infectious disease control

EPIC is an ambitious animal heath consortium project
“EPIC is an excellent example of the multidisciplinary work supported by Scottish Government - scientists from a range of disciplines work with farmers and other agriculture industry members to identify and assess potential solutions to animal disease outbreaks

The Scottish Government has today announced the re-commissioning of EPIC, the Pan-Scottish Centre of Expertise on Animal Disease Outbreaks. For the next 5 years EPIC will be led from the University of Glasgow by Professor Dominic Mellor, Professor of Epidemiology and Veterinary Public Health at the School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM). The Centre receives £1.97m from the Scottish Government for their first year, as part of £48m announced today for funding into Scottish agriculture, food and environment research.

From April 2016, the EPIC will be commissioned by RESAS (Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services) to provide top quality epidemiological and economic advice to the Scottish Government in preparation for and in response to, animal disease outbreaks. The consortium will flexibly occupy the continuum between applied, policy-responsive work and longer term, curiosity-driven research.

EPIC is a collaborative, interdisciplinary-research consortium comprising six major partner organizations: Biomathematics and Statistics Scotland, the University of Edinburgh/Roslin Institute, the University of Glasgow, the James Hutton Institute, the Moredun Research Institute and Scotland's Rural College.

Speaking of the announcement, Prof Mellor said: “I am absolutely delighted to be taking on the Directorship of the new EPIC III programme.  I have been a PI in EPIC II for the last five years and am enormously proud to be part of such an innovative, policy-responsive research consortium. 

“It is a great tribute to the quality of science and the collegiate spirit of our collaboration with the Scottish Government that we have been commissioned to deliver another exciting and challenging programme of work for the next five years in support of preparedness for, and mitigation against, animal disease outbreaks.

“I am very honoured to be leading such a strong, multi-institution, multidisciplinary team of high calibre scientists.”

Over the last five years, EPIC’s mission has been to deliver the highest-quality scientific evidence to the Scottish Government. EPIC has fostered a unique and synergistic environment in which scientists who are expert in veterinary science, epidemiology, genetics, physics, mathematics, social science and economics can come together to respond to policy-relevant questions in ‘peace-time,’ as well as during animal disease emergencies.

The initiative also involves partnership with Scottish Government veterinarians, scientists and policy officials, as well as engagement with stakeholders and the public, to capitalize on shared knowledge and expertise and ensure that decisions for local action are based on robust evidence, as is fundamental to improving further the resilience of Scottish livestock industries.

Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead said: “Scotland is globally renowned as a land of science and innovation, and this funding will ensure we maintain our position at the very cutting edge of advances in agriculture, food and the environment.

“The Scottish Government continues to be a major funder of research in these fields, investing almost £50 million a year in research into crop science, animal health and welfare, human health and wellbeing and global challenges like food security and climate change.

“Our continued support will ensure Scotland will remain at the forefront of ground-breaking advances that have the potential to transform farming and food production in this country and across the world – building on the successes already achieved.”

Dr Lee-Ann Sutherland, from the James Hutton Institute’s Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences group, commented: “EPIC is an excellent example of the multidisciplinary work supported by Scottish Government - scientists from a range of disciplines work with farmers and other agriculture industry members to identify and assess potential solutions to animal disease outbreaks, increasing the preparedness and resilience of the agricultural industry in Scotland.”

More information from: 

Bernardo Rodriguez-Salcedo, Media Manager, Tel: +44 (0)1224 395089 (direct line), +44 (0)344 928 5428 (switchboard) or +44 (0)7791 193918 (mobile).


Printed from /news/spotlight-veterinary-epidemiology-population-health-and-infectious-disease-control on 22/05/19 10:02:44 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.