Professor Eleanor Riley has been appointed to head the prestigious Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh.
She will take up post later this year in succession to Professor David Hume.
Professor Riley is currently Professor of Infectious Disease Immunology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
With a background in veterinary medicine, human infectious diseases and global health, she has more than 30 years’ experience of research in the UK and Africa.
Prof Riley said: “I am honoured and delighted to have been given the opportunity to lead The Roslin Institute. Roslin is one of the world’s most respected veterinary research organisations with a longstanding, global reputation for excellence in improving animal health, welfare and production. I look forward to guiding the Institute to continued success and to strengthening research collaborations at home and abroad.”
The Roslin Institute is a UK National Institute of Bioscience. It carries out pioneering research in animal sciences with a particular focus on genetics and genomics, developmental biology, neurobiology and infection and immunity.
The Institute is embedded within the University of Edinburgh’s College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, which has a strategic focus on integrating research on human and animal health.
Prof Sir John Savill, Head of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, said: “Professor Riley is an outstanding, internationally-respected scientist. She brings an impressive track record in leading major multi-partner projects in the UK and abroad. We are confident that her visionary leadership will cement The Roslin Institute as a global research leader in human and animal health.”
Professor Riley graduated from the University of Bristol with degrees in Cellular Pathology and Veterinary Science, trained in Veterinary Pathology at Cornell University and holds a PhD in Immunology and Parasitology from the University of Liverpool.
She spent five years working at the Medical Research Council Laboratories in The Gambia before joining the University of Edinburgh’s Division of Biological Sciences as a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow in 1990.
In 1998, she was appointed Professor of Infectious Disease Immunology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She led the School’s Department of Immunology and Infection from 2001-2013.
Her research interests include immunity to malaria and related infections, genetic susceptibility to infection, the biology of natural killer cells and immunological evaluation of vaccines.
Professor Riley is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and Chairs the BBSRC’s Bioscience for Health Strategy Advisory Panel.
She succeeds Professor David Hume, who stepped down from the role of Director in January. Since then, Professor Bruce Whitelaw, the Institute’s Head of Developmental Biology, has been serving as Acting Director.