Fellowships awarded to One Health researchers

Dr Lisa Cavalerie and Dr Mark Nanyingi.

Two University of Liverpool researchers working on One Health projects been awarded fellowship funds to allow them to progress their research.

The highly competitive fellowships are awarded by the Soulsby Foundation – a charity that supports researchers, particularly those early in their career, working on One Health projects.

Dr Lisa Cavalerie and Dr Mark Nanyingi are both postdoctoral researchers working for the university’s One Health Regional Network for the Horn of Africa (HORN) project.

Dr Cavalerie is using the fellowship to study the benefits and risks of livestock ownership to maternal health in women in Ethiopia. “The aim of the study will be to develop sustainable livestock health management to improve both maternal and child health,” said Dr Cavalerie.

Dr Nanyingi is investigating the presence of Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) in people, livestock and mosquitoes in Kenya. He aims to develop a human-animal integrated surveillance system which will inform national policy and decision making in the event of outbreaks. “This study will enhance our understanding of the geographical risk, distribution and genetic diversity of the virus,” said Dr Nanyingi.

Chair of the Soulsby Foundation trustees, Judy MacArthur Clark, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the intimate link between animals and humans in emerging diseases. This emphasises the importance of a One Health approach so firmly advocated by Lord Soulsby in which veterinary and medical health professionals work together to find solutions.

“These 2020 Soulsby Fellows are remarkable examples of how a One Health approach benefits humans, animals and the communities in which they live. They are potential future leaders who will enable us to better respond to future pandemics.”

Five 2020 fellowships, in total worth £50,000, were awarded by the Soulsby Foundation to support research into zoonotic disease, maternal health, sustainable food production and biodiversity.

HORN is multidisciplinary, international partnership working to improve the health and wealth of the people of the Horn of Africa by developing a regional network of individuals and organisations that can undertake high quality research into the link between people’s health and wealth and that of livestock and the environment.