The Soulsby Foundation has awarded the inaugural Soulsby Travelling Fellowships to Dr Camilla Benfield and Dr Andrew Stringer to support their work in the international field of One Health which focuses on the essential links between human and animal health.
Dr Benfield, a lecturer at the Department of Virology at the Royal Veterinary College in London, was awarded a Soulsby Fellowship to support her work on the eradication of morbillivirus of small ruminants (PPRV), a viral disease of significant importance to rural communities, especially in Africa. She will visit Tanzania to understand how this disease occurs in wildlife which may transmit infection to domestic sheep and goats.
Dr Stringer, Director of the Global Health Education Programme at North Carolina State University, will explore the use of antibiotics by livestock owners in central Ethiopia with a view to designing effective ways to mitigate the spread of antimicrobial resistance.
The two new Soulsby Fellows were named during an event to celebrate the life of Lord Soulsby of Swaffham Prior at the Royal Society of Medicine on Wednesday 18 April, during which Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department of Health & Social Care, and a great admirer of Lord Soulsby, gave the keynote address. Others reflecting on the life of Lord Soulsby included Past-Presidents of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Lord Trees of the Ross and Dr Judy MacArthur-Clark, now Chair of the Soulsby Foundation.
Lord Soulsby, who died in May 2017, was a pioneer and champion of the One Health concept, which recognises the need to take a multidisciplinary approach to solving global and environmental health challenges. The only past president of the RCVS to have also become President of the Royal Society of Medicine, he sought to inspire colleagues and students to view animal and human medicine as one continuous health-related tapestry.
The Soulsby Foundation was established by Lord Soulsby a year before his death in 2016 to support talented veterinary and medical researchers at an early stage in their careers through competitively awarded travelling fellowships. One or two Soulsby Fellowships will be awarded annually.
For further information about the Foundation, or to volunteer, apply for a Fellowship or make a donation, visit www.soulsbyfoundation.org