Prof Ross Fitzgerald to be new Director of Edinburgh Infectious Diseases

We are delighted to announce that Professor Ross Fitzgerald will become the new Director of Edinburgh Infectious Diseases from January 2016.

Ross is currently Professor of Molecular Bacteriology at The Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh.  Ross began his career at Trinity College, Dublin, where he received his degree and PhD, before moving the National Institues of Health in the USA for postdoctoral work.  He first joined the University of Edinburgh in 2004 as a lecturer, being promoted to senior lecturer in 2008 and was then awarded his personal chair in 2012. (Photo courtesy of Norrie Russell, Roslin Institute).

A major research focus of his group has been understanding diversity among natural populations of pathogenic bacteria, particularly staphylococci.  His group have employed whole genome sequencing of large numbers of bacterial isolates for investigating epidemiology and evolution. In parallel, the function of specific bacterial determinants in the emergence and success of pathogenic clones has been investigated. A particular interest is the transmission of bacteria between animal species and humans, and the molecular basis for bacterial host adaptation. In addition, a major goal is translation of fundamental discoveries into novel approaches to controlling infectious disease.

About his new appointment Ross says,

I am honoured to be given the opportunity to become the new Director of Edinburgh Infectious Diseases and to follow on from the excellent work of Rick Maizels in this role. In Edinburgh we are fortunate to have a large number of scientists and clinicians with research expertise in the general area of infectious diseases. It is imperative that via the framework of Edinburgh Infectious Diseases, we co-ordinate our efforts and lead the way globally in our efforts to understand and combat this constantly shifting threat to human and veterinary health."

Ross takes over as Director from Prof Rick Maizels who has led and developed Edinburgh Infectious Diseases since its inception in 2011.  Rick is now moving to the Wellcome Trust Centre for Molecular Parasitology at the University of Glasgow.  We would like to express our deep appreciation for the many ways in which he has built up the influence and activities of the Edinburgh Infectious Diseases network over the past four years, and wish him the very best for all the new challenges ahead.

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