DMU academic appointed to government committee

A De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) academic has been appointed to a government scientific advisory committee.

Dr Philippe Wilson, Lecturer in Biological Chemistry and Cheminformatics, has been appointed to the Farm Animal Genetic Resources Committee (FAnGR), which provides advice to Defra (The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs).

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Dr Wilson is an expert in exotic diseases, particularly in poultry, and the calcification of egg shells. He is also a trustee of a national poultry charity.

The committee will give advice to the government on the conservation and sustainable use of farm animal genetic resources, including livestock, conserved embryos, eggs and semen.

There are over 160 breeds of cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry and horses that are native to the UK, of which about 100 are at risk.

FAnGR is responsible for helping to improve the genetics in the beef industry, providing advice on zootechnical legislation, communicating and raising awareness of key FAnGR issues, including FAnGR in Rural Development programme and advising on any changes needed to the UK breeds at risk lists.

Dr Wilson, who earlier this year was named on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list, began his three-year term on the committee at the start of July and will attend quarterly meetings as well as taking part in various scientific sub-groups.

He has been involved in farming for the majority of his life and is looking forward to the opportunity to bring together his research and charitable efforts to play a key part in policy making.

“It’s a big honour to be part of this committee,” he said. “I’ve done a lot of work relating to farming and I’m pleased to now be able to bring my research into this form. It’s great to be able to contribute to policy making.”

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Dr Wilson believes that this work will provide an opportunity to showcase DMU’s leading research.

He explained: “This goes to show how excellent the university’s support network is at directorate level. Brian Brown, Rusi Jaspal and Nigel Wright have provided me with lots of encouragement and a support network that has enabled me to get this position.”

Professor Nigel Wright, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research, believes that this appointment is an important example of DMU’s research having a real-world impact.

He said: “I’m delighted to hear of Philippe’s appointment. It’s a testament to his ability and potential to impact policies that will benefit many and is in line with DMU’s commitment to societal impact.”

Posted on Tuesday 24th July 2018

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