Independent Scientific Group
RUMA’s Independent Scientific Group meets four times a year. It had its first meeting in January 2017. The RUMA Scientific Group Impartiality Statement outlines the group’s principles of strict impartiality, guided by The Seven Principles of Public Life, known as the Nolan Principles. It also has an agreed set of RUMA Scientific Group Terms of Reference. The group is listed below alphabetically, and meeting agendas can be found at the bottom of the page.
Professor David Barrett (deputised by Dr Kristen Reyher)
Professor of Bovine Medicine, Production and Reproduction at University of Bristol
Professor David Barrett is a clinical veterinarian with over 25 years of experience in livestock practice, veterinary education and research. He is both a Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Recognised Specialist in Cattle Health and Production and a European Veterinary Specialist in Bovine Health Management. He is a Past-President of the European College of Bovine Health Management (2005-07), a former Chair of Directors of Vet Trust and the Vice-President of the British Cattle Veterinary Association (2017-18).
Dr Ian Brown
Consultant Clinical Research Fellow at Oxford University & Oxford University Hospitals; Chairman of the Government’s Advisory Committee on Animal Feedstuffs
Dr Ian Brown is a medically qualified registered specialist and consultant in occupational medicine and toxicology. He is also a graduate in agricultural biochemistry and nutrition and has a wide range of knowledge and experience covering occupational health medicine, toxicology, agriculture and food safety. Dr Brown was formerly a Consultant Physician in Occupational Medicine and Toxicology at Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust and was Director of Occupational Health and Head of Department at the University of Oxford until 2105. He remains an Honorary Consultant Physician and Research Fellow to Oxford University and Oxford University Hospitals.
Professor Mark Fielder
Professor of Medical Microbiology at Kingston University; President of the Society for Applied Microbiology
Professor Mark Fielder was awarded a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from Kings College London in 1995, winning the Tadion-Rideal Prize for outstanding postgraduate work. He then undertook Postdoctoral position at St Georges Hospital London on mucosal vaccination against Vibrio cholerae. After joining Kingston University as a lecturer (1998) in medical Microbiology, he was awarded a chair in Medical Microbiology in 2011. He acts as an advisor for the Clinical Laboratory Sciences Institute (Veterinary antimicrobial susceptibility testing) and sits on the Parliamentary and Scientific committee. His research team is multidisciplinary working on rapid detection systems for infectious disease diagnosis and to overcome antimicrobial resistance in clinical and veterinary settings and looking at antibiotic overspill into wild raptors.
Professor Nigel Gibbens
Veterinary public health consultant specialising in disease control & animal health and welfare policy
Professor Gibbens qualified from the Royal Veterinary College in 1981 and worked in general practice before completing a Masters Degree in Tropical Veterinary Medicine at Edinburgh. After spells in Belize and Yemen providing government-led veterinary services, he returned to the UK as a Government Field Veterinary Officer in 1990. A succession of lead veterinary roles within Government followed, culminating in his appointment as Chief Veterinary officer in 2008, a role he retired from in February this year.
Avian expert for UK government; Technical Advisor to the British Poultry Council; Lecturer at Cambridge University Veterinary School
Daniel Parker graduated from Downing College, Cambridge in 1983. He initially worked in large animal practice in the UK and small animal practice in Hong Kong. Developed and interest in the poultry sector whilst working with Intervet UK before setting up Slate Hall Veterinary Practice. The practice provides a range of veterinary and laboratory consultancy services across the poultry sector to UK and international poultry companies. Daniel's particular interest is in the poultry meat sector at both primary breeder and broiler level. Daniel is a visiting lecturer at Cambridge University Veterinary School and gained Fellowship of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons in 2017. He was also made diplomate of European College of Poultry Veterinary Surgeons in 2015 and is an RCVS-recognised Specialist in Poultry Medicine and Production.
Professor Sharon Peacock CBE
Professor of Clinical Microbiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Sharon Peacock is an academic clinical microbiologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and an Honorary Faculty Member at the Wellcome Sanger Institute. Her research group work focuses on pathogen sequencing in relation to diagnostic and public health microbiology and antimicrobial resistance. Particular interests are the implementation of sequencing technologies into routine clinical practice to inform and improve infection control practice and prevent nosocomial infection; and characterisation of the genetic relatedness and transmission of pathogenic bacteria in different reservoirs, including humans, livestock and the food chain, and sewage. Her group increasingly use big data approaches to define the biological processes of host-pathogen interactions.
Dr Kristen Reyher (deputy for Professor David Barrett)
Reader in Veterinary Epidemiology and Population Health at University of Bristol
Dr Kristen Reyher is a Senior Lecturer of Farm Animal Science at the School of Veterinary Sciences, University of Bristol. She has worked in livestock practice in three countries, and holds a doctorate of veterinary medicine from Cornell University as well as a PhD in veterinary epidemiology from the Atlantic Veterinary College in Prince Edward Island, Canada. Kristen currently leads an interdisciplinary research group (the AMR Force) focussed on antimicrobial resistance as well as directs the first studies applying a counselling style called Motivational Interviewing to veterinarian-client communication.
Dr Shabbir Simjee
Chief Medical Officer, Elanco Animal Health
Dr Simjee completed a PhD in 1998 from the University of Birmingham Medical School. After a brief time in research he went to work at the US FDA between 2000-2003 at the Centre for Veterinary Medicine specifically looking at gene transfer between animal and human pathogens and also heading the enterococcus part of the US National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring Systems (NARMS) program. He returned back to the UK in 2004 to take up a position at Elanco Animal Health as global technical and regulatory advisor on antibiotics. Dr Simjee is past-chair of the VetPath program a Pan European AMR monitoring program and is past co-chair of the CLSI veterinary antimicrobial susceptibility testing sub-committee. Dr Simjee has served 9 years as editor for Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, 10 years as editor for Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy and continues to serve as editor on International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents.
Mr Martin Smith
Lead Veterinary Surgeon, British Quality Pigs
Martin graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in London in 2009 with a Bachelors in Veterinary Research Science, specialising in veterinary pathology and a Bachelors in Veterinary Medicine. Following graduation Martin spent a number of years in both mixed and farm animal veterinary practice, then returned to the Royal Veterinary College to author modules on the Intensive Livestock Health and Production online masters course, covering health and welfare modules in pigs and poultry. Martin joined AHDB Pork (formerly BPEX) in 2014 leading the veterinary team and was directly involved in project managing the build for the electronic Medicines Book for Pigs (eMB-Pigs). Martin now leads the veterinary department in the UK’s largest outdoor pork producer BQP in Suffolk.
Professor Nicola Williams
Professor in Zoonotic Bacterial Disease, University of Liverpool
Professor Williams is a microbiologist with over 17 years’ experience in conducting applied research, primarily on bacterial zoonoses and antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Her research interests include reservoirs and transmission of food-borne pathogens, transfer and maintenance of antimicrobial resistance, antimicrobial prescribing practice, and the epidemiology of AMR bacteria in wildlife, livestock and pets.
Catherine McLaughlin (Chair)
RUMA Chair, NFU Chief Adviser (Animal Health and Welfare)
Catherine (Cat) McLaughlin is the Chief policy adviser at the National Farmers Union (NFU) for Animal Health and Welfare, providing strategic policy leadership around farmed animal welfare, endemic and exotic disease control and veterinary medicines, including antibiotics and AMR. Her previous roles have included a directorship of AMTRA (Animal Medicines Training Regulatory Authority), Scottish extension officer of the Milk Development Council and market information manager of Quality Meat Scotland (QMS)/Meat and Livestock Commission (Scotland). A graduate of the University of Aberdeen (Agriculture, with Honours in Animal Science) she also holds a PG Diploma in Farm Business Organisational Management from Scottish Agricultural College (SAC) (Aberdeen).
Dr Ana Vidal (Observer)
Head of the Antimicrobial Resistance Team at the Veterinary Medicines Directorate
Dr Paul Cook (Observer)
Head of the Microbiological Risk Assessment Branch of the Food Standards Agency
Agenda for meeting 4 March 2019: PDF Download
Agenda for meeting 26 June 2018: PDF Download
Agenda for meeting 16 January 2018: PDF Download
Agenda for meeting 20 September 2017: PDF Download
Agenda for meeting 18 May 2017: PDF Download
Agenda for meeting 4 January 2017: PDF Download