Professor Venugopal Nair OBE
Avian Immunology, Molecular Virology, Viral Diseases
Venugopal Nair has been working as the Head of the Avian Viral Diseases Programme since 2010 and oversees the Institute’s programme of research on avian virology and immunology. He studied at the College of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, Kerala, India (B.V.Sc & M.V.Sc), National Institute of Virology, India (Diploma in Medical Virology) and the Tamilnadu University of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, India (Ph.D.).
After 6 years postdoctoral research initially at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore and later at the Institute of Virology, Oxford, he joined The Pirbright Institute in 1994 to carry out research on avian oncogenic viruses. As the Head of the Avian Oncogenic Viruses group, he carried out extensive research into the molecular mechanisms of virus-induced cancers. His research focus includes efforts to gain insights into the viral gene functions and their interactions with the host cell in driving neoplastic transformation (where issues with normal growth convert to a malignant tumour).
He has carried out extensive analysis of the dynamic changes of virus-induced cancer cells (looking at epigenomes, non-coding RNAs, transcriptomes and the proteomes) to develop an integrated profile of the molecular events in neoplastic transformation. His research interests on viral diversity and evolution of virulence has demonstrated the potential role of vaccines in driving virulence.
He has published a number of scientific papers and book chapters, and his contributions to avian disease research were recognized through the Tom Newman Award (2002), admittance to the World Veterinary Poultry Association Hall of Honour (2013), and OBE in the New Year’s Honours list (2015). He also holds positions as the Expert of the OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) Reference Centre on Marek’s disease, Visiting Professor at Imperial College London, Honorary Professor at the University of Liverpool, and Jenner Investigator at the Jenner Institute, Oxford.
Professor Zhiqiang Shen
Dr. Zhiqiang Shen is Professor and Director of Shandong Binzhou Animal Science & veterinary Medicine Academy, Binzhou, China. He completed his Ph.D. in Preventive Veterinary Medicine from China Agricultural University. Dr. Shen’s research interest focuses primarily on veterinary biotechnology and preventive veterinary products with aim to afford rapid detection, effective diagnosis and novel preventive & therapeutic approaches against animal epidemics.
Dr. Shen originally invented and established novel vaccine manufacturing technique with nanometer propolis as immunologic adjuvant, which made an innovative breakthrough in the domain of veterinary biological products. More than 50 categories of propolis vaccines have been produced through the platform and gave rise to significant social and economic benefits. In addition, Dr. Shen also invented more than 80 kinds of veterinary drugs and feed additives. His research has been financially supported from several sources including the China National High-tech Research and Development Program, National Science and Technology Major Project, National Programs for Science and Technology Development. He is currently a member of editorial boards of many international journals and a reviewer for prestigious peer-review journals in veterinary science and related fields.
He presided more than 20 scientific research projects of state, provincial and ministerial level, and was awarded one national invention third prize, four second prizes of provincial advancement of science and technology, one sparking technology second prize of Shandong province and six first prizes from civic award of advancement on science and technology; own five national certificate of new veterinary drug and 13 patents.