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Professor James Wood

Professor James Wood

Alborada Professor of Equine and Farm Animal Science

Head of Department of Veterinary Medicine,

University of Cambridge


Biography:

James Wood is Head of the Department of Veterinary Medicine. He is a veterinary epidemiologist and joined the Department in Cambridge in 2005, initially as Director of the Cambridge Infectious Diseases Consortium, prior to appointment as Alborada Professor of Equine and Farm Animal Science in 2009.

He studies the dynamics of emerging infectious diseases, including viral infections of fruit bats in West Africa, focused in Ghana, mammalian influenza, rabies and bovine tuberculosis. Mathematical modelling and more traditional epidemiological approaches are combined with detailed molecular studies of pathogen and host in a multidisciplinary framework. All studies of any infection must also consider the ecology of the host as well as of the infection itself and its pathogenesis.

He has particular interests in the epidemiological dynamics of various virus infections of humans and other animals, including influenza, African horse sickness, canine rabies and emergent lyssavirus and henipavirus infections and the methods needed to study them. Bovine tuberculosis poses interesting challenges at the interface of science and policy and is an important disease and challenge. Funded studies include the emergence of zoonotic viruses, especially in Africa, transmission dynamics of mammalian influenza viruses and their variants through natural hosts and rabies dynamics. I co-supervise several students working on the dynamics of emergent viral infections in bats, in particular Eidolon helvum, in Ghana.

In addition to his research interests, he is also involved in the Cambridge-Africa programme, which focuses on building links between Cambridge and  African Institutions and which aims to strengthen Africa's own capacity for a sustainable research (http://www.cambridge-africa.cam.ac.uk/).

He has an MSc in Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (1991) and a PhD from the Open University (1997) which he completed when Head of Epidemiology at the Animal Health Trust. He is an RVC graduate (1988), having also completed a BSc in Physiology at UCL (1985). 

Keywords

  • the dynamics of emerging infectious diseases, including viral infections of fruit bats in West Africa, focused in Ghana, mammalian influenza, rabies and bovine tuberculosis
  • the dynamics of infections at different scales, from sub-cellular, through to within host and the population level
  • epidemiology and mathematical modelling