The Vitamin D Animal Laboratory was established by Richard Mellanby in 2016. Richard graduated from University of Glasgow in 1998 and after two years in small animal practice, Richard completed a 3 year residency in small animal medicine at the University of Cambridge.He was awarded the RCVS Certificate in Small Animal Medicine in 2001, the RCVS Diploma in Small Animal Medicine in 2003 and the ECVIM Diploma in Companion Animal medicine in 2004. He was then awarded a Wellcome Trust Clinical Training Fellowship to undertake studies into T cell activation and regulation in diabetes for which he was awarded a PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2007.

Richard moved to the University of Edinburgh in 2007 and worked as clinical fellow dividing my time between clinical work and research. He was awarded a second Wellcome Trust fellowship to continue his studies into T cell activation in 2008. In 2012 Richard was awarded a third Wellcome Trust fellowship to explore how antigen presentation cells activate a pathogenic T cell response. Richard was appointed Head of Small Animal Medicine in 2011 and Head of Veterinary Clinical Research in 2012. He was promoted to Head of Companion Animal Sciences in 2016 and was awarded a Personal Chair in Comparative Medicine in 2017.


Evidence for the Richard’s international expertise in vitamin D biology include :

  • Invitations to speak at leading CPD events on calcium and vitamin D homeostasis (eg BSAVA 2014, BVA 2016, Scottish BSAVA 2017)
  • Invitations to speak at national and international symposium on my vitamin D research (eg Rank Foundation 2013 , Comparative Biology Society 2015, Translational Veterinary Research Conference, Hong Kong 2015)
  • Invitations to present research seminars at UK universities on vitamin D research (eg Universities of Cambridge 2013 and Bristol 2015)
  • Invitations to submit review papers (eg JSAP 2016) and book chapters on vitamin D homeostasis (eg The Textbook of Veterinary Internal Medicine, Eds Ettinger & Feldman 2016, widely regarded to be the definitive textbook of small animal medicine)
  • Awards at international vitamin D conference (eg Plenary Poster Award Vitamin D Workshop, Boston, 2016 and Florida 2017)
  • Widespread reporting of vitamin D research in the media including radio (eg Radio Scotland), TV (eg STV), newspapers (eg The Times, The Daily Mail, The National, The Herald, Daily Express, Daily Star, The Scotsman, The Herald, The Sun) and numerous websites (eg BBC News).
  • High altmetric scores on published research. For example, paper ‘Vitamin D status predict reproductive success in a wild sheep population’ has an altmetric score of 178 placing it in the 99th percentile (ranked 1 818) of 212 036 tracked articles of a similar age in all journals. The paper was placed in the 98th percentile (ranked 46th) of 2 681 tracked articles of a similar age in Scientific Reports.
  • Regular national and international requests from veterinarians seeking advice on how to manage complex calcium and vitamin D disorders in companion animals
  • Awarded R(D)SVS Clinical Research Award 2015 for vitamin D biology research.
  • Award of Petplan Scientific Achievement Award in 2016. The citation for this award indicated it was made in recognition of Richard’s internationally leading expertise in the comparative biology of vitamin D.
  • Promotion to Reader in 2014 and then full Professor of Comparative Medicine in 2017 based on my research outputs, notably in area of vitamin D biology
  • Elected as Fellow of Royal of College of Veterinary Surgeons for meritorious contributions to knowledge. My work on the comparative biology of vitamin D was central to this award.