Professor Richard Mellanby

Richard is a small animal medicine specialist who leads the Vitamin D Animal Laboratory. 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. He was appointed Head of Small Animal Medicine in 2011 and Head of Veterinary Clinical Research in 2012. 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. In 2012 he was awarded a third Wellcome Trust Fellowship to explore how antigen presentation cells activate a pathogenic T cell response which was further extended in 2016. He was promoted to Head of Companion Animal Sciences in 2016 and was awarded a Personal Chair in Comparative Medicine in 2017. He has published over 160 papers, many of which have been on the comparative biology of vitamin D. His vitamin D research has resulted in the award of Petplan Scientific Achievement Award in 2016, the BSAVA Blaine Award in 2020 and his election as Fellow of Royal of College of Veterinary Surgeons for meritorious contributions to knowledge in 2016.

 

Emma Hurst

Emma is a postdoctoral scientist based in the VitDAL who leads the lab’s diagnostic assay service. She has developed numerous vitamin D metabolite assays and is also developing a wide range of ex-vivo assays to allow the lab to explore the factors which control cutaneous production of vitamin D in production and wild animals. Emma has recently published her development and validation studies on 25(OH)D, 3-epi-25(OH)D and free 25(OH)D assays in the dog. 

Glynn Woods

 Glynn is a DVetMed postgraduate student at the University of Edinburgh who is undertaking research in the VitDAL. He is exploring how vitamin D homeostasis is altered in dogs with a protein losing enteropathy.  

Camilla Johnsen

Camilla is a DVetMed postgraduate student at the University of Edinburgh who is defining the relationship between vitamin D status and long term health outcomes in dogs. 

 

 

KEY COLLABORATORS

Natalie Homer

Natalie has been instrumental in establishing the diagnostic assay service of the VitDAL. Natalie manage the mass spectrometry core facility at the QMRI which is part of the Edinburgh Clinical Research Facility. This facility focus on small molecule analysis using triple quadrupole mass spectrometers. Natalie and her team also have expertise in quantitative steroid analysis using chromatography and mass spectrometry, in particular glucocorticoids, estrogens and androgens. They are also able to develop assays for many small molecules including drugs, other lipid like molecules and metabolites of endogenous and exogenous molecules.

Adam Gow

Adam is Head of Small Animal Medicine at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. He works closely with VitDAL in studies which examine vitamin D homeostasis in clinical patients treated at the Hospital for Small Animals, University of Edinburgh.

Ian Handel

Ian is a senior lecturer in epidemiology at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. He has considerable expertise in statistics, modelling and experimental design and has collaborated on numerous VitDAL projects. He is particularly involved in epidemiology studies which explore the relationship between vitamin D metabolism and health outcomes in production and wild animals.

Dan Nussey

Dan, along with his colleagues Professor Josephine Pemberton and Dr Kathryn Watt, have collaborated with VitDAL for several years on projects which aim to understand the relationship between vitamin D and health outcomes in wild animals, notably the unmanaged Soay sheep population on St Kilda island. Dan is  an evolutionary ecologist based at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology the University of Edinburgh. His research aims to understand the causes and consequences of individual differences in the ageing process. The deterioration of physiological function with age (or senescence), although seemingly inevitable, is one of the most complex, variable and poorly understood of biological processes.

Jeff Schoenebeck

Jeff is a group leader in the Roslin Institute who runs a research programme which investigates the genetic basis of canine and feline morphology and diseases. He works closely with the VitDAL on studies which aim to establish the genetic causes of important calcium and vitamin D disorders in companion animals.

 

ALUMINI

Iris Mair
Iris was a postdoctoral scientist whose programme of work focuses on exploring how vitamin D modulates the immune response. Iris was particularly interested in establishing how 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D modulates the function and phenotype of dendritic cells. She developed a wide range of in-vitro and in-vivo assays to facilitate these studies, notably lentivirus based gene knockdown and overexpression approaches, which have been instrumental in allowing the lab to establish the functional relevancy of the phenotypic changes induced in dendritic cells following exposure to 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D. Iris is now a postdoctoral scientist at the University of Manchester. 

Jenny Cartwright
Jenny was a senior clinical scholar in her final year of her small animal medicine residency at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and was awarded an MSc studies for her research worked completed in the VitDAL which examinined vitamin D receptor expression in canine tissues. Jenny also explored how key vitamin D receptor expression was altered in dogs with inflammatory bowel disease. Jenny is currently a PhD student at the SCRM, University of Edinburgh.

Dario Besusso

Dario was a postdoctoral scientist with the VitDAL and played a key role in establishing the experimental models which explored how vitamin D metabolites influenced the development of an autopathogenic T cell response. Dario is currently a senior postdoctoral scientist at the University of Milan

Louise Saul

Louise was a postdoctoral scientist in VitDAL who played a key role in defining how 1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D influenced the biology of dendritic cells. Louise is currently a secondary school science teacher.