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Sarah Cleaveland

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Name  Sarah Cleaveland

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Sarah Cleaveland OBE FRS FRSE is a veterinary surgeon and Professor of Comparative Epidemiology at the University of Glasgow.


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Cleaveland obtained a Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree from the University of Cambridge in 1988 followed by a PhD from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in 1996 for research on canine distemper and rabies in the Serengeti of Tanzania. During this time she was a postgraduate student at the Institute of Zoology in Regent's Park supervised by Chris Dye, Steve Albon and James Kirkwood.

At University Cleaveland was an avid magician and chair of the Cambridge magic society. Performing her tricks on stage helped pay her way through University.

Career and research

She subsequently worked at the Centre for Tropical Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh, before moving on to the University of Glasgow in 2008 where she is a professor at the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine and a member of the Boyd Orr Centre for Population and Ecosystem Health. A large part of Cleaveland's research has focused on the epidemiology of zoonotic diseases in northern Tanzania, including rabies. Her work has involved the initiation of mass rabies vaccination programmes for domestic dogs in the Serengeti, which has not only indirectly prevented hundreds of human deaths, but also protected wildlife species such as the endangered African wild dog.

Her research has been funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Medical Research Council (MRC).

Awards and honours

Cleaveland was the first woman to be awarded the British Veterinary Association Trevor Blackburn Award in 2008 in recognition of her work on animal and human infectious diseases in Africa. She is a founding director of the Alliance for Rabies Control whose mission is to prevent human deaths caused by infection with the rabies virus and reduce the burden of this disease in animals. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2012, elected to the National Academy of Medicine in October 2015, and elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in April 2016.

She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to veterinary epidemiology.

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Sarah Cleaveland Wikipedia