Professor Julie Fitzpatrick OBE appointed Chief Scientific Advisor for Scotland

Published: 4 June 2021

Professor Julie Fitzpatrick OBE has been appointed Chief Scientific Advisor for Scotland and will remain the Scientific Director of Moredun Research Group and CEO of The Moredun Group, a world renowned research institute in the Midlothian Science Zone with expertise in livestock health and infectious diseases.

Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills Shirley-Anne Somerville has welcomed the appointment of Professor Julie Fitzpatrick as the Scottish Government’s next Chief Scientific Adviser.

“The past year has highlighted just how important science is to the work of the Scottish Government, and I’m delighted to welcome Professor Fitzpatrick as our new Chief Scientific Adviser. As CSA, Professor Fitzpatrick will play a key role in ensuring that science advice informs the Scottish Government’s work across the board, and adds value to our pandemic response.”

Shirley-Anne Somerville, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills

“I’m very much looking forward to engaging with scientists and engineers inside government and across our science base, to hear more about their inspiring work and how new developments could impact on the work of the Scottish Government. I know that Ministers and officials recognise the value of science and I’m keen to support their work by helping them to access and use science advice and evidence across a range of policy areas.”

Professor Julie Fitzpatrick

Professor Fitzpatrick will remain Scientific Director of the Moredun Research Institute and CEO of the Moredun Group. Ongoing activities will continue with the support of the senior managers across the companies and charities of the Group. Additional responsibilities for scientific strategy and management will be undertaken by Dr Alasdair Nisbet and Dr Tom McNeilly.

Moredun Research Institute will continue to focus on internationally and nationally relevant work on animal and wildlife health, sustainable livestock production, and prevention of infectious disease to support the farming industry during the recovery from Covid 19.

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Sir Muir Russell Chairman of Moredun Research Institute said, “Professor Julie Fitzpatrick has provided world class leadership to the Moredun Research Institute, marked by strong international collaborations and the delivery of diagnostics and vaccines that have made a huge difference to livestock husbandry. She has played an important leadership role in the work of the Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Research Institutes. Her skills and connections make her very well equipped for the role of Chief Scientific Adviser.

Gareth Baird Chairman of the Moredun Foundation said, “The whole Moredun family is delighted that Julie`s enormous contribution to animal welfare and the collaborative approach she has taken along with other Scottish Research Institutes in sharing knowledge has been recognised by Scottish Government in her appointment to this prestigious position”

Professor Fitzpatrick will start her new post of Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland on 14 June 2021.

In line with previous CSA appointments, this position will be a three-days-a-week secondment to the Scottish Government for three years.

The CSA Scotland will provide advice in a range of policy areas, focusing on strategic and/or cross-cutting issues, particularly in policy areas not already covered by the Chief Scientist (Health) and the CSA for Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture.

The CSA Scotland is an ex officio member of the Scottish Science Advisory Council and will be supported by the Council in advising the Scottish Government.

Biography - Professor Julie Fitzpatrick

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Professor Julie Fitzpatrick is Scientific Director of Moredun Research Institute and the CEO of The Moredun Group. She also holds a Chair in Food Security at the University of Glasgow’s College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences.

Professor Fitzpatrick qualified as a veterinary surgeon from the University of Glasgow's Vet School, gained a PhD in mucosal immunology from the University of Bristol, and she has a Masters degree in Epidemiology through distance-learning from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Awards and fellowships:

  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (2007)
  • Fellow of the Royal Agricultural Society of Scotland (2008)
  • OBE for services to livestock research (2014)
  • Royal Smithfield Club Bicentenary Trophy for contributions to agriculture (2016)
  • Dalrymple-Champney’s Cup for veterinary research (2018)

She has acted as Vice Chair of GALVmed, a public-private partnership funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Department For International Development; Co-Chair of the Scottish Food Commission; a previous member of the Scottish Science Advisory Council, and of the Board of Quality Meat Scotland.

At the UK level, Professor Fitzpatrick is currently Chair of the UK Science Partnership for Animal and Plant Health and Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board, and Non-Executive Director, of the Animal and Plant Health Agency.

Her personal research focused on infectious diseases of cattle, sheep and goats with particular emphasis on mastitis, welfare, and developing countries.​



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