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AFBI Deputy Chief Executive Awarded OBE

05 January 2010

NORTHERN IRELAND - Dr Sydney Neill, Deputy Chief Executive in the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI), has been awarded an OBE in the New Year's Honours list.

Dr Sydney Neill, Deputy Chief Executive in The Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute who has been awarded an OBE. Dr Neill joined the staff of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development's (DARD) Veterinary Sciences Division in 1974 and was appointed Head of its Bacteriology Branch in 1993. He was promoted to Deputy Chief Scientific Officer and Head of the Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences Division of DARD's Science Service in 2002, and appointed AFBI Deputy Chief Executive on the Institute's formation in 2006.

Dr Neill graduated in medical microbiology at Queen's University Belfast from where he subsequently gained a PhD for research in food microbiology. As an internationally recognised bacteriologist, Dr Neill led DARD's research programme on bovine tuberculosis (TB) for several years. He spearheaded development of the gamma-interferon blood test for this disease and led the largest field trial evaluation of this test to be carried out in the UK. The results of his work paved the way for the practical application of the gamma-interferon test, as an adjunct to the skin test, in bovine TB eradication programmes.

Dr Neill has considerable international research experience with expertise in food-borne pathogens and animal disease. He has collaborated with scientists throughout the world, including in Australia, New Zealand, Europe and USA, written numerous scientific articles and addressed scientific conferences in many countries.

More recently, he played a leading role in establishing the Renewable Energy Centre at AFBI Hillsborough and in planning AFBI's first highly successful international conference on renewable energy in 2008. He has made an important contribution to local economic strategy by representing AFBI on Matrix, the Northern Ireland Science Industry Panel.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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