This year has seen the earlier than expected arrival of Highly Pathogenic H5 Avian Influenza Virus which is infecting both wild birds and poultry on small holdings and commercial production units. Find out how APHA detects and reacts to a bird ‘flu outbreak in the United Kingdom.
Dr Sharon M Brookes, PhD, FRSB
Sharon is currently the Lead Scientist for Animal and Zoonotic Viral Diseases at APHA. Between 2007 and 2018 she led the APHA influenza virus groups and prior to that rabies and other lyssaviruses teams. This was proceeded by junior and senior post-doctoral research posts at the Institute for Animal Health – Pirbright and The Kennedy Institute for Rheumatology having completed her PhD at the Australian Animal Health Laboratory in Geelong. From 1991 she has been a long-standing member of the Society for General Microbiology (SGM) - now known as the Microbiology Society (MiSoc) - serving on their Virology Committee, an editor/senior editor of their Journal of Medical Microbiology since 2017 and more recently being elected as a trustee to Council (2021).
She works closely with Defra colleagues on Food Farming and Biosecurity and other in the Civil Service (CS). Sharon has just completed the CS Talent Future Leadership Scheme - 2019/20 cohort, including the inaugural Disability Empowers Leadership Talent CS-FLS-DELTA programme. Proud to be part of the Government Science and Engineering Profession (2016 onwards), assisting with CS Science and Engineering fast-stream recruitment and assessments, other CS talent management initiative and mentoring others via Equality, Disability and Inclusion fora. Managing her own disability and caring responsibilities in the workplace. She also supports women in science at APHA and wider.
Dr Brookes is also a member of the APHA Academic Board, recruiting, supervising and examining PhD and other post graduate students. She has 130 research publications https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9207-6659 on a range of veterinary and zoonotic viral pathogens: Coronaviruses, Bluetongue virus, endogenous retroviruses, African swine fever virus, foot and mouth disease virus, rabies and other bat lyssaviruses, swine and avian influenza viruses.
She supporting APHA social media: Website: www.gov.uk/apha | Twitter: @APHAgovuk | Facebook: aphagov | LinkedIn: #aphascience as well as her own Twitter: @sharonbrookes8 | @smbwade
The coronavirus pandemic has only highlighted the importance of having scientific experts who can quickly provide advice and evidence for new strains of animal viruses that can transfer into humans and cause severe disease due to the lack of protective immunity against the pathogen. In this blog, marking World Zoonoses Day, we hear from Dr Sharon Brookes, Lead Scientist for the Animal and Zoonotic Viral Diseases Portfolio (AZVDP) as she describes the important range of work her portfolio undertakes.
Sharon Brookes, Head of Avian Virology and Mammalian Influenza at APHA, talks about our involvement in the new DELTA-FLU project funded by the EU.
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About APHA science
A blog about science at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).