Director appointed to lead Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health


Professor Appolinaire Djikeng has been appointed to head the Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health, a partnership between the University of Edinburgh, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and the Africa-based International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).

Appolinaire Djikeng (centre) with
L-R Alistair Stott (SRUC), David Hume,
Bruce Whitelaw (both Roslin Institute)
and Steve Kemp (ILRI)
Credit: Norrie Russell/The Roslin Institute

He takes up the post in succession to Professor David Hume, who has been Director of the Centre since the launch of its first joint project “Genomic tools to improve the productivity of tropical livestock and increase climatic resilience, adaptation, and mitigation for the benefit of smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa”, supported by a US$16M grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in December 2015.

Professor Djikeng is currently Director of the Biosciences eastern and central Africa- (BecA)-ILRI Hub, based in Nairobi.

Global expertise

With a background and interests in genomics, Professor Djikeng brings a wealth of experience in developing and leading biosciences research and development and capacity building programs across agricultural development and public health initiatives.

Professor David Argyle, Head of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, said: “We are absolutely delighted with Professor Djikeng’s appointment. As the Centre takes a world-leading position in tropical livestock health, his exemplary leadership skills and expertise will be essential for driving its success.”

"We are delighted to have been able to attract a scientist of Appolinaire’s calibre to lead this partnership."

Professor Wayne Powell
Principal and Chief Executive of SRUC

Professor Bruce Whitelaw, Interim Director of The Roslin Institute, said: “CTLGH has made a successful start on its journey to becoming a world leading research hub for Africa under the leadership of David Hume. It is now time to accelerate our activities and Appolinaire Djikeng is the ideal person to lead this next phase of CTLGH’s development. I am excited about working with Appolinaire to achieve real translational benefits from the excellent research in CTLGH.”

Professor Wayne Powell, Principal and Chief Executive of SRUC said: “We are delighted to have been able to attract a scientist of Appolinaire’s calibre to lead this partnership. I and my colleagues at SRUC look forward to working with him on this important global agenda.”

Dr Jimmy Smith, Director General ILRI said: “I am very pleased to see Appolinaire taking up the position of Director for the CTLGH as he is particularly suited for this role –not only is he an excellent scientist but he has a sound vision of the transformative role that upstream livestock biosciences can play, particularly in the developing world and is able to communicate that vision to policy makers, scientists and the general public equally well.”

Pioneering research linked to global development

The Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health has a remit to build on the world-class research expertise of its partner institutions, ensuring the development and deployment of genetics and genomics technologies to improve livestock productivity and livelihoods in the tropics.

In addition to his role as CTLGH Director, Professor Djikeng has been appointed to a new Chair in Tropical Agriculture and Sustainable Development at the University of Edinburgh.

Professor Appolinaire Djikeng said: “I am grateful to all three founding partners for the trust placed in me to lead CTLGH at this critical stage of its development, and truly honoured to become part of an outstanding international research community with centuries-long track record of delivering remarkable innovations that have shaped our world.” 

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