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Professor Elisabeth Innes

Professor Elisabeth Innes

Moredun Research Institute
Pentlands Science Park
Bush Loan
Midlothian EH26 0PZ


Elisabeth (Lee) has an honours degree in Immunology from the University of Glasgow and a PhD in Tropical Animal Health from the University of Edinburgh.

She is really interested in the relationship between the many pathogens we encounter and our immune responses and how this can be used to develop better methods of disease prevention and resilience. She has conducted research in several different Institutes in the UK and Africa, working primarily in Morocco and Kenya focussing on infectious diseases of livestock and has a strong interest in One Health and zoonoses.

Lee currently leads a group at Moredun Research Institute in Edinburgh working to develop solutions to control diseases caused by protozoan parasites relating to the health and welfare of animals, people and the environment and works collaboratively within the Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Research Institutes (SEFARI). She has published numerous scientific articles and has developed and delivered several competitively funded national and international research programmes.

Following a sabbatical year spent in Hong Kong, 2002-2003, where she studied journalism and photography, Lee became more interested in science communication and education and looked to change her career on her return to Scotland. Lee took up a new post as Director of Communication at Moredun in 2008, although still retaining some of her research interests. This work has led her to look at innovative ways to engage people in science, in particular within the farming and agriculture sector and to encourage inter and multi-disciplinary scientific approaches.

She was awarded an MBE in the New Years Honours in 2015 for services to scientific research and science communication and also holds Honorary Professorships at Heriot Watt University, University of Edinburgh and University of Glasgow. Lee recently received an award for outstanding contribution to knowledge exchange at the Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards in 2017, was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2017 and an Associate of the Royal Agricultural Societies in 2019 and is on the UK Food Standards Agency Register of Specialists.

Current Research

Current research interests

  • Undestanding host-pathogen interactions to inform vaccine design and disease control strategies
  • Pathogen virulence and development of relevant in vitro systems
  • Disease epidemiology and the interactions between livestock and wildlife
  • A One Health approach to tackle zoonotic diseases
  • Knowledge Exchange and Public Engagement

Selected Key Publications