Professor Fiona Tomley, Professor of Experimental Parasitology at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) and Director of the UKRI GCRF One Health Poultry Hub, has been awarded Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to animal health.
Throughout her career, Professor Tomley has secured more than £40m of grant funding for both the RVC and other partners and has published over 140 scientific papers.
She has consistently championed a One Health approach and was appointed Director of the One Health Poultry Hub in 2019, conducting research programmes that seek to understand, detect and reduce the risk of transmission of zoonotic diseases from chickens to people.
In response to her honour, she said:
I am both surprised and thrilled at this news. I always felt lucky to be born into a generation with access to state-supported university education, and to have parents who encouraged me to pursue a dream of ‘doing science’ when many women from a similar background were actively deterred from having careers.
The past year has once again highlighted that understanding the root causes, detection, prevention and treatment of infectious disease is critically important. I hope this will stimulate the next generation of women, and men, to pursue the most exciting, challenging and rewarding of careers. Science may not be everything but as Rosalind Franklin said, ‘Science, for me, gives a partial explanation for life. In so far as it goes, it is based on fact, experience and experiment.’
Professor Stuart Reid, Principal of the RVC, said:
I am absolutely delighted that Professor Tomley has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. Her contribution to the sector has been, and continues to be, outstanding. I can think of no more fitting accolade or more deserving individual.
As a researcher, mentor and leader, Fiona is role model for all young academics but particularly for women in science. It is a privilege to work with her and this award is great news for her discipline, for the RVC, but most of all, for Fiona and those closest to her.