Dr Pip Beard

The Roslin Institute

Research Interests

I hold a joint appointment between the Roslin Institute (20%) and the Pirbright Institute (80%). I lead a research team which investigates the pathogenesis of a particular group of large DNA viruses which replicate in the cytoplasm of the host cell. This specalised group includes poxviruses. My research can be split into three areas:

1. The pathogenesis of Vaccinia virus. Our work focuses on using Vaccinia virus, the prototype poxvirus, as a tool to learn more about cellular biology including miRNA biogenesis, anti-viral host responses and vesicle transport. We then extrapolate our findings to clinically relevant related viruses such as the capripoxviruses and African swine fever virus.

2. Capripoxviruses. The most important poxviruses of domestic ruminants are the three species of the Capripoxvirus (CPPV) genus which each cause severe systemic disease. Lumpy skin disease virus (LSDV) causes lumpy skin disease in cattle, Sheeppox virus (SPPV) causes sheeppox in sheep and Goatpox virus (GTPV) causes goatpox in goats. The three viruses are currently expanding beyond their traditional geographic niches in Africa and Asia. LSDV entered Europe for the first time in August 2015 and has since spread through the Balkans and Caucasus. It represents a rapidly emerging threat to cattle in Europe and Asia. Our group is studying the immunological response of livestock to infection with these viruses with the aim of producing better diagnosis and control tools. We are also studying the vector-borne transmission of LSDV in order to improve the current control, prevention and eradication programmes.

3. African swine fever virus.  This virus is closely related to poxviruses, sharing a number of biological features. It causes the high consequence, transboundary disease African swine fever. My group is collaborating with the Roslin groups of Bruce Whitelaw and Alan Archibald to develop new methods to control this disease.

In addition to my role as a PI I am a veterinary pathologist. I am consultant pathologist for research teams within The Roslin and Pirbright Institutes and externally.

Selected Publications

  • Tali Pechenick-Jowers, Rebecca Featherstone, Danielle Reynolds, Helen Brown, John James, Alan Prescott, Ismar Haga, Pip Beard. 2015. RAB1A promotes Vaccinia virus replication by facilitating the production of intracellular enveloped virions. Virology Vol: 475 Pages: 66–73. More»
  • I. R. Haga, T. Pechenick Jowers, S. J. Griffiths, J. Haas, P. M. Beard. 2014. TRAF2 facilitates Vaccinia virus replication by promoting rapid virus entry.. Journal of Virology Vol: 88 Pages: 3664-3677. More»
  • Philippa M Beard, Samantha J Griffiths, Orland Gonzalez, Ismar R Haga, Tali Pechenick-Jowers, Danielle K Reynolds, Jan Wildenhain, Hille Tekotte, Manfred Auer, Mike Tyers, Peter Ghazal, Ralf Zimmer, Juergen Haas. 2014. A Loss of Function Analysis of Host Factors Influencing Vaccinia virus Replication by RNA Interference. PLoS One Vol: 9. More»
  • Philippa M Beard, Graham C Froggatt, Geoffrey L Smith. 2006. Vaccinia virus kelch protein A55 is a 64 kDa intracellular factor that affects virus-induced cytopathic effect and the outcome of infection in a murine intradermal model. Journal of General Virology Vol: 87 Pages: 1521-9. More»
  • S Schöniger, D L Chan, M Hollinshead, K Humm, G L Smith, P M Beard. 2007. Cowpox virus pneumonia in a domestic cat in Great Britain. Veterinary Record Vol: 160 Pages: 522-3. More»
  • Graham C Froggatt, Geoffrey L Smith, Philippa M Beard. 2007. Vaccinia virus gene F3L encodes an intracellular protein that affects the innate immune response. Journal of General Virology Vol: 88 Pages: 1917-21. More»
  • P. M. Beard, S. Sugar, E. Bazarragchaa, U. Gerelmaa, Sh. Tserendorj, E. Tuppurainen, R. Sodnomdarjaa. 2010. A description of two outbreaks of capripoxvirus disease in Mongolia. Veterinary Microbiology Vol: 142 Pages: 427-431. More»
  • S.J. Girling, R. Pizzi, A. Cox, P.M. Beard. 2011. Fatal cowpox virus infection in two squirrel monkeys (Saimiri sciureus). Veterinary Record Vol: 169. More»