Meet the speakers

Confirmed Keynote Speakers

Keynote lecture 1: Budimir Plavšić DVM, MSc, PhD, Research Associate, Regional Representative of WOAH for Europe

Challenges to prevent and control emerging and re-emerging animal diseases and zoonoses in Europe: perspective of World Organization for Animal Health

Dr Budimir Plavšić is currently theWOAH Regional Representative for Europeand head of Regional Representation in Moscow. He obtained hisDoctor of Veterinary Medicinedegree at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Belgrade, where he started his professional career as an assistant professor for Microbiology. He completed aPhD degree, Master of Veterinary Science,and aSpecialisation in Veterinary Epidemiologyat the same University. He completed many high-level courses, including on exotic animal disease on Plum Island (USA). He also finished theFaculty of International Management.

Dr Plavsic was employed by Ministry of Agriculture of Serbia, as a Head of Animal Health in Serbian Veterinary Authority for 15 years, with significant experience in combating of TADs in real time. Before joining the World Organization for Animal Health in November 2018, he wasOIE Delegateof Serbia for 4.5 years. His wide experience encompasses areas such as control of animal diseases and zoonoses (namely:Lumpy Skin Disease,Rabies, HPAI, West Nile Fever, Classical and African Swine Fever, FMD, Brucellosis), development of veterinary legislative, contingency planning, pandemic preparedness, and development of complex information systems. Budimir is a permanent member of the SerbianVeterinary Academy.He is also scientist, with a status ofResearch Associateand published more than 120 articles. Currently, he is committed to the coordination of WOAH activities in Europe, particularly, withGF-TADspartners as a Secretariat of RSC for Europe, and Quadripartite partners, as active member ofExecutive Levelof the Regional One Health Mechanism for Europe.

Keynote lecture 2: Claire Guinat DVM, MSc, PhD, Research scientist at National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE, France)

The new era of phylodynamics: What pathogen genomes can tell us about epidemic spread?

Dr Claire Guinat obtained her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the National Veterinary School of Toulouse (ENVT) in 2012. Subsequently, she completed a Master of Science in Animal Health and Epidemiology at the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD). In 2016, she received her PhD in Veterinary Epidemiology from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) and The Pirbright Institute. After completing her PhD, Claire completed a four-year postdoctoral fellowship at ENVT. In 2020, she joined ETH Zürich as a Marie-Curie Individual Post-Doctoral Research Fellow. Today, Dr Claire Guinat serves as a Research Scientist at the National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE) in France. She is also member of the scientific expertise committee on Animal Health and Welfare at the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety (Anses) and has participated in several working groups on African swine fever for the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Currently, she is member of the working group on avian influenza and vaccination.

Claire’s research interests are centered on investigating the transmission dynamics of zoonotic and animal infectious diseases, with the aim of improving our ability to predict and control future outbreaks. Her work integrates pathogen genome sequences and case surveillance data to reconstruct epidemics and determine the determinants of disease spread. Her research is highly inter-disciplinary, employing a combination of epidemiology, disease modelling, phylodynamics and ecology. Currently, she is involved in projects that focus on avian influenza, African swine fever, peste des petits ruminants, and hepatitis E virus.

Keynote lecture 3:Bryony Jones BVSc, MSc, PhD, MRCVS, Lead Analytical Epidemiologist, Animal and Plant Health Agency, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, UK

Peste des petits ruminants – prospects for eradication

Dr Bryony Jones is currently a Lead Analytical Epidemiologist at theAnimal and Plant Health Agency, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, UK. She obtained her degree in veterinary science at Bristol University, UK, and worked in private veterinary practice for a few years. After completing an MSc in Tropical Veterinary Medicine at Edinburgh University, she worked as a government veterinary officer in the Republic of Kiribati, and then moved to South Sudan where she managed community-based animal health programmes for Unicef and NGOs, and then led the South Sudan rinderpest eradication programme to its successful conclusion. She then spent two years with ILRI (International Livestock Research Institute) in Nairobi, Kenya, building field surveillance capacity for highly-pathogenic avian influenza in East Africa and Egypt. Returning to the UK, she completed an MSc in Vet Epidemiology and joined the Royal Veterinary College Veterinary Epidemiology, Economics and Public Health Group, initially as a Research Assistant while doing a part-time PhD, and then as a post-doctoral researcher and research fellow. Her PhD research was a mixed methods study on small ruminant production, marketing, and health in the Afar Region of Ethiopia, followed by post-doctoral studies focussing on the epidemiology of peste des petits ruminants (PPR) in livestock and wildlife in East Africa. In 2021 she joined the Department of Epidemiological Sciences at the Animal and Plant Health Agency, where she mainly works on the design and analysis of epidemiological studies, and evaluation of disease surveillance. She maintains an interest in PPR and is currently Chair of the PPR Global Research and Expertise Network.

Keynote lecture 4: Jasna Prodanov Radulović DVM, MSc, PhD, Senior Research Associate, Scientific Veterinary Institute Novi Sad, Serbia

African swine fever in Serbia: lessons learned from the domestic pig cycle in smallholder and backyard sector (2019-2022)

Jasna Prodanov-Radulovic graduated veterinary medicine at the University of Belgrade, Serbia, and has PhD in veterinary medicine. From the 2000 she works as an epidemiologist specialised for swine diseases at the Scientific Veterinary Institute “Novi Sad”, Serbia. Her major research interests are in the field of Epidemiology and Swine Diseases, especially Classical Swine Fever, African swine fever and Pseudorabies. Since 2019 she is Senior Research Associate at the Scientific Veterinary Institute “Novi Sad”.

Keynote lecture 5: Alessio Lorusso DVM, PhD, Virologist, Veterinary Medical Officer at IZS-Teramo, Italy

Epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus: a new challenge for Europe?

Dr Alessio Lorusso is currently employed at the IZS-Teramo as permanent Veterinary Medical Officer. He obtained hisDoctor of Veterinary Medicinedegree at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Bari; next he obtained hisPhD degree on the reverse genetics of canine coronavirus after a two-years training period at the Virology Unit of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Utrecht, The Netherlands. He moved to the NADC-USDA of Ames-Iowa (USA) as a Post Doc (Research Microbiologist) on the epidemiology and pathogenesis of swine influenza viruses including the pandemic 2009 H1N1. He also obtained from the University of Teramo apost-graduate school of specialisation degree in Animal Health. Currently, he is attending the Executive Master in Management of Health and Social Care Organizations (Emmas-Milan).

His research activities are not restricted to bluetongue and related orbiviruses but they also include morbilliviruses, flaviviruses, and coronaviruses. Deputy Director of the FAO Reference Laboratory for zoonotic coronaviruses. Areas of interest: virus discovery and characterization; virus evolution, next generation sequencing; genome editing via reverse genetics of RNA viruses and pathogenesis studies in animal models of orbiviruses, flaviviruses, coronaviruses, morbilliviruses; zoonoses, public health; diagnosis of infectious diseases via innovative molecular methods; one health, virus emergence.

Keynote lecture 6: Rowland R. Kao, PhD, Sir Timothy O’Shea Professor of Veterinary Epidemiology and Data Science, Roslin Institute & School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Edinburgh.

Modelling in a Changing World: addressing the challenges of Emergent Infectious Disease problems under Climate Change and Environmental Land Management Decisions.

Rowland Kao is a mathematical biologist who studies infectious disease dynamics, mainly with respect to the role of demography in the spread and persistence of livestock diseases, such as foot-and-mouth disease, bovine tuberculosis, scrapie, BSE and avian influenza in poultry. This work includes the development of theoretical models of disease transmission on social networks and applications to the transmission of livestock diseases using simple differential equation models, analysis of social networks, statistics and simulations. Increasingly, it involves the integrated analysis of genetic and epidemiological data to determine the characteristics of disease outbreaks, with bovine Tuberculosis being a lead example. As such it integrates a wide variety of topics, most importantly the analysis of networks, but also elements of human behaviour and the management of land resources (why do farmers move livestock the way they do, and what would happen if the conditions under which they moved livestock, changed), risk-based surveillance (can we use livestock movements and other forms of contact to identify individual farms most at risk of disease, and/or of transmitting it) and parameter inference (from observed disease data, can we estimate the relative and absolute importance of different routes of contact). From 2020, he has been part of the UK’s COVID-19 response, as a member of SPI-M (the Scientific Pandemic Influenza Modelling Group, providing operational and more recently, strategic advice to the UK government on COVID-19 preparedness). He chairs the UK Government Dept. of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) Exotic and Emergent Diseases Committee, a subcommittee of Defra’s Science Advisory Council, of which he is also a member.

Keynote lecture 8: Tamaš Petrović DVM, MSc, PhD, Principal Research Fellow, Scientific Veterinary Institute Novi Sad, Serbia

Flaviviruses in Serbia – One Health Perspectives

Tamaš Petrović, D.V.M., M.Sc, PhD, Principal Research Fellow, Scientific field: Microbiology – virology. Born: 21/10/1969, Becej, Republic of Serbia Education: Graduated at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Belgrade, 1997. Master thesis and doctoral dissertation on the subject of bovine viral diarrhea virus in the field of contagious diseases and zoonosis defended on the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Belgrade in 2002 and 2006. Scientific titles: 1998 Research Trainee; 2002 Research Assistant; 2007 Research Associate; 2011 Senior Research Associate; 2016 Principal Research Fellow. Basic Research interest: Veterinary virology, food and environmental virology, vector-borne infections, prevention, diagnostic, control and eradication of contagious diseases and zoonosis. Main working and research activities: detection of animal viral diseases by conventional laboratory methods (virus isolation, VNT, ELISA, IH, AGID), and detection and characterization of viruses by molecular diagnostic methods. Participating and or coordinating 20 national, 5 bilateral and 9 international research projects. Published more than 300 research or professional papers. Employed in Scientific Veterinary Institute Novi Sad on Department of virology from 1997. Current position: Head of the Research Division, President of the Scientific Council and Head of Virology Department.

Confirmed Invited Speakers

Invited lectures: Ivan Toplak, DVM, MSc, PhD, Associate professor, Institute for Microbiology and Parasitology, Veterinary Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia

Molecular epidemiology as a tool for understanding the viral infections in honeybees

Ivan Toplak is a professor of epizootiology at the Veterinary Faculty University of Ljubljana. He is head of laboratory for especial dangerous viral diseases at National veterinary institute Slovenia and leading diagnostic expert at National reference laboratory for African and classical swine fever. He is also member of the board of European society for veterinary virology (ESVV). His research work is based on molecular and classical methods, the detection and tracing the spread of new and present emerging and re-emerging viral diseases in various animal species for two decades. He did several molecular-epidemiology studies based on genetic comparison of isolated viral pathogens in the country, such as bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) and porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV), different honeybee viruses (ABPV, BQCV, CBPV, DWV, SDV, LSV, KBV), followed and determined the diversity of viruses. In Slovenia, he demonstrated and genetically characterized the first isolates of BVDV (2000), porcine circovirus type 2 in domestic (2001) and feral pigs (2002), viral haemorrhagic septicemia virus in trout (2007), Koi herpes virus in carp (2008), porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (2009), Schmallenberg virus (2012), porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (2015), porcine bocavirus (2015), porcine circovirus type 3 (2019) and others. For the purposes of studying viruses, it introduces and develops new diagnostic procedures and protocols, which are subsequently transferred and used in a routine laboratory for the diagnosis of viral diseases.

Keynote lecture: Ljubo Barbić DVM, PhD, Professor, Department of Microbiology and Infectious diseases with Clinic, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zagreb, Croatia

Companion Animals as Sentinels for Viral Zoonoses in Urban Areas

Prof. Ljubo Barbić is a full professor at the Department of Microbiology and Infectious diseases with Clinic, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Zagreb. He graduated in 1999 and obtained his PhD degree in molecular epidemiology of equine influenza in 2007 at the same institution. His research interest is animal viral diseases with a special emphasis on the epidemiology of zoonotic arboviruses and emerging zoonosis. Prof. Barbić has established and coordinated surveillance of emerging flaviviruses in Croatia for over ten years. As a project leader or researcher, he has participated in two international and more than ten national scientific projects. Most of his scientific work is multidisciplinary research of zoonosis in close collaboration with human medicine experts in accordance with the One Health approach. He has published more than 150 scientific and professional papers. Currently, he is the head of the national reference Laboratory for equine viral diseases. For over ten years he was the head of the Virology unit of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Zagreb. In addition, he was the head of the Veterinary public health department and the vice dean. He is a full member of the Croatian Academy of Medical Sciences and an associate member of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts.

Invited lecture: Mr. Vladimir Polaček, DVM, MSc, PhD, Principal Research Fellow, Scientific Veterinary Institute "Novi Sad", Serbia

Lumpy Skin Disease in Serbia- successful story of disease control

Mr. Vladimir Polaček, Principal Research Fellow, deputy director of Scientific Veterinary Institute “Novi Sad” and Head of Department of Epizootiology, Clinical Testing and DDD. He received his PhD degree from Belgrade University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, the Department of Pathology. He obtained his master’s degree at the same department in 2006 and completed his specialist studies at the Department of Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Belgrade in 2016. He has more than twenty years of work experience. Vladimir Polaček has advanced knowledge in veterinary pathology, veterinary epidemiology, GIS, surveillance, control, eradication of contagious animal diseases (Classical Swine Fever, Lumpy Skin Disease, African Swine Fever, Avian Influenza etc.) and having finished High School of Electrical Engineering, he gained the knowledge in the field of information technology at advanced level.