Dr Alastair Douglas completed a PhD in peptide chemistry from Queen’s University Belfast in 1988. Following a postdoctoral appointment in the Chemistry Department of the University of California San Diego, he joined the Veterinary Sciences Division as a Veterinary Research Officer in 1990. Between 1990 and 2009 he worked in the Virology Branch, firstly in a research role, focusing on immune responses to veterinary viruses and then latterly establishing and running the Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy (TSE) unit.
In June 2009, he was appointed as a Senior Veterinary Research Officer and Head of the Immunodiagnostics Branch, with responsibility for a range of statutory progammes on veterinary diseases including brucellosis, BSE, enzootic bovine leucosis, Aujeszkys disease, avian influenza, bluetongue virus and testing in support of trade guarantees. In addition, he is the VSD co-ordinator for emergency response for epizootic diseases. In 2012, he took on additional responsibility for food safety programmes including veterinary drug residues, chemical contaminants and marine biotoxins.
In September 2018 he was temporarily promoted to the post of Acting Director of Veterinary Sciences Division.