Meet the Scientist - Aoibheann Donaghy

Date published: 24 November 2017

Area of Expertise:

I have worked in the Diagnostic Virology section of the Disease Surveillance and Investigation Branch (DSIB), Veterinary Science Division (VSD) since June 2008.

I joined initially as an Assistant Scientific Officer and I am now working as a Higher Scientific Officer within the Bovine Viral Diarrhoea Virus (BVD) eradication scheme and molecular testing laboratories section of Diagnostic Virology. I have been working in this role since December 2015.

I manage the receipt, preparation and testing of samples from three national BVD eradication programmes, including the Northern Irish programme which has been compulsory since March 2016. This is a busy and high throughput area with tight turnaround times and I thrive on the fast paced nature of this work. I also manage PCR diagnostic testing of diseases such as Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR) and Johne’s disease.

I participate in managing the testing for the AFBI Cattle Health Scheme (CHS), which includes BVD, IBR, Johne’s disease, Leptospirosis and Neospora. The CHS provides approaches for farmers to monitor, control and eradicate these five diseases, which are important endemic infectious diseases.

This year AFBI is celebrating its 10th anniversary of the Cattle Health Scheme. I am proud to have been part of this scheme which has improved disease control, profitability for herd owners and helped protect against accidental introduction of other diseases.

Since joining AFBI I have gained a wide range of experience in classical virology, serological testing and I am part of the rapid response team for suspected outbreaks of epizootic diseases by preparing samples at containment level 3 and co-ordinating with other laboratories. Most of the work that I manage and perform is accredited to the ISO 17025 standard which ensures that the testing is conducted to the highest international standard.

Interesting facts about Aoibheann:

Can you cook? If so, what is your speciality dish?
I love to cook particularly Indian cuisine.  My favourite dish to cook would be chicken pathia.

What is the last book you read?
Captain Corelli's Mandolin.  I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it.

What is your favourite TV/Radio Show?
My favourite TV show (along with most of the population) is Game of Thrones.

Who would you most like to be stuck in a lift with?
Derren Brown.  I find him so interesting and as an illusionist he could convince me I was in Barbados and not in a lift!

Do you have a pet?  If so, what is it and what is its name?
I have a long haired grey cat called keiko.


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