Moredun Research Institute

Now located on the Pentland Science Park, part of the former Bush Estate a mile (1.5 km) west of Roslin, but named after the district of Edinburgh where it originated, the Moredun Research Institute is one of the world's leading animal research institutes. It has a staff of 200 and an annual income of £14 million. The Moredun undertakes scientific research relating to the prevention and control of infectious diseases in livestock, while promoting animal welfare and efficient agricultural production. Specific research activity includes gene sequencing, protein characterisation, the study of pathogens and the spread of diseases (epidemiology).

The Moredun Foundation was established as a charity in 1920 by a group of concerned farmers and was originally called the Animal Diseases Research Association. The years following the First World War saw an increased demand for home-grown food and a significant rise in the value of livestock. However, disease claimed nearly a third of the lambs born in Scotland and the still-mysterious Grass Sickness was beginning to have a devastating effect on horses in Scotland, which were the primary source of heavy labour on farms at the time. The Institute had quick successes; causes of the principal diseases of lambs were identified and vaccines developed and distributed. Work on Grass Sickness continues to this day. The Moredun Foundation is dedicated to the improvement of animal health and well-being through research and education, and still governs the work of the Moredun Research Institute today. Farmers are still key to directing the organisation and its patron is HRH The Princess Royal.

Funding comes from the Scottish Government Environment and Rural Affairs Directorate, the United Kingdom research councils and the European Union. The institute collaborates closely with the University of Edinburgh, the Roslin Institute, Scotland's Rural College, the Rowett Institute, the James Hutton Institute, the University of Glasgow and the Institute of Aquaculture at the University of Stirling.

Through its commercial arm, Moredun Scientific, the institute also provides commercial services including vaccine development and knowledge transfer, together with research and testing services to the animal health, pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries supporting the development, registration and manufacture of veterinary and human medicines. The Moredun Group also owns the Pentland Science Park, where the organisation is now based.

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