Dennis J. Alexander

  • Born: 1945 (United Kingdom)
  • Inducted: 2013
Dennis Alexander was born in the Clerkenwell district of London, England. He obtained an honours degree in Applied Biology from Brunel University in 1968, and a PhD in 1971 after studying virus virulence using Newcastle disease virus as a model at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, London University. In September 1972 he began work in the Poultry Department, Central Veterinary Laboratory, Weybridge. In addition to Newcastle disease, his work included: infectious bronchitis virus, influenza viruses, other avian paramyxoviruses, and other poultry viruses. Following a period in 1986-1987 at University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA, he returned to Weybridge, becoming Head, Avian Virology Section and then, from 2001-2004, Head of the Virology Department. He was also Director of the EU Community Reference Laboratories for Newcastle Disease and Avian Influenza, the OIE reference laboratory for ND and AI, and the FAO World Reference Laboratory for Poultry Diseases. Since September 2005 he has worked as an independent consultant virologist.

Dennis has been sole or joint author of 465 scientific papers or book chapters, 265 in international peer-reviewed journals. He was awarded the degree of Doctor of Science by London University in 1986, and was elected Fellow of the Institute of Biology in 1988, and Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists in 1997.

He was a member of the European Community Expert Group on Contagious Diseases of Poultry from 1984-1992, the European Community Scientific Veterinary Committee from 1994-1997, and EU Scientific Committee on Animal Health and Animal Welfare from 1997-2003.

He was awarded The Robert Fraser Gordon Memorial Medal for distinguished contributions to poultry science in 2000, the OIE meritorious award – Médaille du Mérite in 2006, and elected Honorary Life Member of the British Veterinary Poultry Association in 2006. He received the honour Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) from the Queen in 2006.

Dennis has been married to Pam (Professor Pamela Riches, an immunologist) since 1972. He has always participated in sport, especially rugby, and was a London Society rugby referee for 5 years. Since 2007 he has been a lawn bowls enthusiast as both a player and coach.

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