Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons Fellowship honour for Swansea Professor

Professor Martin Sheldon of the Centre for Reproductive Immunobiology (CRIB) at Swansea University’s Institute of Life Science has been awarded a Fellowship of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (FRCVS).

Professor Martin Sheldon FRCVSIt is believed Professor Sheldon (pictured) is the first Swansea University academic to receive a FRCVS award – the College’s highest honour – which is given for his meritorious contributions to research on the mechanisms of infection and immunity in the female genital tract.

Professor Sheldon was awarded his PhD in 2002 from the University of Liverpool and worked at the Royal Veterinary College in London before moving to Swansea University’s Institute of Life Science, Medical School during a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Research Development Fellowship.

His research focuses on dairy cattle where uterine disease after parturition (the process of giving birth) affects about 40 per cent of animals each year, compromising animal health and causing infertility.

This work is funded by BBSRC as part of a €3.2 million European Commission project, which Professor Sheldon leads, to translate basic science discoveries into novel strategies that limit the impact of uterine disease.

Professor Sheldon's team have discovered that the cells of the uterus and ovary have roles in innate immunity to defend against bacterial infections.

The research findings are also important for understanding disease in women because the fundamental mechanisms of host-pathogen interactions are similar between animals and humans – the One Biology One Health concept. 

Professor Sheldon was recently awarded a further BBSRC project grant to study the mechanisms underlying host-pathogen interactions between mammalian cells and a bacterial toxin.

Professor Sheldon, received the honour on the annual RCVS Day (Friday, July 5), which was held at the Royal College of Physicians, said: “I am delighted to be awarded the FRCVS, and I particularly thank the members of my laboratory and international collaborators for their continued support."

Professor Richard B Davies, Swansea University’s Vice-Chancellor, said: “Professor Martin Sheldon is a high-achieving colleague leading outstanding and significant research at Swansea. The University is delighted to see him receiving this well-deserved distinction.”

Adding his congratulations, Professor Keith Lloyd, Head of Swansea University’s College of Medicine, said: "Professor Sheldon's Fellowship is richly deserved and is another example of how Swansea University's College of Medicine is becoming increasingly recognised as a centre of excellence in life sciences and health research."