Bertus Karel Rima
Bertus Karel Rima Ir, PhD. FIBIOL. MRIA was appointed to a position in Queen’s University Belfast in 1974 and he became Professor of Molecular Biology in 1993. His main research interest is to apply molecular biological and genetic techniques to virology and infectious diseases in general. He has had a lifelong interest in human viruses (mumps and measles) as well as animal viruses such as rinderpest, canine distemper and seal and dolphin morbilliviruses. His work now centers primarily on how viruses are attenuated so as to become vaccines and what barriers exist that prevent animal viruses from infecting humans and vice versa. His work has focused largely on the paramyxoviruses, which are negative strand viruses in the order to which influenza and many other emerging viruses such as Ebola virus also belong. He has extensive experience in the genetic modification of these human pathogenic viruses and the evaluation of their effects in animal model systems including ferrets and macaques. He has published a book and over 180 refereed papers and invited reviews. He has been awarded the Silver Medal for Biochemistry from the Royal Irish Academy in 1994, elected Fellow of the Institute of Biology in 1997 and Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2002. He has been member of numerous grants panels in Ireland, the EU and the UK. He has been involved in many visiting groups, advisory panels and UK government advisory committees, such as the advisory committee on genetic manipulation, the science review panel on future of GMOs of the Office of Science and Technology (2002-2003) and the Veterinary Products Committee of the UK Veterinary Medicines Directorate (2002-2009). Since 2011 he has been Emeritus Professor of Molecular Biology at Queen’s University of Belfast. He is still active in publishing, reviewing and editorial work.