University of Calgary

Frank van der Meer

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor
  • Part Time Faculty

Profile

Frank van der Meer graduated from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Utrecht University in the Netherlands in 1996. He worked for 1.5 years in large animal practice and returned to the Utrecht University to conduct research on horse reproduction. His strong collaboration with the virology department during that time sparked his still ongoing passion for viruses. Dr. van der Meer completed his PhD on the activity of antiviral compounds to Retro- and Nidoviruses in 2007.

In May 2008 he joined the newly established Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Calgary to teach vaccinology, virology, diagnostics and immunology to veterinary students as a sessional lecturer. Congruently, he continued his postdoctoral research in the Faculty of Medicine, focusing on Human Immunodeficiency Virus infections. In October 2013 he was appointed as Assistant Professor of Global Health and Infectious Diseases at UCVM. Bovine viral diarrhea virus is of special interest due to its impact on the cattle industry, involvement in the bovine respiratory disease (BRD) complex and several unique virological features. He currently studies the transmission and evolution of this virus and the consequences of BVDV variability on vaccination strategies. Bovine Leucosis Virus and its impact on the dairy industry is his new target for exploration, a program funded by ALMA and Alberta Milk has started in September 2015 aiming to design a BLV control strategy for Alberta. The bovine respiratory ‘virome’ (all viruses in the cow’s upper and lower respiratory tract) will be characterized, especially the normal changes that will occur during the cow’s live, following vaccination, antimicrobial treatment and when a cow gets sick. This is in combination with the ALMA/Genome Alberta project which aims to shed more light on the microbiology of BRD. The last topic he is currently working on is the exploration of wildlife viruses in the Canadian arctic. That viruses infect our wildlife is clear, but which viruses these are and what the impact is, is part of this study.

Dr. van der Meer’s activities reach well beyond Alberta as a leader in the UCVM/Cumming School of Medicine One Health Field School that takes place yearly in May/June in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area in Tanzania. He works with veterinary students as part of their rotation in an interdisciplinary team to improve the livelihood of the pastoralist Maasai population that primarily depends on livestock production for their survival.

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