Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
Specialization: Molecular biology, Infectious diseases
Bert Rima was appointed professor of molecular biology in 1993. His main research interest was to apply molecular biological and genetic techniques to virology and infectious diseases. He had an interest in human viruses (mumps and measles) as well as animal viruses such as rinderpest, canine distemper and seal and dolphin morbilliviruses. His work centred primarily on how viruses are attenuated for vaccines and what barriers exist that prevent animal viruses from infecting humans and vice versa. His work has focused on the paramyxoviruses, which belong to the same group as influenza viruses. He had 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 170 refereed papers and invited reviews. He has been awarded the Silver Medal for Biochemistry from the Royal Irish Academy in 1994, was 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 and the UK. He has been involved in many advisory panels and government advisory committees. He is still active in publishing, reviewing and editorial work and science outreach, including a member of the EASAC Biosciences Committee since 2018.