Prof. Chris Oura

Professor of Veterinary Virology

The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus Trinidad and Tobago, W.I.

Telephone: 868-662-2002


In my scientific career to date I have gained considerable experience working both in the UK and worldwide. I have a strong background in the disciplines of immunology and molecular biology within the veterinary virology and parasitology fields. After completing my PhD, I successfully secured two consecutive highly competitive Wellcome Trust Personal Fellowships, which enabled me to make a name for myself in the Theileria research arena. I took full advantage of the opportunity to contribute to research in Uganda, where I personally equipped and set up my own research lab. Having successfully completed 3 years in Uganda, I returned to the UK to the world famous Pirbright Institute, where I spent 8 years working with various exotic veterinary viruses. In early 2012, I moved to a new post as senior lecturer in veterinary virology at the University of the West Indies and was promoted to full Professor in 2014. I am currently delivering the veterinary virology lecture course to the undergraduate students and am running a ‘One-Health’ based research programme, concentrating on pathogens of importance to the Caribbean region. I am also running a Climate Change and Health Leaders Fellowship programme.


For more information you can find my ResearchGate profile here


  • 1994 – 1997: PhD. Immunology Department, Pirbright Laboratory, Surrey, UK.
  • 1991 – 1992: MSc. Tropical Veterinary Science, Centre for Tropical Vet Medicine, Edinburgh University, UK.
  • 1983 – 1988: B Vet Med. Royal Veterinary College, London University, London, UK.

Research Interests

  • Identification and characterisation of viruses circulating in domestic animals and wildlife in Trinidad and Tobago.
  • Identification of Culicoides biting midge species and related viruses in T&T.
  • Tick virome studies.
  • Viruses in fish.
  • Promotion of the ‘One Health’ concept across the Caribbean region.
  • Climate Change and Health.

Professional Experience

  • 2012 - Current: Professor (Veterinary Virology), School of Veterinary Medicine, University of the West Indies (UWI), Trinidad and Tobago.
  • 2004 – 2012: The Pirbright Institute, UK.
  • 2010 – 2012: Deputy Head of the Vector-borne Diseases Programme.
  • 2006 – 2012: Head of the Non-Vesicular Reference lab
  • 2006-2007: Acting Head of Pirbright Laboratory.
  • 2005 - 2007: Acting Head of the Division of Epidemiology, the Pirbright Institute
  • 2004 - 2012: Head of the African Swine Fever Reference Laboratory.
  • 2004 - 2012: Head of External Training, the Pirbright Institute.
  • 2001 - 2004: Wellcome Trust Research Fellow. Glasgow Vet School and University of Makerere, Uganda.
  • 1997 - 2001: Wellcome Trust Research Fellow. Dept of Parasitology, Glasgow Vet School, UK

Honours and Awards

  • Member of the Tropical Medicine Cluster which was awarded “Best Research Team - Encouraging Multi-Disciplinary Research’ - 2014
  • Most Outstanding Regional Research Project (One Health, One Caribbean One Love) – 2016
  • Most Outstanding Researcher (Faculty of Medical Sciences) – 2016
  • The UWI Vice-Chancellor Award for Research – 2017
  • Most impactful Research Project (One Health One Caribbean One Love), Faculty of Medical Sciences Research Day - 2019

Professional Memberships

  • Member of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (MRCVS)
  • Member of the Council of the Veterinary Research Club, UK.
  • Scientific Editorial board member for the Veterinary Record (UK).
  • Member One Health Research Foundation Board of Directors, Ross Veterinary School, St Kitts & Nevis
  • OIE designated disease expert for African Swine Fever, Bluetongue and African Horse Sickness (2005-2012)
  • Member – Bluetongue Expert group for the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)
  • Head - Bluetongue Expert Group, Discontools EC Project
  • Disease Expert / Consultant for Edinburgh MSc in Transboundary Diseases
  • Member of the COVID-19 UWI Taskforce (2020).
  • CaribVET – Member of the Cordination Committee & Laboratory and Quality Assurance working group.

Courses Taught

  • VETM3003 – Veterinary Virology course
  • VETM3004 – Veterinary Immunology course
  • VETM2014 – Research Methodology course
  • VETM3007 – Problem Based Learning (PBL)
  • MDSC1001 – One Health lectures

Graduate Students

  • Since arriving at the UWI, I have supervised one PhD and one MPhil student to successful completion of their degrees.
  • I am currently supervising a total of 6 post-graduate students (5 PhD students and 1 MPhil student) of which 5 are from the UWI and 1 is from the University of Guyana


  • 1. The UWI-Trinidad and Tobago Research and Development Impact Fund (RDI) (TT$800,000). Title: Identification of the reservoirs of animal influenza viruses in Trinidad and Tobago. Jan 2012-Dec 2015
  • 2. The UWI Research and Publications fund (TT$ 56,250). Title: Identification of Eimeria species in Trinidadian poultry using molecular tools.
  • 3. European Commission (EC) African Caribbean Pacific (ACP) Science and Technology 2 grant (Euros 1,164,364). Title: One Health, One Caribbean, One Love (in collaboration with FAO, PAHO, CIRAD and CaribVET). March 2014- Sept 2017
  • 4. Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) – Funding from the SPSPS EDF Project to support the activities of the One Health One Caribbean One Love project (US$ 332,821), Jan 2015 – Jan 2016.
  • 5. Grant from the University of Saskatoon (Canada) – Monitoring and Evaluation of One health Leadership Series (CAD 6000). June 2020-May 2021.
  • 6. European Union and Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) – Funding of a Climate Change and Health Leadership Fellowship series. (Euros 820,000), July 2020 – May 2025.
  • 7. The GEF Small grants programme (UNDP) - Enhancing National Health Standards in Aquaculture Systems: Increasing Aquaculture Productivity, Improving Industry Sustainability and Reducing Deleterious Aquatic Habitat Impacts (US$ 50,000). Sept 2017- 2020
  • 8. Nestle (Trinidad) (TT$ 5000). Contribution to project assessing the causes or sub-fertility and abortion in dairy cattle in Trinidad.
  • 9. Livestock and Livestock Products Board (Trinidad) (TT$ 30,000) Contribution to project assessing levels of Culicoides transmitted viruses in dairy cattle in Trinidad.

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