Professor Nicola Williams, chair of zoonotic bacterial disease at the University of Liverpool has joined the independent scientific group that advises the Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture (RUMA) Alliance. She will provide insight to the cross industry alliance which promotes responsible use of medicines in UK farm animal production.

Professor Williams is a microbiologist with over 17 years’ experience in applied research, primarily on bacterial zoonoses and antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Her research interests include reservoirs and transmission of food-borne pathogens, transfer and maintenance of antimicrobial resistance, antimicrobial prescribing practice, and the epidemiology of AMR bacteria in wildlife, livestock and pets.

Discussing her appointment, Professor Williams says: “I am delighted to join this unique group and have the chance to apply my learnings at the ‘coalface’ of changes to animal medicine stewardship in the UK. I’m particularly interested in how some areas of current research could add to the knowledge base of this scientific group, for example, work I’m now doing in the UK exploring what drives veterinary prescribing behaviour so we can understand how change can be implemented.

Catherine McLaughlin, chair of the Independent Scientific Group, welcomed Professor Williams to the team, saying: “Professor Williams’ experience in the transmission of antibiotic resistance genes among not just farm animals but pets and wildlife within a range of environments will be extremely valuable. One Health really does mean considering all these areas together, so we can ensure the most sustainable and effective approach to stewardship and reducing resistance can be taken.”