Sarah Cleaveland

Sarah Cleaveland OBE FRS FRSE is a veterinary surgeon and Professor of Comparative Epidemiology at the University of Glasgow.[1]

Sarah Cleaveland

Sarah Cleaveland at the Royal Society admissions day in London, July 2016
Alma mater (PhD)
AwardsLeeuwenhoek Lecture (2018)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Glasgow
ThesisThe epidemiology of rabies and canine distemper in the Serengeti, Tanzania (1996)
Doctoral studentsAnna Louise Meredith[2]


Cleaveland obtained a Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc) degree from the University of Cambridge in 1988 followed by a PhD from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in 1996[3] for research on canine distemper and rabies in the Serengeti of Tanzania. During this time she was a postgraduate student at the Institute of Zoology in Regent's Park supervised by Chris Dye, Steve Albon and James Kirkwood.[3]

Career and research

She subsequently worked at the Centre for Tropical Veterinary Medicine, University of Edinburgh, before moving on to the University of Glasgow in 2008 where she is a professor at the Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine and a member of the Boyd Orr Centre for Population and Ecosystem Health.[4][5] A large part of Cleaveland's research has focused on the epidemiology of zoonotic diseases in northern Tanzania, including rabies. Her work has involved the initiation of mass rabies vaccination programmes for domestic dogs in the Serengeti, which has not only indirectly prevented hundreds of human deaths, but also protected wildlife species such as the endangered African wild dog.[5]

Her research[1][6][7] has been funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the Medical Research Council (MRC).[6][8] Her former doctoral students include Anna Louise Meredith.[2]

Awards and honours

Cleaveland was the first woman to be awarded the British Veterinary Association Trevor Blackburn Award in 2008 in recognition of her work on animal and human infectious diseases in Africa.[9] She was a founding director of the Alliance for Rabies Control whose mission is to prevent human deaths caused by infection with the rabies virus and reduce the burden of this disease in animals.[10] She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh[11] (FRSE) in 2012, elected to the National Academy of Medicine (USA) in October 2015,[12] and elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) 2016.[13]

She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2014 Birthday Honours for services to veterinary epidemiology.[14]

In 2018, Cleaveland was awarded the Leeuwenhoek Lecture by the Royal Society for "her pioneering work towards the eradication of rabies throughout the world".[15]


  1. Sarah Cleaveland publications indexed by Google Scholar
  2. Meredith, Anna Louise (2012). Evaluation of predators as sentinels for emerging infectious diseases. (PhD thesis). University of Edinburgh. hdl:1842/6480. OCLC 827266372. EThOS
  3. Cleaveland, Sarah (1996). The epidemiology of rabies and canine distemper in the Serengeti, Tanzania. (PhD thesis). London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. doi:10.17037/PUBS.00682291. OCLC 557370493. EThOS
  4. "Prof Sarah Cleaveland". Southern African Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  5. "Trevor Blackburn Award 2008" (PDF). British Veterinary Association. September 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 January 2009. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  6. Sarah Cleaveland's Entry at ORCID
  7. Cleaveland, S.; Woolhouse, M. E. J.; Dye, C.; Laurenson, M.K.; Taylor, L.H. (2001). "Diseases of humans and their domestic mammals: pathogen characteristics, host range and the risk of emergence". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences. 356 (1411): 991–999. doi:10.1098/rstb.2001.0889. ISSN 1471-2970. PMC 1088494. PMID 11516377.
  8. Sarah Cleaveland publications from Europe PubMed Central
  9. "Vet honoured for animal health and welfare work in Africa". British Veterinary Association. 27 September 2008. Archived from the original on 15 May 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  10. "BVA highlights work of British vets in fight against rabies". British Veterinary Association. 27 September 2013. Archived from the original on 15 May 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  11. "RSE Fellows" (PDF). Royal Society of Edinburgh. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  12. "NAM Elects 80 New Members". National Academy of Medicine. Retrieved 1 November 2015.
  13. Anon (2016). "Sarah Cleaveland". Royal Society. Retrieved 29 April 2016. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the website where:
    “All text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.” --Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies at the Wayback Machine (archived 2016-11-11)
  14. "No. 60895". The London Gazette (Supplement). 14 June 2014. p. b11.
  15. "Leeuwenhoek Medal and Lecture". Royal Society. Retrieved 30 July 2018.