Partner 22: International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)

Role, qualification and experience

The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) is a non-profit and non-governmental, international organization with headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. ILRI works at the crossroads of livestock and poverty, bringing high-quality science and capacity – building to bear on poverty reduction and sustainable development. All ILRI work is conducted in extensive and strategic partnerships that facilitate and add value to the contribution of many other players in livestock research for development work. A major focus of ILRI’s work is to contribute to poverty alleviation by enhancing the health and productivity of livestock and livestock products by developing/improving and adopting appropriate biotechnological tools for disease control. Activities include developing and improving vaccines and diagnostic tools for priority livestock diseases, and designing and evaluating improved strategies for their control, including their vectors and emerging and re-emerging zoonotic diseases. ILRI has expertise and research capacity in immunology, vaccinology, diagnostics, bioinformatics, genetics/genomics, vector biology, epidemiology, and economics. With good laboratory facilities and longstanding collaboration with the majority of ICONZ partners, African veterinary authorities and a long list of other European and African Universities, ILRI is placed well to facilitate networking and collaborations between important institutes active in the control of zoonotic diseases.

Scientific leader

J.J. McDermott (M) DVM, MPVM, PhD is the Deputy Director General – Research of ILRI. He is a veterinarian and epidemiologist with over 30 years of experience, almost all in research on infectious diseases in developing countries. He has authoured or co-authoured over 200 publications including over 80 papers in international journals and has supervised over 20 PhD students. He is also Professor or Epidemiology (on leave of absence) at the Department of Population Medicine, University of Guelph, Canada.

Key personnel

Phil Toye (M) BVM PhD is Leader of the Animal Health Research group (vaccines and diagnostics) in the Biotechnology Theme at the ILRI. He has held postdoctoral appointments to the Harvard Medical School and ILRAD, followed by a core scientist position at ILRAD. His research interests have focussed on the molecular immunology of parasitic infections. Up until December 2006, he was Research Manager at Agen Biomedical Limited, a biotechnological company in Brisbane, Australia, which specializes in in vitro diagnostic assays. The responsibilities of this position included managing the company’s Research activities, the Intellectual Property portfolio and the collaborations with external academic and corporate partners.
Jeff Mariner (M) DVM PhD is a veterinary epidemiologist with over 15 years experience in Africa and Asia. He is the ILRI Team Leader for Animal Health and International Trade. Jeff is specialized in disease modeling and participatory approaches to epidemiology.
Tom Randolph (M) PhD is an Agricultural Economist and Operating Project Leader in the Market Opportunities Research Theme. His areas of interest include policy analysis, animal health economics, and evaluation of human health impacts of livestock keeping.


International Livestock Research Institute, International Organisation