Jane K. A. Cook

  • Born: 1939 (United Kingdom)
  • Inducted: 2013
Born in Derby, England, Jane Cook was raised in Lincolnshire. She gained a degree in Microbiology from the University of Bristol and subsequently her PhD from the same University.

After working for 3 years on avian mycoplasmas at the May & Baker research laboratory in Essex, she joined Houghton Poultry Research Station (HPRS) in Cambridgeshire in 1963. There she worked on both avian adenoviruses and infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), and it is for her work on IBV that Jane is best known. She was instrumental in developing the use of tracheal organ cultures (TOCs) for both the primary isolation of IBV, and as a medium for performing serum neutralisation tests (then the preferred method of differentiating IBV variants). She was one of the first people to identify avian metapneumoviruses (aMPV) in the UK and used TOCs to isolate and study that virus successfully.

Becoming Acting Head of the Microbiology department in 1986, Jane continued at HPRS until the laboratory was closed in 1992. She then joined the pharmaceutical company, Intervet, at their research facility at The Elms in Houghton, UK, where she remained until retirement in 2000. There she was responsible for developing vaccines for IBV and aMPV, notably the 4/91 vaccine against one of the major IBV variants identified in the 1990s. At the same time, Jane pioneered the concept of using existing IB vaccines to broaden protection against the many IBV variants becoming of significance worldwide.

Jane is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists. She received the Brian Hanson award for the best paper at a BVPA meeting, and was awarded the Tom Newman International award in 1994. She continues to be invited to give scientific papers at international meetings in many parts of the world.
Jane is an Associate Editor of Avian Pathology, and a member of the Editorial Boards of Veterinární Medicína and The Brazilian Journal of Poultry Science. She is also a Trustee and Secretary of the Houghton Trust.

Married to Richard, a retired solicitor, Jane lives near Cambridge. Outside work, she is a keen gardener and an enthusiastic campanologist.

< back to honours list