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Vet Surgeon Works With Innovative Technologies That Enhance Animal Health | Dr. Simon Doherty

simon doherty works with innovative tech that enhance animal health

If you’re passionate about using innovative technologies for enhancing health and welfare, Dr. Simon Doherty may be a great point of reference.

A veterinary surgeon with a keen interest in global livestock health, welfare, and the design of new and improved vaccines for farm animals, Dr. Simon is one of the leading names in his field. He applies his knowledge, experience, and expertise in animal health and welfare in working with clients to drive each company’s product innovation.

With a career going off in different directions, Dr. Simon shared,

I’ve spent some time in primary practice, mainly working with farm animals, but also a little bit of work with companion animals and even zoo animals at one point as well. I [also] spent some time in research and academia. Now, I am based at this wonderful Queens University in Belfast here in Northern Ireland. But I’ve also spent quite a bit of time working in business development and in the animal health and welfare sector.”

More About Dr. Simon Doherty

simon doherty works with innovative technologies to enhance animal health

From a very young age, Dr. Simon already knew what he wanted to do when he grew up: become a veterinarian and work with animals.

However, life had other plans, and Dr. Simon had no choice but to make way for them.

He said,

About five years after I qualified [as a vet], I ruptured a ligament in my back. I had a spinal injury. So, we’re very fortunate in the [vet] profession that we can turn our skills, experience, and qualification in a different direction.”

Not wanting to give up on his childhood aspirations, Dr. Simon got involved in his first start-up company as a secretary for the veterinary profession in Northern Ireland. At the time, he did a lot of event management and continuing professional development for veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses.

From there, he went on to work in a veterinary research lab, focusing on livestock diseases and becoming a certified aquaculture fan.

“I’ve also been doing some research and development work on vaccine design and vaccine technologies… And I never thought that I would have such an interest in the business development side and the innovation side of things. But I got a real buzz out of doing that kind of work…and having to make a business make sense. So, at that stage, I then set up my own consultancy business.”

Some of the Innovative Technologies Dr. Simon Doherty Has Worked On

Since then, Dr. Simon has been involved directly and indirectly with several start-ups and spin-out companies in the animal health and life sciences sectors during his career.

“I was working with everything from startup companies that were interested in animal health and welfare, right through to the big international companies and looking for inward investment into the UK, just around animal health and welfare and some of the cool technologies that they had and new products that they were bringing to market,”

he elaborated.

Some of the innovative technologies Dr. Simon has worked on included a vaccine delivery system that used silicon nanoparticles.

“For us working particularly in farm animals across the globe, we don’t always have access to culture and we don’t always have access to fridges. So, one of the things that we were looking at was, ‘Can we stabilize the stuff within the vaccine to make it stable at room temperature?’ Or, for poultry, where we’re maybe vaccinating hundreds of birds at a time, ‘Can we actually create a vaccine in a form where we spray it on the birds…?’”

Because some of the technologies he had come to know are “really cool”, he works with their inventors to make sure that the innovation actually turns into something that makes a difference.

“Essentially, what I do is I combine some of that business element with the innovation… Is it cost-effective? Is it going to make the company money? And is it going to be attractive to the customer? End-user experience in veterinary medicine doesn’t just affect the animal; it also affects the owner. So, we need to have something that works for the animal and the owner.”

For Dr. Simon, this means combining all of the different elements of his veterinary training with the business training he’s had with his experience of working with other companies.

“Quite often, I’m bringing my network and I’m helping to open doors to a range of different companies. I don’t need to necessarily know about the technology inside out, but I can see where there is a cool technology, where there is a gap… [My advice is to] start with the ‘Why?’ then start creating the solution to that problem. So, I help people on that journey.”



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