Vanessa Barrs

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Vanessa Barrs
Born North Carolina, United States
Nationality Australian
Education University of Sydney
Awards Fellow of the Australia and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists
Scientific career
Fields Veterinary science
Institutions University of Sydney

Vanessa Rosemary Duke Barrs is a veterinary researcher in feline infectious diseases.[1] Barrs established clinical research and specialist veterinary services at the Valentine Charlton Cat Centre within the University of Sydney where she is also Professor of Feline Medicine and Infectious Diseases.[2] Barrs discovered Aspergillus felis, an environmental fungus that causes invasive, intractable disease in cats, dogs and humans.[3][4][5]

Early life and education[edit]

She was born in North Carolina while her father, Henry Deacon Barrs, was a visiting CSIRO researcher at Duke University. Vanessa is the youngest of three children. She grew up in Griffith, NSW.

Barrs studied veterinary science at the University of Sydney, graduating in 1990. While pursuing clinical specialisation, she attained a Master of Veterinary Clinical Studies from the University of Sydney in 1997 and was admitted as a Member of the Australia and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists in 1996 and made a Fellowship in 2000.[6]

Career achievements[edit]

Barrs has received awards including an Endeavour Research Fellowship in 2011[7] and the Australian Small Animal Veterinary Association‘s Distinguished Scientist Award in 2009.[1][8] Her teaching awards include the Australian Veterinary Association’s Excellence in Teaching Award 2008.[1]

She is a scientific editor for the Veterinary Journal (Elsevier),[9] sits on the Board of Directors of the Australasian Society of Feline Medicine[10] and is the current president of the International Society of Companion Animal Infectious Diseases.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c "Associate Professor Vanessa Barrs". University of Sydney. University of Sydney.
  2. ^ Gary, Stuart (31 May 2011). "How do cats purr?". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Commission. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
  3. ^ Barrs, VR (2013). "Aspergillus felis sp. nov. An emerging agent of aspergillosis in humans, cats and dogs". PLOS ONE. 8: e64871. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0064871. PMC 3683053. PMID 23798996.
  4. ^ Datta, Kausik (27 June 2013). "Brace yourself, internet: cats and dogs at risk from new fungus". Science Alert. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
  5. ^ "A feline fungus joins the new species list". University of Sydney. 18 June 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
  6. ^ "Research Staff - Ass Prof Vanessa Barrs". University of Sydney. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
  7. ^ "Endeavour Scholarships and Fellowships". AEI. Australian Government. Archived from the original on 2014-11-02. Retrieved 2014-10-31.
  8. ^ "ASAVA". Australian Veterinary Association.
  9. ^ "The Veterinary Journal Editorial Board". Elsevier. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
  10. ^ "About us". Australasian Society of Feline Medicine. Archived from the original on 31 October 2014. Retrieved 1 November 2014.