Professor David Argyle has been named as head of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary studies at the University of Edinburgh.

The appointment follows the opening of a £42 million teaching building for veterinary students on the University’s Easter Bush Campus. Professor Elaine Watson, who was in Argyle’s post for eight years, will now become the University’s inaugural Dean of International Veterinary Education and Business Development.

Professor John Savill, head of the University of Edinburgh’s College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, said: “Professor Watson has made an outstanding contribution as head of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies and the new veterinary teaching building stands as a testament to her vision and drive. Such vision will be a key strength in enhancing the school’s international profile.

“Professor Argyle will bring a further wealth of experience as the new head of the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies. This is an exciting time for veterinary education with many opportunities arising from significant investment at the University’s Easter Bush campus.”

Professor Argyle is a Royal College of Veterinary Studies and European Specialist in Veterinary Oncology and Diplomat of the European College of Internal Medicine in Oncology.

He will take up the post for an initial period of five years, beginning on 1 November 2011.

Professor Argyle has held the William Dick Chair of Clinical Studies at the University for six years and headed up the University’s Veterinary Cancer Care Centre since it opened in 2009.

The £3 million veterinary cancer care centre is part of more than £100 million of development at the University’s Easter Bush Campus.

This includes the new veterinary teaching building and a £60 million building for The Roslin Institute, which accommodates researchers from the Scottish Agricultural College.