Bruno Sobral is a champion of team science – the interdisciplinary, collaborative approach that most often attracts major funding and increasingly produces the most significant breakthroughs in a world of complex challenges.
No wonder Sobral is excited by the One Health movement. It relies on teams to tackle interconnected problems in health, and it recognizes that commonalities, more than distinctions, are likely routes to solutions for humans, animals and the environment.
“One Health is built on a concept thousands of years old, that health is a dynamic property of a system rather than its parts. It’s an ancient idea that has resurfaced in modern times,” said Sobral, an engineer, geneticist and expert in computational biology and bioinformatics.
“The concept is exciting because it recognizes that relationships are more important than anything else in healthy systems,” he said. “Human systems, agro-environmental systems, animal systems, socio-technical systems – they’re all related in the context of health.”
This month, Sobral began work as the first director of the Colorado State University One Health Initiative and as a professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology. Hired by the Office of the Vice President for Research, he is charged with cultivating CSU efforts that are poised to deliver innovative interventions for healthy systems.
The One Health Initiative launched two years ago during the International Colloquium on Global One Health, a series of talks hosted by the university’s Office of International Programs. The initiative gained steam earlier this year, when the Office of the Vice President for Research awarded a total of $360,000 in seed grants to jump start six promising One Health research projects across campus.