Grants spur One Health research collaboration

one-health-logoThree interdisciplinary teams have been chosen by to receive funding for the One Health Research & Development program, a campus-wide funding opportunity that aims to create co-equal, scientific-health and environmentally related disciplines. Three additional scholars will receive grant money to promote and develop new ideas about One Health research through the One Health Information Flow program.

“One Health recognizes that the health of humans, animals and ecosystems are interconnected. It involves applying a coordinated, collaborative, multidisciplinary and cross-sectoral approach to address potential or existing risks that originate between humans, animals and their various environments,” said Alan Rudolph, vice president for research at Colorado State University.

The One Health Initiative represents an investment opportunity to support discoveries and integrate disciplines to solve important complex local and global problems, Rudolph said. The One Health Initiative represents a new model of strategic funding of emerging, interdisciplinary research.

“One Health’s ability to generate collaboration between various areas of science and technology development in industry and government sectors and invites significant opportunities for impact,” Rudolph said. “These impacts demonstrate that often the problems that define One Health do not recognize borders and boundaries.”

The teams chosen for this year’s One Health Research & Development funding include:

  • Primary Investigator: Mary Jackson
    Team Members: College of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
    Title:  Development and implementation of a consortium to assess the role of common free-living amoebae in environmental persistence and facilitation of pathogenic organisms
  • Primary Investigator: Jennifer Barfield
    Team Members: Warner College of Natural Resources, College of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
    Title:  Creating sustainable futures for people, animals and the environment – an interdisciplinary approach to bison reintroduction in Northern Colorado
  • Primary Investigator: Christie Peebles
    Team: College of Engineering, College of Agricultural Sciences and the Office of the Vice President for Research
    Title:  Living at the ‘EDGE’: translating physiological-metabolic responses of native grassland species to engineer drought resistance in crops

The awardees for the One Health Information Flow funding include:

  • PI: Marisa Bunning – College of Health and Human Sciences
    Title: Examining food supply chains using a One Health approach
  • PI: Michael Lappin – College of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
    Title: Disease community ecology: understanding the transmission pathways and consequences of Toxoplasma gondii infection in humans, domestic animals, and wildlife
  • PI: Liba Goldstein – Warner College of Natural Resources
    Title: Human, wildlife and land health in residential ecosystems

CSU’s One Health Initiative represents a major step forward in coalescing the numerous talents and assets across campus into a collaborative program made to address major societal needs, said Dr. Mark Stetter, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

“In today’s complex world, we understand that everything is connected as we move toward a global community.  The health of humans, animals and the environment — a space we all share — are intimately linked and the One Health Initiative helps us address many challenges that face us,” he added.

Composed of eight colleges, three schools and numerous local government agencies (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. National Park Services, National Wildlife Research Center, U.S. Geological Survey) CSU is uniquely positioned to collaborate and work together on health and environmental science, Stetter said. One Health represents a unified campus initiative, funded through financial support from all eight colleges and the OVPR,

The One Health seed grant program is one facet of the One Health Initiative that includes the hiring of a new One Health Director. The director will oversee the One Health Committee, a board that determines which teams receive funding, aspires to invest in teams that support research and development and catalyzes creative ideas. The teams will touch all areas of the CSU land-grant mission and create new funding opportunities from One Health sponsorship.

The committee has identified five major areas of interest:

  1. Disease Emergence: Includes multi-drug and antimicrobial resistance, pathogen and host evolution, global health security and outbreak surveillance
  2. Food Safety and Security: Addresses key issues in certifying supply chain quality and quantity of food ingredients and packaging
  3. Impacts of Environmental Factors of Ecosystem Health
  4. Sustainable Agriculture and Ecosystem Health
  5. Optimizing Global Health by Design: Addresses design in the home, workplace and agriculture that includes new energy technology

“While the One Health movement is not new, we do see it as an area of tremendous growth that touches so many areas of our current and future strengths,” Rudolph said. “There are ever-present and now growing sources including federal agencies, and foundation and private sector partnerships that claim One Health as their mission.”