Research into diseases shared by humans and animals boosted by grants supporting multidisciplinary study and tool development

Tufts University among grant recipients
November 8, 2017

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Tara Pettinato

GRAFTON, Mass. (November 8, 2017)—The Clinical and Translational Science Award One Health Alliance (COHA), a national network of veterinary and medical research institutions, will continue groundbreaking translational research thanks to a series of grants awarded to its member institutions.

Tufts University will receive funding for the organization of a One Health event for the 2018 American Medical Student Association (AMSA) Convention in collaboration with AMSA and veterinary students from the Student American Veterinary Medical Association (other institutions on the grant include: Colorado State University, North Carolina State University, University of Missouri, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Wisconsin-Madison).

COHA aims to advance the understanding of diseases shared by humans and animals, such as cancer, heart disease, arthritis and obesity, by leveraging the expertise of veterinarians, physicians, research scientists and professionals in related fields. The multidisciplinary approach, which is often referred to as One Health, provides novel information and new strategies to improve the health and well-being of humans, animals and the environment.  Conducting clinical trials in these natural animal models provides an innovative and effective approach for accelerating translational research that can ultimately benefit both humans and animals. COHA institutions are supported by Clinical Translational Science Awards through the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences at the National Institutes of Health.

This latest round of COHA funding will advance a number of efforts, including developing a unified veterinary record data management system across member institutions; planning and coordinating One Health events to increase networking and communication across disciplines; expanding opportunities for clinical and translational research training for students; and advancing efforts to enhance veterinary biospecimen use. The full list of funded projects and lead institutions (*) is below:

  • Translational Research Summit 2.0. Planning and coordination of a symposium on inherited cardiomyopathies across species for human and veterinary medical professionals, as well as other research scientists (University of Wisconsin-Madison*, Cornell University, North Carolina State University, Tufts University, University of California at Davis, University of Florida);
  • Advancing One Health Datasets. Planning and coordination of a workshop on developing a unified veterinary record data management system (Colorado State University*, The Ohio State University, Purdue University, Tufts University, University of Missouri);
  • An Inter-Professional Student Collaboration. Organization of a One Health event for the 2018 American Medical Student Association (AMSA) Convention in collaboration with AMSA and veterinary students from the Student American Veterinary Medical Association (Tufts University*, Colorado State University, North Carolina State University, University of Missouri, University of Pennsylvania, University of Wisconsin-Madison);
  • Improving Translational Resources. Enhancing visibility and inter-college cooperation around biospecimen use from veterinary academic biobanks (Cornell University*, Colorado State University, Texas A&M University, University of California at Davis).

These and other COHA projects rely on One Health principles and inter-professional teams to drive innovation and advance translational science.

For a full list of COHA member institutions, as well as videos and other resources, please visit: https://ctsaonehealthalliance.org.

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About Tufts University
Tufts University, located on campuses in Boston, Medford/Somerville and Grafton, Massachusetts, and in Talloires, France, is recognized among the premier research universities in the United States. Tufts enjoys a global reputation for academic excellence and for the preparation of students as leaders in a wide range of professions. A growing number of innovative teaching and research initiatives span all Tufts campuses, and collaboration among the faculty and students in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs across the university's schools is widely encouraged.

About Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University
Founded in 1978 in North Grafton, Mass., Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University is internationally esteemed for academic programs that impact society and the practice of veterinary medicine; seven teaching hospitals and clinics that combined log more than 80,000 animal cases each year; and groundbreaking research that benefits animal, human, and environmental health. 

About Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI)
Tufts CTSI, a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-supported partnership among all the schools of Tufts University; Northeastern University, Brandeis University, RAND; Tufts CTSI-affiliated hospitals, and health care industry and community organizations, was established in August 2008. Its purpose is to accelerate the translation of laboratory and medical research into clinical use, widespread medical practice, and into improved health care delivery and health policy. It connects people to research resources, consultation, and education, and fosters collaboration with scholars of all disciplines and with community members, with the ultimate goal of improving the health of the public. Tufts CTSI is currently funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, award number UL1TR001064.