What is “One Health”?
The One Health concept is a rapidly expanding global strategy to enhance human, animal and environmental health from an interdisciplinary perspective. Broadly defined, One Health includes:
- The science of emerging and re-emerging infectious and zoonotic diseases, such as HIV, SARS, West Nile virus, dengue, Rift Valley fever, influenza, ehrlichiosis, multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, and mycoplasmosis
- Food safety
- Environmental toxicology
- Animal health assessment as a sentinel for environmental quality and early detection of emerging zoonotic threats,
- Animal research models for human disease.
At the same time, “One Health” also facilitates monitoring agents of bioterrorism important for homeland security, including prevention and early detection of non-native diseases and/or agents that might be introduced accidentally or purposely into the USA and/or Florida. Furthermore, climate change is now associated with species movement resulting in the emergence of infectious diseases (e.g., tick-borne encephalitis, tularemia brucellosis, leptospirosis, rabies and anthrax) into humans and animals living in areas formerly unaffected.
More information about One Health can be found here:
One Health and the University of Florida
Because of its truly singular complement of core scientific strengths and its geographic location, the University of Florida, as a whole, is uniquely positioned to be a world leader in this exciting new arena.
This strength has most recently been validated through the approval of a $500,000 “Global Health” initiative that will allow our college, in partnership with the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions and the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), to hire at least two new faculty members to further academic research excellence in this area.
Funding for this initiative came about as part of Florida lawmakers’ designation of UF as a “preeminent” University this past spring (see story here.) The University will receive $15 million in funding annually for five years to support up to 100 total hires, and will supplement state support with privately raised funds (see story here.) We hope to hire still more faculty in the next phase of funding as UF aspires to become a “Top 10″ public university.
Notable existing institutional strengths at UF related to “One Health” can be found across numerous Colleges, Institutes and Centers. Individual UF Colleges with faculty and core facilities engaged in One Health include Agricultural and Life Sciences, Public Health and Health Professions, Medicine, Pharmacy, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and of course, Veterinary Medicine.
Associated funded research programs can be found in the Emerging Pathogens Institute (EPI), Center for Environmental and Human Toxicology, McKnight Brain Institute, Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), Genetics Institute, Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience, Comparative Orthopedics & Biomechanics Laboratory, and Cancer Center.