- 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.
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 in 2013. At the time, UF was the only state university to meet all 12 criteria established by the legislature to receive “preeminence funding,” which was designated to support UF Online and faculty recruitment. Building on the foundation of the outstanding work of the faculty who already called UF home at that time, the university has undergone explosive growth in the recruitment of additional faculty and researchers at the top of their fields. This influx of additional talent, alongside an increase in research dollars generated, has contributed to a rise in national stature reflected in UF’s national rankings. In 2019, the UF College of Veterinary Medicine jumped five spots to land in the Top 10 of US News & World’s rankings of veterinary medical colleges nationwide, coming in at No. 9 in that report.
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.