Building the future of medicine

Lisa K. Nolan Office of the Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

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Sharron Quisenberry Office of Research and Faculty and Graduate Affairs, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

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Julie McPeake Office of Marketing and Communications, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

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Members of the University of Georgia (UGA) College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) community take pride in contributing to a better future, where preventive measures, therapies, and diagnostics are targeted to the individual patient, whether animal or human. Our One Health Precision Medicine approach builds on our research and clinical strengths in such areas as immunology, infectious diseases, vaccinology, immunology, and neuroscience. Our research advancements in these areas are due to the insights, expertise, and hard work of our dedicated and innovative faculty that together have grown our fiscal year 2022 research expenditures to $65 million.

Center for vaccines and immunology—During the early stages of COVID-19, Dr. Biao He successfully shifted his studies with kennel cough from dogs to humans and back to animals in developing a kennel cough vaccine-based, intranasal, COVID-19 vaccine for both humans and animals. Dr. He attributes his research success to a collaborative working environment, where experts in animal medicine work together with infectious disease researchers to foster interdisciplinary solutions to crucial health challenges.

Center for brain sciences and neurodegenerative diseases—UGA’s new Center for Brain Sciences and Neurodegenerative Diseases is steered by Dr. Anumantha Kanthasamy, whose research focuses on Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and other neurodegenerative disorders. Currently, the center is recruiting faculty who are using genomics, epigenomics, proteomics, transcriptomics, metabolomics, metagenomics, big data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and precision medicine to explore and conquer these devastating diseases. In addition, Dr. Kanthasamy has initiated a translational informatics network for developing personalized medicine-based treatment strategies.

Clinical sciences—Dr. Frane Banovic uses advanced omics to compare translational investigations of inflammatory skin diseases between humans and veterinary species. This process has enriched our understanding of the pathophysiology of these diseases and opened the door to new therapeutics. Already, paradigm-shifting molecular maps of atopic dermatitis have provided in-depth characterization of immune circuits and pathways, accelerating novel drug discovery.

Poultry diagnostic research center—While UGA CVM’s biomedical research has grown substantially, its roots in agriculture still run deep. Our internationally recognized Poultry Diagnostic Research Center (PDRC) has supported the world’s poultry industries since its inception in the 1950s by providing high-quality diagnostic and clinical services to poultry producers across the globe. PDRC also houses exceptional research scientists devoted to solving problems related to anything from avian health and food safety to uncovering the biological mechanisms enabling microbes to thrive in the host and cause disease. PDRC has been successful in developing vaccines for several major poultry diseases and new methods for diagnosing and characterizing emerging poultry pathogens.

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Research by Dr. Frane Banovic is just one example of UGA’s One Health Precision Medicine approach. © University of Georgia Photographer: Christopher B. Herron.

Citation: American Journal of Veterinary Research 83, 9; 10.2460/ajvr.22.07.0117

Southeastern cooperative wildlife disease study—The Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCWDS) was the first diagnostic and research service established for the specific purpose of investigating wildlife diseases. Over the past quarter century, SCWDS diagnosticians have investigated thousands of cases of sick and dying wild animals involving many different species of wildlife. Today, SCWDS continues this work and provides a common ground where wildlife experts work hand-in-hand with private, state, and federal authorities to ensure the welfare of our nation’s wildlife resources, domestic livestock interests, and human health.

Contributor Notes

Corresponding author: Ms. McPeake (jmcpeake@uga.edu)

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