Advancing animal, human, and environmental health: translational focus meets innovative mindset at the University of Florida

Sarah K. Carey College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

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Christopher A. Adin College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

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David W. Pascual College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

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The University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine (UF CVM), ranked number 7 by US News and World Report among veterinary colleges nationwide, prides itself on its ongoing commitment to discovery and excellence in biomedical research. Leveraging the strengths of a top 5 public university, with land-grant roots and a preeminent health-care system at UF Health, we focus on translational research and innovations that are changing the face of animal and human health.

Areas of noteworthy research at the UF CVM include the following:

  • Bladder dysfunction and pain: We are using revolutionary approaches to regain neuronal control over bladder function following spinal cord injury (SCI). If successful, these new therapies will have a massive impact on the treatment of lower urinary tract dysfunction following SCI. Furthermore, we are working to uncover novel signaling and communication between cell types in the bladder to develop new therapies for bladder sensation (fullness and urgency) disorders that affect millions of humans and animals each year.

  • Cancer: Using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, we are advancing our understanding of cancer biology and developing novel technologies to diagnose and treat cancer. We are elucidating the tumor-specific signaling pathways involved in animal and human cancers, including osteosarcoma and hemangiosarcoma, ultimately improving their diagnosis and treatment. Our cancer vaccine trials in dogs with naturally occurring tumors were a key feature of the UF Health Cancer Center's recent designation as a National Cancer Institute Cancer Center.

  • Chronic kidney disease (CKD): As 1 of only 3 veterinary colleges in the country with a true nephrology/urology clinic in its teaching hospital, we are currently running 8 clinical trials aimed at improving the lives of animal CKD patients. We are the only program to investigate acid-base biomarkers to detect complications early in the disease process to better manage our CKD patients.

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Dr. Julie Moore studies placental function in women with malaria.

Citation: American Journal of Veterinary Research 84, 10; 10.2460/ajvr.23.07.0174

  • Dairy cattle health: Emphasis on genetic selection for fertility traits is expected to have an immediate impact on how reproduction is managed in dairy herds. In line with UF's AI initiative, our researchers pioneered the approach of using automated monitoring devices and machine learning to diagnose reproductive and respiratory diseases in dairy cattle, while other projects are developing novel strategies to prevent and treat uterine diseases.

  • Malaria: Recent diagnosis of human malaria in the southern US has brought renewed recognition of the importance of controlling this devastating global disease. Studies at UF are investigating how targeted interventions might block oxidative damage and preserve placental function in pregnant women, while other research focuses on blocking the transmission of malaria from the mosquito host's midgut.

Scientific discoveries at a top research institution like the UF CVM occur across a wide range of disciplines, but all converge upon a shared goal: making tangible impacts on animal and human health.

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