Block I Illinois Library Illinois Open Publishing Network

Uniting Infection Biology for One Health

view of stethoscope from conference poster


Emerging infectious disease, epidemic outbreaks, and antimicrobial resistance are urgent and critical threats to human health. The concept of One Health recognizes the fundamental dependence of human and animal health on the well-being of agricultural, industrial, and natural ecosystems. Microbes form hidden linkages that connect these ecosystems and shape the health of the people and animals that inhabit them. Researchers across the University of Illinois are coming together from biomedical sciences, anthropology, epidemiology, engineering, ecology, evolution, computer science, genomics, and microbiology to address infectious disease in the One Health context, making the University of Illinois a regional center for One Health research. Our symposium will highlight the collaborative interdisciplinary efforts of One Health researchers at the University of Illinois and foster the development of new research networks across campus.

This symposium will focus on two topics of importance to One Health.

  1. Dynamics of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR): When the first antibacterial drugs were developed, medicine was changed so dramatically that many predicted the end of infectious diseases. The development of AMR, by evolutionary processes including gene movement through the microbiome, now has many in the medical professions fearing the return of untreatable diseases. This has been addressed by such programs as the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria. Many AMR genes are transferred between people, animals, and the environment, affecting the health of all three and making AMR the quintessential One Health issue. We will discuss the mechanisms of AMR spread, the pathways of AMR transmission, and the potential for AMR control under the One Health paradigm.
  2. Emerging Infections in Changing Environments: In 2001, it was estimated that there were 196 known pathogens associated with emerging diseases and that 60% of all human pathogens were multi-species. As environments change, due to changes in factors such as land use and climate, human exposure to new pathogens increases. As human behavior changes, with concentrated populations of humans and animals and increased global connectivity, the ability of these pathogens to spread also increases. The latest examples of this, the Ebola and Zika virus outbreaks, demonstrate the devastating consequences of emerging infections and the urgent need to increase the capacity to respond effectively to minimize harm and prevent future outbreaks. We will discuss environmental drivers of emerging infections and methods for predicting, preparing for, and responding to new infection threats.

Speakers (Videos Available on University of Illinois Campus)

Speaker Biographies

Robert V. Tauxe, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Robert Tauxe is the MPH Deputy Director of the Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases at the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases. This division is charged with prevention and control of foodborne, waterborne, and fungal infections at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Division monitors the frequency of these infections in the United States, investigates outbreaks, and develops strategies to reduce the disease, disability, and deaths that they cause. He graduated from Yale University, in New Haven, Connecticut, cum laude in 1975, and received his medical degree from Vanderbilt Medical School in Nashville, Tennessee. In addition, he holds a Master’s in Public Health from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. He completed an internal medicine residency at the University of Washington and is certified in internal medicine. He then trained at CDC in the Epidemic Intelligence Service for two years and joined the CDC staff in 1985.

Stuart Reid, Royal Veterinary College

Graduating from the University of Glasgow in 1987, Stuart started his professional career in practice in Aberdeenshire before returning to graduate studies at his alma mater and completing his PhD in 1992. He was appointed to a joint Chair at the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde in 1996. Stuart has worked in Africa, Australia, and the USA and has published over 130 papers. Appointed first to Associate Dean (Research) in 2004 and subsequently as Dean in 2005, Stuart led the Glasgow school for six years before becoming Principal of the Royal Veterinary College at the start of 2011. A Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Specialist in veterinary epidemiology, Stuart is a Diplomate of the European College of Veterinary Public Health, of which he was the first elected president. He is Chair of Trustees for The Donkey Sanctuary, Chair of ECOVE, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Society of Biology. Stuart was appointed to RCVS Council by the University of Glasgow, in 2005, and has been the RVC-appointed member of Council since 2011. He served as President of the RCVS from 2014 to 2015.

Tom Gillespie, Emory University

After graduating from the University of Illinois in 1996, Tom completed a PhD at the University of Florida before returning to Illinois as a postdoc and then Assistant Professor in the Departments of Pathobiology and Anthropology. He moved to Emory University in 2008, where he is affiliated with the Departments of Anthropology, Environmental Health, and Environmental Sciences. His lab examines interactions among anthropogenic environmental change; biodiversity; and the ecology and emergence of pathogens in wildlife, domestic animals, and people using diverse pathogen study systems (eukaryotic parasites, bacteria, and viruses) in Sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar, and Latin America.


Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Illinois 150: The 21st Century Research University and the Public Good by Kevin Hamilton, Paul Michael Leonardo Atienza, Jessica Harless, Kelsey Hassevoort, Robin Holland, Marcelo Boccato Kuyumjian, Allison LaHood, Beatriz Esmeralda Maldonado, Robert M Rouphail, Majid Shafiee-Jood, Lettycia Terrones, and Kevin Wallington is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book