What is One Health?
Humans, animals, and the environment are fundamentally linked, yet the strategies to address their health typically remain separate. One Health:
- Is a collaborative and interdisciplinary approach to optimizing health for humans, animals, and the environment at the local, national, and global level.
- Incorporates expertise from diverse fields (including human and veterinary medicine, environmental and biological sciences, engineering, public health, political science, urban planning, economics, sociology, epidemiology, and statistical modeling) to study and solve important zoonotic and environmentally-induced diseases, diseases shared by humans and other animals, and challenges at the intersection of humans, animals, and the environment.
The mission of Tufts CTSI’s signature program in One Health is to optimize the health of humans, animals, and the environment through an innovative and integrative, interdisciplinary approach to education, research, and practice.
View our resources, including videos, case studies, and articles.
Who is eligible?
The One Health Program offers consultations to help researchers identify relevant natural animal research models and matchmaking services to connect collaborators for One Health-related projects. This service is available to all investigators at all levels, at all Tufts CTSI partner institutions and across the CTSA Consortium.
Our goals are to understand and solve human, animal, and environmental health challenges using a One Health approach, and to establish Tufts as a leader in fostering productive One Health teams to optimize the health of all species and the environment. One Health goals also include:
A key goal of the Tufts One Health Committee is to catalyze innovative research, education, field experiences, and community engagement through a collaborative and interdisciplinary One Health approach. We work to understand the complex interactions between human, animals, and the environment.
Examples of One Health collaboration:
- CTSA One Health Alliance (COHA): a national network of the 12 veterinary schools affiliated with Clinical and Translational Science Award institutions (CTSAs) that leverages the expertise of physicians, research scientists, veterinarians, and other professionals to advance our understanding of diseases shared by humans and animals, such as cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and obesity. Conducting clinical trials in these natural animal models provides an innovative and effective approach for accelerating translational research that can ultimately benefit both humans and animals.
- Zoonotic Diseases: certain viruses (rabies, West Nile), bacteria (Salmonella, Leptospirosis), and protozoa (Cryptosporidiosis, Toxoplasmosis) can be transmitted between animals and humans. Environmental changes can play a role in how likely this transmission is to happen. By working together in an interdisciplinary approach, physicians, veterinarians, public health officials, and other health professionals can more effectively prevent and respond to disease outbreaks.
- Abandoned Buildings and Animal Health: faculty members from Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning and Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine are studying the role of abandoned buildings on the health of animals, and consequently the health of people and broader ecological systems.
- Animals as Sentinels for Environmental Risks: Diagnosing lead poisoning in a dog may serve as a sentinel or warning for risk of lead poisoning in children that live in the same household or environment.
- Animal Models for Human Cancer: Elizabeth McNiel, DVM, PhD, whose research bridges the Molecular Oncology Research Institute at Tufts Medical Center and the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, is studying the role of aluminum in vaccine-associated tumors in cats as a model for human cancer.
- One Health Clubs: Students on the Grafton and Medford Tufts campuses organized clubs to collaborate on interdisciplinary One Health activities such as One Health Day. If you are interested in joining the Grafton club, join the e-list. To join the Medford club, contact Jennifer Allen.
Tufts is preparing One Health leaders across all schools and levels of the university, and empowering them to address medical and environmental problems at the local, national, and global level.
Educational opportunities in One Health:
- Career Development (KL2) Awards
- TL1 Fellowship Programs
- Professional Development Seminars on I LEARN, Tufts CTSI’s interactive education website
- Introduction to One Health course
- Zoobiquity Conference
We are building upon the Tufts tradition of active citizenship by maximizing opportunities and engaging students, faculty, and staff in a spectrum of One Health interests and initiatives. The field of human-animal interaction studies the many benefits of animals for people, from pet ownership in military-associated children to the positive impact of animal-assisted therapy.
Examples of One Health service activities:
- Tufts Paws for People: a volunteer group that provides animal visitation to those in need.
- Reading Assistance Dogs: reading aloud to dogs may improve children’s attitudes about reading.
Tufts is addressing medical and environmental problems by fostering research by interdisciplinary One Health teams.
Examples of One Health research:
- Pets and people share many of the same health problems. Physicians and veterinarians can collaborate to develop better treatments for both of their patients.
- Clinical trials in animals are an important stepping stone to translate basic science research into human clinical trials. Animals and humans frequently suffer from similar diseases and chronic conditions such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Clinical trials to evaluate innovative new drugs or treatments can benefit both animals and humans.
- Natural animal models to study human disease and treatment can bridge bench and clinical research, reduce translational failures, and improve scientific discovery and application to benefit human health. WGBH reported on these efforts in 2014.
- Studying the benefits of pets for children and young adults.
Browse clinical trials at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine.
We are working to develop evidence-based solutions for One Health problems that can be broadly disseminated and implemented on local, national, global levels.
Examples of One Health solutions:
- The Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine partnered with with Tufts Institute of the Environment on a workshop about climate change and public health in the Arctic.
- The US Agency for International Development (USAID) and its partners are developing training programs for veterinarians, physicians, and public health officials in regions where animal-based pandemics are likely to emerge.
Tufts One Health Committee Members
- Deborah Kochevar, DVM, PhD, DACVCP, Dean and Henry and Lois Foster Professor, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine
- Geneve Allison, MD, MSc, FACP, Lead Navigator, Tufts CTSI, Tufts Medical Center; Assistant Professor, Tufts University School of Medicine
- Sean Cash, PhD, Associate Professor, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy
- John Castellot, PhD, Professor, Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences (also, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine; Navigator, Tufts CTSI)
- Lisa Freeman, DVM, PhD, DACVN, Professor, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine (also, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy; Tisch College of Civic Life; Tufts CTSI); Director, Tufts CTSI One Health Program and Tufts Institute for Human-Animal Interaction
- David M. Gute, PhD, MPH, FACE, Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (also, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine; Tufts Institute of the Environment; Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy; Tisch College of Civic Life)
- Deborah Linder, DVM, MS, DACVN, Clinical Assistant Professor, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine; Co-Associate Director, Tufts Institute for Human-Animal Interaction
- Yun Saksena, BDSc, MMSc, DMD, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine
- Shinsuke Tanaka, MA, PhD, Assistant Professor of Economics, Fletcher School
- Ian Wong, MSPH, Director, Department of Health Promotion and Prevention, Department of Community Health, Tufts University School of Arts and Sciences
To contact us, please submit a service request.
Lisa Freeman, DVM, PhD, DACVN, Director, One Health