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MU to Host Symposium on
Zoonotic Disease Research

Dr. M. Kariuki Njenga
Dr. John A. Crump
Dr. Tony L. Goldberg

The University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine and Mizzou Advantage will bring several experts on zoonotic diseases to campus this May for an interdisciplinary research symposium. The symposium, “Infectious and Zoonotic Disease Emergence: Recognizing Challenges and Identifying Opportunities for Impactful One Health Research,” will take place May 23-24 at the Bond Life Sciences Center.

Zoonoses are infectious diseases of animals that can be transmitted to people. The symposium will focus on raising awareness about zoonoses through the exchange of scientific information about these diseases, and provide an opportunity for scientists to work with policymakers and stakeholders to identify priority areas for research. The symposium is open to clinicians, veterinarians, students, other health professionals and scientists interested in research and clinical topics on the growing risks of zoonotic diseases.

Featured speakers will include physicians, veterinarians, scientists and educators, who will provide insight into zoonotic disease emergence and opportunities to integrate human and animal health, particularly in settings where resources are limited. The keynote speakers are Tony L. Goldberg, PhD, DVM, MS; John A. Crump, MB ChB, MD, DTM&H, FRACP, FRCPA, FRCP; and M. Kariuki Njenga, BVM, MS, PhD.

Goldberg is a professor of epidemiology in the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, associate director for research at the university’s Global Health Institute and the John D. MacArthur research chair. He received his bachelor’s degree from Amherst College, his doctorate from Harvard University, and his doctor of veterinary medicine and master of science from the University of Illinois. He maintains a large research program funded by grants from the U.S. National Institutes of Health, the U.S. National Science Foundation, Sea Grant, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and several other governmental and non-governmental agencies.

His research focuses on the ecology, epidemiology and evolution of infectious disease, combining observational and experimental studies to understand how pathogens in dynamic ecosystems are transmitted among hosts, across complex landscapes, and over time. He is involved in a number of projects around the world that use traditional and molecular epidemiological methods to track the movement and evolution of microbes.  Goldberg leads long-term studies of emerging zoonoses in African primates, arbovirus ecology in the United States, emerging viruses of aquatic and marine fishes, and microbial communities in humans and animals. His goal is to discover generalized mechanisms that govern pathogen transmission, evolution and emergence, and to improve the health and well-being of animals and humans while helping to conserve the rapidly changing ecosystems that they share.

Crump is the McKinlay professor of global health and co-director of the Centre for International Health, at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. He also serves as an adjunct professor of medicine, pathology and global health at Duke University, and a guest researcher with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He graduated from the University of Otago School of Medicine in 1993 and trained as both an internist in infectious diseases and as a pathologist in medical microbiology at Christchurch Hospital, New Zealand; the Royal Free Hospital, London; the Canberra Hospital, Australia; Duke University Medical Center; and with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, and the Royal College of Physicians of the United Kingdom, and a diplomate of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

His main interests are in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases in developing countries, with particular focus on febrile illness, invasive bacterial diseases especially the salmonellosis, bacterial zoonoses, HIV, tuberculosis and enteric infections.

Njenga coordinated the One Health Program of the Global Disease Detection Program for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Kenya. He is a virologist and head of the One Health Program at the Kenya Medical Research Institute, and is a professor in the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health at Washington State University. Notably, he initiated studies to determine etiologies of acute febrile illness in a remote region of Kenya that identified a new strain of rickettsia, and documented high prevalence in humans of another rickettsial pathogen not previously reported in East Africa. His primary responsibilities include enhancing collaboration between human and animal health in Kenya, and enhancing the capacity for disease surveillance and outbreak management at the Ministry of Livestock Development in Kenya.

More information and online registration can be found on the symposium website.


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Last Update: March 8, 2016