COLLEGE STATION, Texas – A team of faculty members from the Texas A&M; College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (COALS) left for China on July 11 to participate in the U.S.–China Scientific Cooperation One Health Exchange Program. The objective of the collaborative effort is to provide an opportunity for leading researchers from both countries to establish new and strengthen existing collaborations between Texas A&M; and institutions in China, which will lead to the development of future mutually beneficial projects in the fields of veterinary epidemiology and swine production and health.
As a result of China’s expanding economy, the production and export of pork and pork products have become an area of increased focus. With increased production comes the opportunity for pathogens to enter the food supply. Participants in the program will have the opportunity to share experiences related to effective surveillance, prevention, and control of these pathogens, particularly those of a One Health and zoonotic nature-meaning they have the potential to adversely impact both human and animal health.
“China is an ancient civilization with the One Health concept embedded as an ancient wisdom,” said Dr. R. C. (Tammi) Krecek, visiting professor at the CVM and interim assistant dean for One Health. “I look forward to the opportunity to meet with colleagues in China, identify areas of mutual research and One Health interest, strengthen current partnerships, and identify new collaborations between Texas A&M; University and Chinese institutions. Both China and the United States are aware of the importance of combining training and research skills to ready the next generation One Health workforce. We are ‘oceans apart, but one world together’ when transboundary and zoonotic diseases cross boundaries and threaten our animal health and human health. This visit to China is a great first step to leverage our mutual strengths in these areas.”
Through exchanging ideas and best practices, the team hopes the relationships formed will assist China in building capacity and expanding markets for pork, as well as support the country’s growing agricultural enterprise.
“As our global village continues to expand, bringing us closer together, international collaboration will be essential to ensuring global health and quality of life for everyone and everything,” said Dr. Eleanor M. Green, the Carl B. King Dean of Veterinary Medicine. “The foundation of One Health is the inextricable link between animal, human, and environmental health.”
Representatives from Texas A&M; include Christine M. Budke, DVM, Ph.D., associate professor of epidemiology at the CVM; Rosina C. (Tammi) Krecek, Ph.D., MBA, interim assistant dean of One Health, Office of the Dean, and visiting professor of veterinary pathobiology at the CVM; Clay Ashley, DVM, director of the Veterinary Medical Park and chair of the International Program Advisory Committee at the CVM; Brandon Dominguez, DVM, M.S., clinical assistant professor, Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences at the CVM; and Chad Paulk, M.S., Ph.D., assistant professor of animal nutrition, Department of Animal Science, COALS.
Meetings will be held at the following institutions: College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University (Beijing); School of Public Health, Peking University (Beijing); Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute (Lanzhou); College of Veterinary Medicine, Sichuan Agricultural University (Chengdu Campus); Sichuan Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Chengdu); and Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Beijing).