iCOMOS 2016

iCOMOS Cover Image

Humans face a grand challenge as growing demands on the environment for resources to provide for an ever-expanding population threaten the existence of wildlife populations, degrade land, and pollute air and water. Public investment and policy decisions that will shape future interactions of humans, animals and the environment require scientific input to help find common ground for durable and sustainable success.

iCOMOS-2016 brought together more than 350 scientists, regulatory authorities, health experts, and student trainees from 32 countries to inform and discuss the impacts of air quality on health and economics, the complexities of water – quality, access, international conflicts, uses, the burgeoning opportunities and uncertainties in precision medicine that can provide novel solutions to emerging health threats, and the role of science and science communication in health policy formulation.

Workshops focused on the resources and tools available to deliver the knowledge that is needed for addressing complex health challenges. Topics included (i) the key roles of physician-scientists and multidisciplinary teams; (ii) big data tools for analysis and visualization; (iii) international policy development processes; and (iv) health models that benefit animals and humans. Key insights gained from oral and poster presentations, panel discussions, workshops and networking were that local and regional health challenges at the interface of humans, animals and the environment are all variations of the same overarching conflicts, and that international gatherings provide new opportunities for investigation and policy development that are broadly applicable.

Conference Program

Sunday, April 24

Conference Welcome and Introductions 
Srirama Rao, Chair, iCOMOS Organizing Committee, University of Minnesota  

University Welcome 
Brian Herman, Vice President for Research, University of Minnesota  

Turning Science into Policy; Minimizing Chaos and Maximizing Impact 
Michael Osterholm, Regent’s Professor, University of Minnesota 

Panel Vignettes and Discussion: Global Challenges at the Interface of Animals, Humans, and the Environment, the Role of Science and Medicine in the Pursuit of One Health 
Moderator: Kerri Miller, Minnesota Public Radio Session 
Panelists: C. Arden Pope, Professor, Brigham Young University; Sally Rockey, Director, Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (formerly at the National Institutes of Health); Liz Neeley, Executive Director, The Story Collider Adam Berger, Senior Fellow, US Department of Health and Human Services; Andy Morse, Professor, University of Liverpool, England 

 

Monday, April 25

Session I: Role of Science in Solving Emerging Health Threats

Welcome to the Conference 
Eric Kaler, President, University of Minnesota 

Welcome to the Scientific Session Day 1 
Brooks Jackson, Vice President, Academic Health Sciences, University of Minnesota 

Session I: Topic 1: Balancing Personalized/Precision Medicine and Public Health in a Changing Environment

Session Chairs: Ned Patterson and Clifford Steer, University of Minnesota

Session summary: The biological revolution linking genotypic variation to health and disease has created vast potential for tending to the health of individuals based on personal health risks, drug sensitivities, nutritional needs, and yet-to-be-discovered variables. Individualized medicine requires large investments and resource commitment to address individual needs. Public health, based on scientific knowledge of generalized health risks and rewards, requires investments and commitments to population and health impacts of local and global environments. Given a fixed set of resources, maximizing the potential of both is challenging at best. Here we highlight scientific complexities of individual and population health in animals and humans as impacted by environment. 

Ethical and Legal Challenges of Translating Genomic Research into Public Health Benefit 
Susan Wolf, Professor, University of Minnesota 

Ethics of Personalized Medicine versus Public Health 
Art Caplan, Professor, New York University 

The Science Behind Personalized Medicine: Mapping Complex Traits and Diseases
Elaine Ostrander, Distinguished Investigator, National Institutes of Health 

Vaccines—Opportunities and Challenges in Meeting Global Expectations 
Mark Feinberg, President, International AIDS Vaccine Initiative 

President’s Precision Medicine Initiative—Health and Human Services Overview 
Adam Berger, Senior Fellow, US Department of Health and Human Services 

Session I: Topic 2: Air Quality, Environmental Exposures, and Health 

Session Chairs: Steve Hecht and Anne Joseph, University of Minnesota

Session summary: The health of air-breathers is inextricably linked to the quality and composition of air. Human, animal, and plant health is therefore linked in the need to effectively manage air quality. To know what this means, it is essential to unravel the impact of human activities, animal metabolism, and plant biology on air quality, as well as the detrimental impact of specific air constituents on health. Here we will examine what air is in today’s world, the science behind major air-related diseases and overall health, and the human and economic costs resulting from these diseases. 

Air Pollution, Health, and Policy
C. Arden Pope, Professor, Brigham Young University 

Air Pollution and Environmental Justice: Can We Address Both?
Julian Marshall, Professor, University of Washington 

Household Air Pollution Due to Cooking Practices 
Sumi Mehta, Senior Director, United Nations Foundation 

Health Effects of Air Pollution 
Paolo Boffetta, Professor, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York

Air Pollution and Cancer 
Jonathan Samet, Professor, University of Southern California

Poster Presentations  

Transforming Agriculture and Health: The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research and the Importance of Public-Private Partnerships 
Introduction: Karen Hanson, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost, University of Minnesota 
Sally Rockey, Executive Director, Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research 

 

Tuesday, April 26 

Session II: Science Informing Public Policy and Economics of Health 

Welcome to Scientific Session Day 2 
Brian Herman, Vice President for Research, University of Minnesota Meridian Ballroom 

Session II: Topic 1: Water at the Interface of Health, Economics and Environment Session 

Chairs: Raj Rajan, Ecolab; Jessica Hellman, University of Minnesota

Session summary: The fundamental need for water of quality and quantity to sustain health becomes increasingly difficult to fulfill as populations grow, human land use expands, and water patterns shift due to climate change. The problem facing policymakers is compounded by the fact that human, animal, and environmental health must be considered in making water policy but each are measured by different standards. Economic and social values vary across the globe and tend to compound rather than simplify issues at the local up to global levels. All of this means data to adequately inform policy is often hard to come by, and putting one use of water above and out of balance with all the other uses has already led to unintended and undesirable consequences. 

Status and Challenges of Environment and Health in China
Yinlong Jin, Professor, China Center for Disease Control 

Environmental Pollution Impacts on Fish and Humans 
Levent Bat, Professor, Sinop University, Turkey 

Pharmaceutical Waste in Water: Examples from Sweden of Trying to Reduce Emissions from Use and Manufacturing 
Marie-Louise Ovesjö, Senior Consultant, Stockholm County Council, Sweden 

Influence of a Natural Water Flow System in the Epidemiology of Anthrax at a HumanWildlife-Livestock Interface: A Case of Queen Elizabeth National Park 
Margaret Driciru, Principal Warden/Wildlife Veterinarian Uganda Wildlife Authority, Uganda 14 

The Use of Climate Models in the Prediction of Vector Borne Diseases 
Andy Morse, Professor, University of Liverpool, England 

Water—The Greatest Threat to Achieving Global Food and Nutrition Security 
Ajay Markanday, Director FAO Liaison Office, North America

Lunch and Featured Speaker 

To the Ends of the Earth: Initiatives To Not Only Educate but Reshape How People and Communities Think About Water 
Ann Bancroft, Educator, Explorer and Team Leader, Bancroft Arnesen Explore 

Session II: Topic 2: Role of Science in Formulation of Local and Global Health Policy Session

Chairs: Ajay Markanday, Food and Agricultural Organization; Shaun Kennedy, Food Science Institute/University of Minnesota 

Session summary: Government regulation in the interest of health in the US began around 1848 to ensure quality of imported drug products, with the role of animal health in protecting human health firmly established 1862 with the early Department of Agriculture. Publication of Silent Spring in 1962 dramatically raised awareness of the impact of environment on human and animal health. Today, industrial expansion in China and India, etc., reminds us of the interaction of environment and health. Health policies that establish national and international social priorities are often influenced more by near-term economics and public emotion than by science. Unfortunately, compartmentalized science often misses crucial interactions, and science often is not effectively introduced into the policy debate. To ensure that science serves its appropriate role in the development of enlightened public policies for sustaining human, animal, and environmental health, the science needs to be integrated and articulated so that it is impartial, useful, and accepted.

Role of Science in Water Management Policy Development 
Deborah Swackhamer, Professor, University of Minnesota 

Storytelling for Effective Science Communication and Policy
Liz Neeley, Executive Director, The Story Collider 

Animal Welfare: A Case Study in Translating Science into Policy
David Fraser, Professor, University of British Columbia, Canada 

Linking Science and Policy: The Foodborne Disease Consideration 
Jorgen Schlundt, Professor, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore 

Minnesota Effect and Evidence-Based Policy in Global Health 
Juhwan Oh, Professor, Seoul National University, South Korea 

The Successes and Challenges of Bringing Science to Global Food Safety Policy through CODEX Alimentarius 15 
Samuel Godefroy, Professor, University Laval, Quebec, Canada; Senior Food Regulatory Advisor, United Nations Industrial Development Organization 

Closing Remarks and Perspective for the Future 
Michael Murtaugh, Co-Chair, Organizing Committee, University of Minnesota 

Conference Closing 
Trevor Ames, Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota

 

Wednesday, April 27 

Workshop One: Tomorrow’s Health Science Workforce: Physician-Scientists and Team Science 

Coordinators: Clifford Steer, University of Minnesota; Hortencia Hornbeak and Peter Jackson, National Institutes of Health 

Overview: Gaps in our knowledge about complex biomedical and environmental problems limit our ability to develop durable solutions in the spirit of OMOS. Teams of experts who understand the OMOS vision are critical for developing these durable solutions. Physician Scientists trained in a broad, nonlinear, cross-disciplinary manner are, and will be, essential members of those teams.
 

Workshop Two: One Health One Policy: Managing Risk Enroute to Global Food Security 

Coordinators: Shaun Kennedy, University of Minnesota; Ajay Markanday, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations 

Overview: CODEX Alimentarius and OIE are examples of countries coming together to establish global guidelines and scientific guidance to protect human and animal health. While very successful, they do not always achieve their goal of aligning national policies. In order to better achieve the goals of these and other global efforts to protect health through policy, there is a need to translate across these scientific and social drivers so that there is greater transparency in the trade-offs that come with the various choices. This workshop will initiate a framework for comparing across risk management paradigms that are grounded in science but end in different outcomes, each of which has positives and negatives, with a focus on the impact on least developed countries.
 

Workshop Three: Big Data, the Language and Future of One Medicine One Science

Coordinators: Andres Perez, Claudia Neuhauser, Srinand Sreevatsan, and Greg Cuomo, University of Minnesota 

Overview: There is an urgent need for computational tools to mine the enormous quantity and complexity of data available to support health and food production, to enhance multidisciplinary team efficiencies, and to provide science-based policy input. This workshop will set the stage for discussions around the challenges of development of biocomputational teams and tools tools applied in the analysis of big data in human, plant, and animal health, and their contribution to improve the efficiency of our food production systems.
 

Workshop Four: Canine and Human Epilepsy, a Model for Bidirectional Benefit 

Coordinator: Ned Patterson, University of Minnesota
Cosponsors: University of Minnesota, Mayo Clinic, National Institute of Health, Minnesota Epilepsy Foundation 

Overview: This workshop will look at the current state and upcoming hope for the improved therapy of both human and canine epilepsy where in both species 30% of patients are refractory to two or more medications. Presentations will include promising novel drug and alternative therapies (including cannabidiol) and devices for epilepsy, both of which have and can be tested in dogs with naturally occurring epilepsy. The outcome will be two white papers with recommendations for future directions of epilepsy research including method for increased funding for and for improved patient support.

 

Committees

Executive Committee

Brian Herman, PhD
Vice-President for Research, University of Minnesota

Brooks Jackson, MD, MBA
Vice-President for Health Sciences and Dean of the Medical School, University of Minnesota

Srirama Rao, PhD
Associate Dean for Research, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota

Trevor Ames, DVM
Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota
 

Organizing Committee

Srirama Rao, PhD Co-Chair
Professor and Associate Dean for Research, Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, and Department of Medicine, Medical School, University of Minnesota

Michael Murtaugh, PhD Co-Chair
Professor, Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, and Institute for Molecular Virology, University of Minnesota

Andres Perez, DVM, PhD
Associate Professor, Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota

Carol Cardona, DVM, PhD
Ben Pomeroy Chair in Avian Medicine, Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota

Claudia Neuhauser, PhD
Director, Informatics Institute, and Professor, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, College of Biological Sciences, University of Minnesota

Clifford J. Steer, MD
Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs; Professor of Medicine and Genetics, Cell Biology & Development; Director, Molecular Gastroenterology Program; and Director, Physician-Scientist Training Program, Medical School, University of Minnesota

Hortencia Hornbeak, PhD
Associate Director of Scientific Review and Policy, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health

Lewis Gilbert, PhD
Associate Director, Institute on the Environment, University of Minnesota

Ned Patterson, DVM, PhD
Associate Professor, Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota

Peter Jackson, PhD
Chief, AIDS Research Review Branch, Scientific Review Program, Division of Extramural Activities, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health

Shaun Kennedy, BS
Associate Professor, Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota

Srinand Sreevatsan, BVSc., MPH, PhD
Professor, Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota

Amy McMillen, BA
Partnerships and Outreach Coordinator, Liaison Office for North America, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)

Ajay Markanday, MS
Director, Liaison Office for North America, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
 

Administrative Committee

Eugene Anderson, PhD
Program Director, College of Continuing and Professional Studies, University of Minnesota

Laurie Brickley
Director of Communications, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota

Paula Buchner
Chief Operating Officer, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota

Nathan Pasch
Graphic Designer/Webmaster, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota

Jessica Raines-Jones
Project Specialist, Office of the Associate Dean for Research, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota

Kersten Warren
Research Administrator, Office of the Associate Dean for Research, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota

Marie Villano
Program Administrative Specialist, College of Continuing and Professional Studies, University of Minnesota

Helen Weber
Program Associate, College of Continuing and Professional Studies, University of Minnesota

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