Symposium helps to promote biomedical research


TUSKEGEE, Ala. (September 21, 2012) — The 13th Annual Biomedical Research Symposium kicked off at Tuskegee University Monday. Themed, “Eliminating Health Disparities through a Holistic Approach,” the two-day event focuses on current advances in biomedical research., Presentations by renowned scientists and academicians covered a broad range of health related issues including: animal-to-human transmission of disease, health disparities and the use antiretroviral drugs for HIV prevention.

Tuskegee University President, Gilbert L. Rochon, spoke about the university’s research, partnerships and future goals during his welcome to the symposium participants in the auditorium of the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center at Tuskegee University Monday. He shared that the College of Veterinary Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health was the university’s No. 1 research contributor. He also spoke about a recent partnership with Auburn University and Tuskegee’s collaborations in Africa.

“It is clear that we are on a path toward emergence as a doctoral research university,” Rochon said.

The event’s first keynote speaker, Dr. Gregory Gray of the College of Public Health at the University of Florida, gave a presentation on zoonotic disease transmission. He said the world’s increased demand for meat has had a negative effect on the health of people as well as animals. He said humans were less exposed to zoonotic illnesses on the smaller family farm operations of the past where humans spent less time with their animals.

Today, humans may spend several hours a day with animals in modern farming and livestock production operations. This intense exposure creates a favorable environment for disease transmission that can also endanger animals such as pigs, which are susceptible to human and avian flu.

“These pathogens cross species both ways. We contribute, as humans, significantly to the economic losses associated with agribusinesses,” Gray said.

The conference will continue presentations throughout today, including several from Tuskegee faculty. Also, part of the event is dedicated to the 1st Phi Zeta Research Day. Students will share their research and data with participants. According to a symposium release, “Phi Zeta is an honor society dedicated to recognizing and promoting scholarship and research in matters pertaining to the welfare and diseases of animals.” The symposium will conclude this evening after an awards ceremony.

© 2012 Tuskegee University

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