Inspiration and impact.
Our strategic research direction enables UCalgary researchers to build on their current research successes and addresses global challenges impacting the health of people, animals, and the environment and the inequitable distribution of health and wellbeing arising from these global challenges. OH@UC is committed to becoming a transdisciplinary hub for research excellence in antimicrobial resistance, the microbiome and infectious diseases, water resources, and healthy communities. We will also remain nimble so as to quickly and effectively respond to changing research demands.
A collaborative, transdisciplinary approach to research is vital to finding better ways to improve the health and resilience of people, animals and the environment. We have identified Antimicrobial Resistance, Healthy Water Ecosystems, Infectious Diseases and the Microbiome, and Healthy Communities as some of the biggest challenges we face and where we also see the greatest opportunities. Within each research priority, working groups have identified grand challenges that will also align with our strategic direction to integrate research, training, and community engagement.
The University of Calgary provides our collaborators a strong reputation for research excellence across disciplines and a number of unique resources to support research, training, and community engagement.
Antimicrobials are agents intended to kill or slow the growth of microorganisms like bacteria or fungi. Since the introduction and widespread adoption of antibiotic and antifungal agents, microorganisms that can survive antimicrobials have evolved, and ‘antimicrobial resistance’ (AMR) has emerged as a pressing One Health challenge. As there are a limited number of antibiotics available for use, the same active ingredients are often used in antibiotic products intended for humans, animals, and agriculture.
Healthy Water Ecosystems
Water is a precious resource; consequently, access to safe water and sanitation is critical for health and security. Protecting aquatic ecosystems and providing clean water is essential for limiting the spread of contaminants, pathogens and antimicrobial resistant genes among humans and from humans to the environment. Changing hydrological conditions associated with climate change, intensification of agriculture and expanding industrial activities and water requirements threaten availability, sustainability and overall quality of clean water and the plants and animals that depend on it.
Infectious Diseases and the Microbiome
The emergence of COVID-19 could not have been predicted, but it was not unexpected. According to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), 60% of human infectious diseases are of animal origin, 3 new diseases of animal origin appear annually and 20% of animal losses are due to infectious diseases. Despite huge advances against infectious diseases, human, animal, and environmental health continues to be threatened by emerging and neglected pathogens, environmental pollution, and development of multifactorial, chronic diseases.
Health and wellness are shaped by the place we live, our relationships and the circumstances in which we live, work, learn, play, and age. A One Health approach is necessary to improve health outcomes in communities and involves studying and evaluating the civic, socio-cultural and environmental dimensions of health and wellness within that community.
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