OSU launches new research institute to explore and develop therapies for humans and animals
Tuesday, December 8, 2020
Oklahoma State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine has launched a new institute that aims to fulfill One Health research by doing parallel investigations in both humans and animals.
OSU’s Institute for Translational and Emerging Research in Advanced Comparative Therapy (INTERACT) is focused on developing and translating new discoveries into therapies for patients.
“The idea for INTERACT came from our long successful history in conducting clinical trials in diseases that affect both small and large animals to develop or discover new therapies and diagnostics,” said Dr. Carlos Risco, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. “With our collaborations, INTERACT will provide our faculty and our college with the resources and expertise needed to innovate in animal and human health, and we are excited to launch it.”
Under the direction of Dr. Ashish Ranjan, professor and holder of the Kerr Foundation Endowed Chair, INTERACT will enhance interdisciplinary research within the veterinary college, across the OSU campus and throughout the state and nation. INTERACT includes faculty participants from almost all OSU colleges, as well as industry experts, foundation partners, and personnel from other academic institutions around the country.
“Our short-term goals include identifying clinical trial opportunities that involve pet patients in the OSU Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital,” Ranjan said. “I have been involved in clinical trials utilizing veterinary patients for some time. INTERACT will provide a strong footing to pursue and move these efforts further. It will allow me to collaborate with other faculty members from the teaching hospital as well as across the campus.
“As the name suggests, INTERACT is a platform to support collaborative research. We hope these open interactions move the needle toward figuring out new treatments for our patient populations — both animal and human. We welcome partners to work together to figure out new therapeutic and diagnostic solutions.”
On Dec. 3, the institute celebrated its official launch and welcomed OSU President Burns Hargis for a tour. He watched a demonstration of what non-invasive treatment technologies (high-intensity focused ultrasound) mean for animal and human health in treating cancer tumors.
“We’re at the cutting edge of research in this area,” Hargis said. “It’s a fantastic revolution to not be invasive in treating these tumors. We’re moving toward One Health, where you’re dealing with animal, human and plant health. This is just another example that is completely transferable to human treatment. We’re really at the center of this, and it’s very exciting.”
Dr. Jerry Malayer, associate dean for research and graduate education at the veterinary college, said INTERACT provides a platform for researchers to get their research out in the public sphere.
“How do we develop these approaches that we’re thinking about and identify resources and partners and collaborations that help us accomplish that goal?” Malayer said. “INTERACT helps us bring One Health principles into our college, our programs and our general thinking. The things that help our companion animals and livestock are developed with the same biological interfaces that apply to human health and in some cases to environmental health.”
“INTERACT is a group of people who really understand that in this day and age, big science is team science. It has to bring people together from different disciplines and from different parts of the research community to solve the big problems, and that’s what I see this group doing,” said Dr. Kenneth Sewell, vice president for research at Oklahoma State University and president of the OSU Research Foundation.
MEDIA CONTACT: Derinda Blakeney, APR | OSU College of Veterinary Medicine | 405-744-6740 | firstname.lastname@example.org