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From left: Chantal Gauthier, Dean of the College of Sciences and Technology at UN; Véronique Lacombe, Professor at OSU CVM; Benjamin Lauzier, Associate Professor of UN College of Sciences and Technology; Yannick Guilloux, Professor of UN College of Sciences and Technology; Jérémie Bourdon, Associate Dean of Research at the UN College of Sciences and Technology.

Transatlantic Partnership between OSU Vet Med and University of Nantes to Advance One Global Health Medicine

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Media Contact: Derinda Blakeney | College of Veterinary Medicine | 405-744-6740 | derinda@okstate.edu

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Isabelle Richard, vice president for European affairs and international relations at the University of Nantes.

A new international partnership between Oklahoma State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and the University of Nantes in France will lead to exciting opportunities for faculty and students under the umbrella of One Global Health Medicine.

The collaboration aims to promote cooperation in instruction, research and outreach including various forms of exchange (both in person and remotely) among students and faculty within the two institutions.

The partnership will utilize complementary strengths, including unique state-of-the-art expertise and institutional resources, to tackle multifaceted disease problems and develop novel therapeutic strategies to enhance the wellbeing of animals, people and the environment.

This transatlantic partnership was fostered by the individual initiatives and research collaborations of internationally recognized faculty, including scientists and clinicians with a successful track record of independent research — Dr. Veronique Lacombe from OSU and Drs. Benjamin Lauzier and Yannick Guilloux from the UN.

A veterinarian/scientist, Lacombe is a professor in the Department of Physiological Sciences at the OSU CVM. She leads the Comparative Metabolism Laboratory, which investigates glucose metabolism during metabolic diseases and novel metabolic therapeutic strategies that could be beneficial to both veterinary and human patients. She also teaches at the professional and graduate levels.

“The pandemic has highlighted the critical need for One Health Medicine, and I am excited to work on such a global initiative with European leaders in biomedical research and medicine,” Lacombe said. “While visiting the University of Nantes, I have been impressed with the rich environment that UN offers, including research centers of excellence. I hope this international partnership will also inspire other faculty, as well as students and postdoctoral trainees, to join and develop this novel transatlantic academic network of excellence.

“In addition to using digital technology, faculty and graduate students from both institutions could travel abroad to enhance and share their knowledge and research skills while being exposed to a diverse environment and culture, including the beautiful lakes in Stillwater and the vibrant city of Nantes.”

Guilloux and Lauzier are faculty at the College of Sciences and Technology of UN and graduate program coordinators. They are also well-established scientists at the Research Center of Oncology and Immunology and the Thorax Institute, respectively.

“The COVID-19 situation gave us an incredible opportunity to demonstrate that working remotely (from any distance actually) was possible," Lauzier said. "We have established a strong and lasting working relationship with professor Lacombe’s team that will lead to joint funding requests, hosting of master and Ph.D. students, and much more. I hope that these relationships will serve as a springboard for other teams and that the relationship between our two institutions will be fruitful.”

This partnership will also provide high-impact international experiences for the next generation of scientists, as illustrated by the ongoing research/teaching activities between the research teams of Lacombe and Lauzier. OSU CVM graduate students have already been beneficiaries of such exchanges.

“I highly anticipate our biweekly virtual journal club/seminar series with the University of Nantes,” said Matthew Rochowski, a graduate research assistant in Lacombe’s lab. “The exchanges with faculty, scientists and students are always very stimulating and will help me become a well-rounded scientist. In addition, the research collaboration with Dr. Lauzier’s lab at the Thorax Institute gives me a great opportunity to be exposed to unique research methods and novel medical research. In particular, they are able to perform a state-of-the-art experiment that I am unable to do myself that will be instrumental toward the successful completion of my Ph.D. dissertation. In return, I will perform a unique experiment to measure glucose transport that Dr. Lacombe’s lab has mastered. I also hope to have the opportunity to visit Europe as part of these scientific exchanges.”

Lauzier added, “At the academic level, we will also be able to be innovative by allowing students to benefit from the expertise of the different universities. This is very motivating!” 

This is germane to the fact that both institutions are among the top institutions worldwide based on indicators linked to research and innovation.

“I am impressed that professor Lacombe and my colleagues, Drs. Benjamin Lauzier and Yannick Guilloux, took the initiative to develop a cooperation on a subject that is key to both our institutions. I trust this MOU is the first step towards a Memorandum of Agreement whereby we will implement exchange programs for our students and faculty in the One Health field in the near future,” said Isabelle Richard, vice president for European affairs and international relations at the UN.

This international partnership with a European peer institution will contribute to OSU’s land-grant mission and will build on Oklahoma State University’s proud legacy of extensive international outreach for more than 50 years.

“We welcome this new partnership with the University of Nantes, as we think this type of partnership extends our passion for addressing global needs, as articulated in the UN’s sustainable development goals,” said Dr. Randy Kluver, associate provost and dean of OSU’s School of Global Studies and Partnerships. “We look forward to partnering with this prestigious university to further our mutual goal of advancing global health.”

OSU provides a supportive and collaborative interdisciplinary research environment with excellent access to infrastructure and offers excellent training opportunities.

“With our available graduate studies and research programs, collaborating with the UN will enhance the academic and research interchange between our two institutions,” said Dr. Jerry Malayer, CVM senior associate dean of research and graduate education. “Many of our centers of research excellence overlap with research themes undertaken at the UN including, but not limited to, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases and oncology.”

OSU CVM Dean Dr. Carlos Risco said, “We are excited for the opportunity to collaborate with the University of Nantes in research and instructional activities in One Health to promote global well-being. This partnership will allow faculty and students from both institutions to combine their strengths and experience to accelerate scientific innovation, productivity and discovery. This partnership will also support our college vision, which is to be innovative world leaders in health care, research and professional education.”


OSU’s College of Veterinary Medicine is one of 32 accredited veterinary colleges in the United States and the only veterinary college in Oklahoma. The college’s Boren Veterinary Medical Hospital is open to the public and provides routine and specialized care for small and large animals. The hospital offers 24-hour emergency care and is certified by the American Animal Hospital Association. For more information, visit https://vetmed.okstate.edu or call (405) 744-7000.

Oklahoma State University is a modern land-grant university that prepares students for success. OSU has more than 34,000 students across its five-campus system and more than 24,000 on its combined Stillwater and Tulsa campuses, with students from all 50 states and around 100 nations. Established in 1890, Oklahoma State has graduated more than 275,000 students to serve the state of Oklahoma, the nation, and the world.

The University of Nantes, located in the West of France, welcomes about 37,000 students (undergraduate and graduate). The university spreads across six campuses, four of which are along the Loire River in the city of Nantes. UN offers over 100 different degree courses across a wide range of disciplines, as well as a number of postgraduate programs. UN also holds a key focus on research and development and is a major research center in Western France. As a result, UN is ranked among the top 25 French universities.

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