One Health Day spotlights university Zika research, collaborative health care
Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016
OLATHE — On Nov. 3, Kansas State University Olathe is part of a joint effort that is helping Greater Kansas City celebrate the science that connects humans, animals and the environment.
Kansas City One Health Day is from 4-7 p.m. Nov. 3 at the Kauffman Foundation. The free event brings together a series of bioscience-related activities to celebrate and spotlight One Health, a multidisciplinary health approach in which human health, animal health and the environment are intertwined and affect each other.
"One Health is the inextricable linkage between human and animal health and the environment and this concept fits squarely within our regional strengths and vision for the life sciences," said Wayne Carter, president and CEO of the Kansas City Life Sciences Institute, or KCALSI. "Our region is perfectly positioned to capitalize on these opportunities and improve the health of everyone."
The event also will be livestreamed via the Zoom video conferencing software for those unable to attend in person.
Kansas City One Health Day stems from a partnership with K-State Olathe, the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute and BioKansas. The three are working to promote and advance bioscience research and discovery in Greater Kansas City, which is home to more than 240 life science companies with approximately 30,000 employees. The region's scientists, companies and institutions regularly collaborate on life science research, helping further position Greater Kansas City as a national leader in One Health.
"Research and collaborations done with the One Health concept in mind can get treatments out to patients faster, and could increase both the market potential and the scope of impact of that research," said Dennis Ridenour, president and CEO of BioKansas. "It’s important that we realize the significant opportunities that Kansas and the surrounding regions have when it comes to One Health, and the influence we could have on treatments for both humans and animals."
Collaborate2Cure kicks off the activities at 4 p.m. Collaborate2Cure is a KCALSI program designed to stimulate collaboration across our region and solve specific scientific challenges. The program is geared for scientists, entrepreneurs, students and the general public. Programs are held every Thursday and feature a guest speaker discussing a specific topic, such as immunotherapy to cure cancer or using biomaterials for cell delivery, with audience members.
From 5-6 p.m. is a BioBreak from BioKansas. BioBreaks are informal networking opportunities for scientists, students, nurses, physicians, managers, teachers, entrepreneurs, employers, executives and policy makers to share common interests and explore potential collaborations in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, health care, medical research and policy. An open bar and hors d'oeuvres will be available during the session.
Kansas City One Health Day concludes from 6-7 p.m. with a keynote presentation about the Zika virus from Stephen Higgs, director of Kansas State University's Biosecurity Research Institute — a biosafety level-3 and biosafety level-3 ag facility that studies infectious diseases affecting the food supply.
Higgs researches mosquito-borne viruses and is a world-renowned expert on the Zika virus and the chikungunya virus. He has conducted and published multiple studies about Zika and other mosquito-borne viruses. Recently he and colleagues developed a promising vaccine for the Zika virus that could offer more affordable long-term protection. Their findings appear in the journal Science.
"We are delighted to have Stephen Higgs share his expertise at Kansas City One Health Day," said Ralph Richardson, dean and CEO of K-State Olathe. "The Greater Kansas City area is pivotal to improving animal, human and environmental health. K-State Olathe is proud to help spotlight those efforts."
Visit olathe.k-state.edu/onehealthday to register for the in-person event or for the livestream.