What do human and veterinary medicine have in common? More than just a global pandemic, as UC Davis School of Medicine Dean Allison Brashear and UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine Dean Michael Lairmore explore in the first episode of the second season of their Deans Discuss podcast this week.
Brashear and Lairmore reunite to explore how human and veterinary medicine are becoming more connected in ways that benefit our everyday lives.
The first episode of the four-part series, “Research Breakthroughs in Veterinary Medicine,” was released this week on YouTube. In the episode, Brashear interviews Lairmore on the human and environmental aspects of veterinary medicine, and why the National Institutes of Health — a human health organization — would provide $37 million in funding for research conducted at a veterinary school.
“Like the School of Medicine, we are focused on the outcome of health, and for us, that scope is about the interface of animals, people and the environment,” Lairmore says in the podcast. “And we’re number one in NIH funding among veterinary schools because we are at that interface.”
Intersections between human and animal health
In the episode, the deans also explore how the COVID-19 pandemic has raised general awareness of the connections between human, animal and environmental health. They explore specific examples of comparative medicine, including ophthalmological and cancer clinical research trials on dogs and humans occurring at UC Davis.
The combined educational resources, breadth and depth of research expertise at UC Davis, Brashear notes, give UC Davis significant “leverage that other schools don’t have.” These resources and the culture of collaboration put UC Davis ahead of other institutions in helping to address the pandemic and advance care innovations to improve health overall.
The deans also discuss how veterinary medicine is helping addressing problems at the environmental-human-animal interface, such as when waterborne toxins affect sea life and the human seafood supply.
Lairmore and Brashear finish the episode with their thoughts on how to prevent the next pandemic.
Future episodes center on collaboration, education and impact
In next Monday’s (May 17) episode, Brashear will be interviewed by Lairmore on how human medicine is advancing through collaboration, and how the School of Medicine is actively fostering collaborative science.
In the third episode, which will be released May 24, the deans will discuss how the pandemic has changed educational delivery forever. They will explore how medical education has become more than just health care training and how it’s focused on creating pathways to build future generations of diverse health leaders.
In the final episode that will appear Tuesday, June 1, Deans Brashear and Lairmore will explore how veterinary and human medicine intersect with society, from providing care for our homeless community members to protecting our food supply. This episode will also contain a special surprise for retiring Dean Lairmore (Ssshh! Don’t tell him!).
Deans Discuss is one of several current UC Davis podcasts. Unfold, a podcast that unfolds complicated problems and discusses solutions, dedicates its second season to exploring the solutions to and complexities of climate change. Pod of Orcas: A Southern Resident Killer Whale Podcast, explores issues related to the decline of the resident Orca whale population in the southern Salish Sea, which includes the Puget Sound and the waters around Vancouver Island.