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“One Health” Session Scheduled for the North American Veterinary Conference (NAVC), in Orlando, Florida (USA) Monday, January 17, 2011 - Monday, November 29, 2010

A third good reason to attend the …

“One Health” Session Scheduled for the North American Veterinary Conference (NAVC), in Orlando, Florida (USA) Monday, January 17,  2011

By scrolling down this One Health website NEWS page, you can read about the first two good reasons to attend that were described about and by speakers Drs. Kirsten Gilardi (posted August 26, 2010) and Paul P. Calle (posted August 13, 2011).  You may see the entire One Health program scheduled by scrolling down to the Saturday, July 10, 2010 posting.


Here is a third outstanding featured speaker attraction, Dr. Kate D. Hodgson, a well known Canadian veterinarian with close ties to the human and veterinary medical communities.  Dr. Hodgson holds a continuing medical education (CME) degree in Family and Community Medicine.  She has developed numerous interactive CME programs and trained medical school faculty at the University of Toronto to develop and deliver effective CME programs.   

The following is a summary of one of two interesting talks Dr. Hodgson will be giving at the NAVC One Health session.  The importance of integrating companion animal health and disease to human health with an emphasis on how this affects the private practicing veterinarian and the family physician will be discussed.




By Kate D. Hodgson DVM, MHSc, CCMEP

Office of Continuing Education and Professional Development, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto (Canada)


“The worldwide One Health initiative is dedicated to improving the health of all species- both human and animal through the integration of human health care and veterinary medicine.  Diverse collaborations of interprofesisonal and international health care professionals working at multiple levels of government and in private practice can improve human, environmental, and animal health.


One Health in the community is a part of the larger worldwide One Health initiative.  The majority of veterinarians in North America work in private practice, caring for companion animals in local communities.  A small minority practice food or mixed animal medicine.  Even fewer veterinarians work in government or public health.  The majority of physicians also work in primary care, directly caring for patients in their community.  For One Health to reach the community, practical tools and training are needed to integrate family and veterinary medicine in community practice. 


People and animals are living in ever greater proximity with an increased risk of disease spread from animals to humans.  Human and animal proximity is based on two strong current societal trends; first the growing importance of the human animal bond and second the increasingly dense urbanization of our population.  The human population of the world is increasing, and urbanization is proceeding at a significantly greater rate than population growth.  Cities are both growing in size and becoming more densely settled. 


To improve the lives of all species- human and animal- family physicians and veterinarians with their staff can work together to control the risk of zoonotic disease and injury.  Zoonotic diseases are infections that can affect both humans and animals.  Zoonotic disease can spread from an animal to a human and from humans back to animals.  Zoonotic injury, including dog bites, cat scratch and traumatic injury from other species, is also considered a form of non-infectious zoonotic concern.


One Health is not limited to the prevention of zoonoses; it also encompasses the human health benefits from animals.  Benefits of animals to humans include animals used in the production of food for human consumption, animals as models for research of human diseases, and therapeutic effects of animals on the people around them.  


Animal-assisted activity occurs relatively briefly when a patient has structured contact with an animal.  Examples of animal-assisted activity include dogs brought by the owners to visit patients in a long term care facility or paediatric ward.  Animal-assisted therapy is when an animal becomes part of an organized treatment plan.  An example animal-assisted therapy is horse riding for children with developmental delays.  This discussion of zooeyia will focus on the benefits of companion animals on the humans in their family or immediate social group.


Companion animals in families positively affect the risk factors for the chronic diseases of greatest burden to society. The diseases of greatest burden and cost to society are cancer, muscle-skeletal disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, neuro-psychiatric disease, and respiratory disease. Companion animals have a positive or mitigating effect on the risk factors for these diseases which cost patients, families, and the health care system the most.  Controllable risk factors include decreased/limited physical activity, obesity, tobacco/alcohol use, hypertension, challenges to activities of daily living, social isolation of chronic disease.  All of these risk factors are positively influenced by human contact with companion animals.” 

Outstanding USA Motivational Educator and One Medicine (One Health) Advocate Dies - Friday, November 26, 2010

Outstanding USA Motivational Educator and One Medicine (One Health) Advocate Dies

*By Dennis Thompson, DVM, MPVM,  Ronald D. Warner, DVM, MPVM, PhD, James L. Alexander, DVM, MPVM, Thomas L. Cropper, DVM, MPVM, James H. Wright, DVM, MPVM

Margaret E. Meyer, PhD (1923-2010), died on October 8th, 2010, after a long, distinguished career as a microbiologist and professor.  She was a professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, at the University of California in Davis (UCD). 

Dr. Meyer’s PhD in Comparative Pathology (UCD) led to a career as a world-renowned expert on brucellosis.  She worked on projects with reindeer in Alaska, bison in Yellowstone, and many other species in Jordan, Siberia, Spain and Jerusalem.   Her career started after receiving a Bachelors Degree in Public Health from the University of California at Berkeley.  She then worked for the U. S. Public Health Service, and later for the County of Alameda (California, USA) on control of tuberculosis.  After working a year with the United States Department of Agriculture, she began her long career at UCD.  She was recipient of a Research Career Development Award from the U.S. Center for Disease Control (now: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC).  Her laboratory was designated as a reference lab for the U.S. Public Health Service and as an official Brucella Training Center for the World Health Organization (WHO).  She was an editorial reviewer for the Journal of Infectious Diseases and a Resident Consultant on brucellosis research at the Pan American Zoonoses Center in Argentina for WHO.  Dr. Meyer was elected as an Honorary Affiliate of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists and an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.  She was also formally recognized in many other ways as an eminent scientist, including being designated as Professor Emeritus. 

Perhaps her greatest contribution was the effect she had on hundreds of her students.  Dr. Meyer emphasized zoonoses and espoused “One Medicine” (now commonly referred to as One Health) and well before it regained wide-spread recognition in the first decade of the 21st Century.  It was without doubt, and is still clear, that Dr. Margaret E. Meyer (although neither a veterinarian or physician) was a devoted believer in the “One Medicine” concept, and her lifetime body of work advanced and validated the same.

Dr. Meyer combined detailed knowledge and application of laboratory research, with a broad perspective on disease in populations.  Her teaching skills were so excellent that she changed how students think.  She altered how students would view the world for the rest of their lives.  What higher compliment can there be for a professor than her former students agreeing on that?  Although she was a very serious scientist who was subjected to discrimination, as she broke through barriers that existed for female scientists.  She regularly had a twinkle in her eye when meeting with students, and frequently a soft smile too.  She was a rare scientist who excelled in the laboratory, in the field, and in the classroom.  She was a teacher whose students will remember and appreciate her as long as they live.

*Drs. Thompson, Warner, Alexander, Cropper and Wright were all students of Dr. Meyer.

Obituaries previously posted for Margaret E. Meyer on ProMED-mail 4 Nov-2010,F2400_P1001_PUB_MAIL_ID:1010,85645 and The Sacramento Bee 24 October-2010

United States Animal Health Association (USAHA) 114th Annual Meeting - Monday, November 22, 2010


Highly Successful One Health Sessions Reported from United States Animal Health Association (USAHA) 114th Annual Meeting

The American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians  (AAVLD 53rd Annual Conference) in conjunction with the United States Animal Health Association (USAHA) Annual meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota (USA) held their first ever One Health Sessions on Saturday November 13th, 2010 and Monday November 15th , 2010.  By all accounts the One Health talks given at the two sessions were highly successful.  One meeting attendant was quoted as saying, "this was the best [program] we have had in 30 years!".

AAVLD President-elect and One Health sessions organizer, Craig Carter, DVM, PhD (right) shown with Saturday’s Keynote speaker Peter R. Rabinowitz, MD, MPH (left)

 Keynote— Human-Animal Medicine Title: How Do Laboratories Fit Into the Picture?

By Dr. Peter Rabinowitz [Yale Medical School] 

Abstract: "In many of its current forms, the concept of “One Health” is long on visionary scope and maddeningly short on tangible specifics and short term action steps for implementation. Yet there is a substantial, although often anecdotal, amount of evidence suggesting that the clinical laboratories could play a key and increasingly important role in diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases overlapping human and animal medicine in a manner that could be considered One Health.  This talk will review such evidence, through presentation of cases that involve animals as sentinels for human environmental health hazards, humans as sentinels for animal disease risk, and cases that highlight how little we still know about zoonotic pathogen transmission and its impact on the global burden of illness in both humans and animals." …

Dr. Carter (right) with Monday’s Keynote speaker Lisa A. Conti, DVM, MPH (left)

 Keynote—One Medicine: Its All Herd Health

 By Dr. Lisa Conti [Florida Department of Health, Environmental Health Division Director]

 Abstract: "The exciting concept of One Health, while not new, encourages systems thinking and implementation at addressing challenges to disease and injury prevention and control.  By using the intersection of human, veterinary and environmental health, practitioners in these fields can manage a wide range of clinical and public health problems. 

 For most of us, a companion animal makes up part of our family structure and most people consume food of animal origin.  Biologic, chemical and radiation hazards in our environment that impact these animals, also impact us.  Our ability to attend to and mitigate these threats increase our community sustainability and our general health. 

 The task of identifying and controlling emerging pathogens and conditions benefits from an open communication and collaboration among human medical, veterinary medical and environmental health practitioners.  The nation’s response to the Gulf oil spill necessarily requires the input of multiple professions working together to address the impacts from occupational exposure, to wildlife and habitat threats, to harvesting food from these waters.  Zoonotic influenza is an infectious disease that exemplifies the need for working across divides.  Environmental changes including how we build our environments have considerable impact on human, animal and environmental health." …

Dr. Carter (right) next to Gary Simpson, MD, PhD, MPH (left)

 Abstract: Emerging Infectious Diseases:  The Case for Integrating Science, Medicine and Public Health

 By Dr. Gary Simpson [Paul L. Foster School of Medicine - Texas Tech University Health Science Center]

 "Emerging infectious diseases in the 21st Century have become increasingly complex and unpredictable.  Since 85% of emerging infectious diseases in recent decades are zoonotic in origin, the importance of understanding the dynamic interactions of the ecosystems of wildlife, domestic/agricultural animals, and humans has been demonstrated convincingly.  Extensive experience with these infectious disease threats has taught that addressing them responsibly requires the collaborative and coordinated efforts of inter-disciplinary, multi-organizational working groups.  The example of the initial outbreak of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome will used to illustrate these concepts. The sustained collaborations that resulted from this event will be described. " 

The One Health Initiative through a 50-Year Lens - Thursday, November 18, 2010

Reprinted (Text only) from One Health Newsletter Fall Issue


The One Health Initiative through a 50-Year Lens


Robert E. Dedmon, MD, MPH, FACP, FACOEM


        There are no passengers on spaceship Earth. We are all crew.’

                                                                   - Marshall Mcluhan


The ‘50-year lens’ refers to my 50-plus years in medicine following graduation from medical school (Indiana U., 1956). Both veterinary and human medicine have undergone landmark transformation- from hi-touch to hi-tech, with many advances but some losses. Both physicians and veterinarians have increasingly specialized, but at a price. We physicians have lost some of our compassion and the ability to use a stethoscope or perform an adequate physical examination. Veterinary practice has become compartmentalized, with many graduates opting for ‘small-animal-only’ practice and a variety of specialties. I have also witnessed the erosion of physician professional values and integrity in research related in part to the financial/time pressures on professionals (the Medical-Industrial Complex-Relman  NEJM 1980;303:963-970).


Yet, in spite of this dour perspective, other sea-changes are occurring that brighten our hope of improving the health of both humans and other animals on our planet. First is the recognition of the need for change in the way health professionals are educated. The old lecture/apprenticeship, ‘ see one-do one-teach one’ approach has been overturned by the advent of information technology (Medline October, 1971 ) and the need for collaborative practice (One model is a hospital physician/nurse/pharmacist team). Last year’s lecture notes are out!


Second, 2010 marks the centennial of the Flexner report on medical education with a call to radically transform medical education ( Irby et al, Academic Medicine Feb 2010; 85(2):220-227). As a current example, the Medical College of Wisconsin has a medical scientist-MD-PhD track, one of the original distance-learning Masters in Public Health (MPH) degrees offered to applicants with professional or undergraduate degrees, as well as several other advanced degree , community-public health outreach, collaborative, and translational research programs (


I received my MPH from MCW in 1991, and am most grateful for that opportunity.

The new medical school format is described as:

An integrated curriculum aims to bring students beyond mere fact and concept acquisition to a level of scientific fluency, using a common language of medical science, with which they can begin to think creatively about medical problems.’


Veterinary medical colleges have also been advancing/revising their curricula. Notable are those that offer MPH and PhD degrees in collaboration with other disciplines, in addition to the traditional DVM/VMD degrees. An AVMA report lists 16 veterinary colleges which offer MPH joint degrees in public health. ( All this requires a revised approach to faculty development as well. Who will train these 21st Century teachers and ensure a diverse faculty devoted to new thinking and practice? It means that a lot of us ‘old-dogs’ (I am 79, 80 in January) will have to learn new tricks. More importantly, we will have to learn from our students and younger faculty.

As an example, in 1956 when I graduated there were no defibrillators, MRI/CT, or practical electronic medical record systems. Now I use Skype, and I have a Netbook, laptop,  Desktop, 3-in-one printer/scanner/fax, iPod, Kindle, and a Blackberry. To bridge this gargantuan gap, I went to night school at our local technical college, and took a lot of ‘lessons’ from our grandkids!


Third, our planet is undergoing radical change due to environmental encroachment such as depletion of our rain forests and increasing competition for space among plants, humans, and other animals (Dedmon,  June 2008;4(3):497-498). International travel arrivals have approached the 1 billion mark (, and many travelers have undertaken ecotourism/adventure travel excursions, with attendant health risks.


Fourth, students travel widely for educational and experiential reasons. When I was in medical school, international clerkships weren’t even mentioned. When I was an internal medicine resident, I spent a year in London in a metabolic research environment (Profs. Max Rosenheim and Charles Dent), but this was a safe environment. Now students from most medical schools have international opportunities due to international collaborations, as well as church groups who provide charity medical care in needy areas.


Fifth, we have seen the burgeoning increase in zoonotic diseases (e.g. SARS, West Nile Virus, Dengue, and Q fever, along with re-emerging macacine herpes virus-1 (monkey-B virus).  See for other examples). Rabies continues to cause ~55,000 deaths annually and requires ongoing diligence in the U.S., as indicated by a recent imported rabies death in Virginia-ex India ( , Oct 1, 2010;59(38):1236-1238).  We have gradually come to understand the interdependence of animal and human health. Veterinary colleges and organizations have taken the lead in the One Health initiative as an important educational/practice concept for multiple disciplines.   The American Medical Association has also expressed support for these efforts through a champion for this cause, Ronald M. Davis MD, AMA Past President, deceased 2008. Also, a recent text on human and animal health edited by a physician and a veterinarian with chapter authors from multiple disciplines underscores the importance of the One Health collaboration to the survival of ‘Planet Earth’. (Rabinowitz PM & Conti LA. (ed). Human-Animal Medicine. Saunders/Elsevier 2010).


One Health has entered the lexicon of a broader audience. I first learned about the concept during a rabies seminar at Kansas State University in September of 2009. Dr Michael Cates, director of the KSU MPH program  described the work of the One Health Commission ( and I had the opportunity to discuss this further with faculty and students. I subsequently wrote a short piece for Asian Biomedicine (referenced above) based on that experience.


Another major development ensued at a recent rabies seminar held in Boston with students and faculty from Tufts participating. It was very encouraging to hear these bright young students talk about One Health and their community service in vaccinating pet dogs of the elderly against rabies in housing complexes in the area.


The most encouraging activity in which I have participated occurred on

September 28, 2010-the fourth World Rabies Day recognized by the AVMA, OIE, CDC, WHO, WSPA, and a variety of other organizations. This was a webinar with participants from 34 countries describing successes and ongoing challenges to rabies education and prevention. Notable among the presenters was Jack Woodall, PhD of the One Health Initiative ( The entire series is freely available online:


In summary, the increased erosion of available space needed for all animals and plants to survive has resulted in newly emerging health problems for humans and other species. To address new demands, veterinary and human medicine, nursing (DNP degree), pharmacy (PharmD degree), and other disciplines are all moving forward with new ideas and programs. Thus One Health is a paradigm which serves the needs of all and encourages a spirit of collaboration and scientific inquiry for the common good.  Stay tuned! Welcome to the ‘Crew’!


Dr. Dedmon is Clinical Professor Population Health-Public Health at the Medical college of Wisconsin in  Milwaukee and a member of the  Editorial Advisory Board, Asian Biomedicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok.

American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene - Poster Presentation - Monday, November 15, 2010

Jack Woodall, PhD, member of the One Health Initiative Website team, giving a One Health Initiative poster presentation at the American Society for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) – 59thAnnual Meeting - in Atlanta, Georgia (USA) on Friday, November 5, 2010.

 The poster presentation by Dr. Woodall was held in conjunction with an important and successful...The One Health Initiative Symposium: Vaccination of Animals for Prevention and Control of Zoonotic Diseases... that was previously conducted at the meeting on November 3, 2010 and was organized jointly by members of the ASTMH and the Society for Tropical Veterinary Medicine (STVM)

One Health focused Training Opportunity offering PhD at Ohio State University, Wooster, Ohio (USA) - Sunday, November 14, 2010

One Health focused Training Opportunity offering PhD at Ohio State University, Wooster, Ohio (USA)


The Food Animal Health Research Program at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, The Ohio State University located in Wooster, Ohio is offering a training opportunity leading to a PhD degree in Veterinary Medicine, Food Science or Public Health.  The current position will focus on a “One Health” approach to risk management and risk communication of foodborne illnesses and zoonotic diseases.  Applicants with strong written and oral communication skills and a background in medicine, veterinary medicine, public health, agriculture, or other health-related discipline are encouraged to apply.  For more information, contact Dr. Jeffrey LeJeune at


Information provided by:


Jeffrey T. LeJeune, DVM, PhD

Professor, Food Animal Health Research Program

Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center

1680 Madison Ave, Wooster OH 44691

voice: 330-263-3739

fax:     330-263-3677

Immuno Valley [the Netherlands] is funded €1.5 Million [$2.09 Million USA Dollars] to concert the combat against infectious diseases of animals and humans - Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Press announcement  10 November, 2010


Immuno Valley [the Netherlands] is funded €1.5 Million [$2.09 Million USA Dollars] to concert the combat against infectious diseases of animals and humans


Life Sciences network Immuno Valley announces to receive over  €1.5 Million [$2.09 Million USA Dollars] of funding to roll-out their viPps program 2011-2014. Immuno Valley viPps aims at developing the network of knowledge institutions, multinational pharma and SME in the Netherlands into a permanent life sciences cluster.

Knowledge intensive companies nowadays bundle their R&D activities and seek strong connections with high-end knowledge regions. viPps will realize this connection on the unique domain of human and veterinary infectious diseases. 


viPps focuses on three action points:

­          Connect: Promote the active interaction between professionals of the network

­          Coordinate: Stimulate innovation through collaborative projects of private and public partners

­          Commercialize: Accelerate the commercialization of existing and inventive knowledge 

The program builds on its proprietary database of scientists and researchers in the Netherlands acting in the domain and the extensive network of companies connected to the Immuno Valley consortium.



The funding approved forms part of the Pieken in the Delta program by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation and is co-funded by the provinces of North Holland, Flevoland and Utrecht and cities Amsterdam, Utrecht and Lelystad.


Nederlands Life Sciences

The Netherlands Life Sciences are globally ranked at eighth position1. This is achieved by the superior quality of their educational system and the high end level of knowledge and technology. Especially in the field of veterinary science the Netherlands harbor renowned global players both private and public.


Immuno Valley

Immuno Valley is a networking organisation of public and private institutions , acting since 2008 on the bundling, integration and commercialization of research in the area of emerging infectious diseases of animals and man.

Its leading motive is ‘One Health’ , the added value of connecting human and animal health. During the past two years Immuno Valley has developed the consortium exemplified by the successful ALTANT research program funded by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, which aims at new strategies to replace antibiotics in livestock. New products may also benefit human application.


1 Source: Global Bio Technology Report, Ernst & Young (2007)


S. Fluitsma 030-2534839

A. Vermeulen 030-2531618

T +31 (0)30 253 16 18 • •

Canadian Physicians Publish Outstanding “One Health Editorial” in Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases - Sunday, November 07, 2010

Canadian Physicians Publish Outstanding “One Health Editorial” in Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases


A notable “One Health Editorial” was published in the current edition of The Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology Autumn 2010, Volume 21 Issue 3 entitled “The 'One Health' paradigm: Time for infectious diseases clinicians to take note?”. 


The target readership of the journal is primarily infectious diseases physicians and clinical microbiologists.  However, the piece is written in a manner easily understood by any intelligent, educated audience including news media and the general population as well as the scientific communities.


It was written by two prominent physician One Health supporters/activists David N. Fisman, MD, MPH and Kevin B. Laupland, MD, MS.


The journal is open access at:


Please Click on Free PDF of above link to read the second listed article in Table of Contents at “Adult Infectious Disease Notes.”

One Health [for young students] - Saturday, November 06, 2010

One Health


By Lynn Lauterbach, BS

Science teacher and curriculum coordinator

Loveland, Colorado (USA)


I’ve heard it said that “none of us are as smart as all of us.” My role as a teacher reinforces this each day in the triumphs of successful moments and the failures when cooperation falls short. Additionally, this statement seems to ring true when we look at people historically who have risen up and worked together to advance their cultures…the Egyptians, the Aztecs, the success story that rid the globe of smallpox in the 70s, and the worldwide effort to solve the mysteries of the human genome. It seems that history has a chance to repeat itself if the “One Health” initiative continues making progress. This 21st century movement is a global strategy for expanding collaborations and communications in all types of health care encompassing humans, animals, and the environment. The power of working together across many fields of medicine and among countries will advance research discoveries, enhance public health effectiveness, expand the scientific knowledge base, and improve medical education and clinical care. Indeed, if all health providers join in a cohesive effort toward a common goal, it will help protect and save untold millions of lives presently and in the future. So, what needs to happen to insure that upcoming generations embrace and support the importance of One Health? What do my students need to understand about this effort?


As I watch individuals in my classroom try to agree on the methods they will use to solve their class projects, I am reminded of the challenges of working together. For that matter, just remembering the discussion among my four children as to which restaurant the family should go to for dinner is a reminder of differences. So, the issue of bringing many groups together worldwide to agree on a plan takes on new complexity. But this is just what One Health is doing. And it seems to be working.


Educators have a unique opportunity to introduce students to the concept of One Health and get these future physicians, veterinarians, public health leaders, ecologists, microbiologists, and so forth, to grasp the vision of what a unified effort can achieve. Teaching students that emerging diseases are a reality, as are new solutions to these issues, helps them understand that these health challenges don’t just happen “somewhere” else. Q fever, hantaviruses, SARS, West Nile, cholera, malaria…these diseases are current issues. Changing climates are possibly affecting distribution patterns of some diseases, so ecology experts are needed to work together with researchers seeking causes and cures, who then work together with public health officials to communicate prevention and treatment plans which are passed along to physicians who carry out the treatments.


But, just like in classrooms, overcoming the challenges of working together toward a common goal and using the strengths of each contributor can result in great things. As an educator, introducing students to the idea of the One Health initiative is a powerful way to instill the belief of what can be accomplished if this effort continues to be supported. Indeed, worldwide health will benefit from the idea that “none of us are as smart as all of us.”



Note: Lynn Lauterbach contributed to an important One Health Medmyst Magazine issue which was supported by a grant from the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health (USA).  She was part of a dedicated group of professionals in developing these One Health materials with especially helpful guidance for that edition.


MedMyst Magazine is an important unique Educational Publication to assist young people with their early education.  It is produced by Rice University, – Center for Technology and learning – Galveston, Texas (USA).


Comment from Editor:  We really do need to engage young people in the One Health movement… after all, they will be leading our future generations.”



For more information contact:


Kimberly Schuenke, PhD

Associate Director, Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Program

Administrator Western Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research

The University of Texas Medical Branch 1.104D Keiller Bldg.

Dept. of Pathology

915 Strand St.

Galveston, TX  77555-0609 (USA)





Leslie M. Miller, PhD

Senior Research Scholar

Principal Investigator

MedMyst III: Infectious Disease Materials for Middle School Students

Rice University

6100 Main,

Houston, Texas 77005-1827 (USA)

Reaction from Prominent Nigerian Virologist/Educator to Death of One Health Leader, virologist Dr. Graham Kemp - Thursday, November 04, 2010

Reaction from Prominent Nigerian Virologist/Educator to Death of One Health Leader, virologist Dr. Graham Kemp


By Oyewale Tomori, DVM, PhD

      Redeemer's University, Redemption Camp,

      Km. 46 Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Ogun State

      P. O. Box 7914, Ikeja, Lagos State

      TEL: 234 1-7931780,


The news of Graham's death is another of the shocks, that we are not unfamiliar with in Nigeria.

I have just finished a book by Professor Lucas, formerly of the Preventive and Social Medicine, in Ibadan.  Tom [*Thomas P. Monath, MD] may remember him. The title of his book: “IT WAS THE BEST OF TIMES.”  There is no better description for the times of Graham Kemp, Vernon Lee, Dorothy Moore and Tom Monath at the Ibadan Virus Laboratory.  Between the four, people like us became the virologist that we became.  Long before the concept of "One Health", was coined, the Ibadan Virus Lab team, looked at man, animal, insects and studied all their interrelations.  From  Kotonkan virus, to Mokola virus and on to Yellow Fever virus, the team worked elucidating the connections and providing solutions for their control.

I still remember the day in March 1970, as if it was yesterday.  Graham Kemp came along with a team from the Rockefeller Lab in Ibadan, to our Veterinary School in Zaria.  The team was returning from investigating the 1969 Lassa fever outbreak.  Graham challenged us to show interest in virology, urging some of us to join the Ibadan team, after our graduation.  Two of us, half heartedly and with minimal seriousness, volunteered to join the Ibadan team.   We were sure that by the time Graham returned to his Ibadan base, he would have forgotten those of us who volunteered in jest!  But he did not.  A year later, and close to our graduation, he wrote to remind us of our promise.  That was how I began an exciting career in virology.



Graham was a great teacher who taught by example.  With his size and courage, the Nigerian cows cowed before him.  It was always a pleasure to see him restrain a cow with his boots and collect a gallon of blood with the needle held between his right thumb and index finger.  I still remember his signature and initials "GEK" on the numerous mouse cards detailing the daily mortality of mice succumbing to intracerebral inoculations with Kotonkan, Mokola and Dugbe viruses. 

I learnt a lot from Graham and together with the teachings I got from Vernon, Dorothy and Tom, I became the virologist I am today.  The only regret is that I have not shown the totality of all that I learnt from Graham et.  al.   One attribute that was common to all of the 4 was the openness and genuineness to build national capacity

He will always remain the gentle, caring, loving and devoted teacher.  We have a saying in Nigeria, that you do not say you saw an elephant in flash!  So much for the indelible impression and contribution of Graham Elmore Kemp to arbovirus studies in Nigeria.

To Peggy, the children and grandchildren, you can all be proud, as we are here in Nigeria, of the contributions of Graham to the study of virology in Nigeria.

*Dr. Monath is an eminent medical virologist/physician and a member of the One Health Initiative website team.

See obituary posted October 30, 2010 on this One Health Initiative website News (please scroll down)

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