Is it One Health...or "Zoobiquity"?


Numerous queries to this effect have been coming into the One Health Initiative website since a recent New York Times (USA) “zoobiquity” piece was published June 9, 2012 and later the Diane Rehm National Public Radio (USA) show featured interviews with the co-authors of a new book on the subject.



Bottom line:  No matter what you or we or anyone calls it, the premise is critically needed since “[One Health] implementation will help protect and/or save untold millions of lives in our generation and for those to come.  The One Health Initiative Autonomous pro bono Team of Laura H. Kahn, MD, MPH, MPP ▪ Bruce Kaplan, DVM ▪ Thomas P. Monath, MD ▪ Jack Woodall, PhD ▪ Lisa A. Conti, DVM, MPH recommends reading this book. 


The book promotes the much needed widespread expansion of clinical human medical and veterinary medical comparative medicine/surgery research activities that many others—astute and visionary physicians, veterinarians, health scientists, etc.—have conducted (albeit much less than enough) during the late 19th, the 20th and early 21st centuries (please see some *Previous examples below).  These have resulted in considerable health care benefits and we need more!  It also encourages communications between practicing veterinarians and physicians.  Along these lines, the One Health Initiative team and a prominent Yale medical school physician recently distributed a One Pager in English and Spanish language versions called “Practicing “One Health” for the Human Health Clinician (Physicians, Osteopaths, Physician Associates, Nurse Practitioners, Other Human Health Care Providers)”:


The notable **One Health physician, Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, MD, a consultant to zoo veterinarians in California, has recently collaborated with an outstanding science writer, Kathryn Bowers in producing a well written, cogently presented newly published book, “Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Teach Us About Health and the Science of Healing  While the book does not allude to the concept’s previous longstanding inclusion [by many observers, supporters and advocates] under the umbrella term “One Health,” and “One Medicine” prior to that, it nonetheless remains an essential One Health element for all to appreciate.  **Dr. Natterson-Horowitz was recognized as a One Health supporter/advocate in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association October 1, 2008 


Among many good examples the book includes reference to melanoma (a human and canine cancer) research conducted by veterinarian Philip Bergman, DVM, PhD and physician Jedd Wolchek, MD, PhD that is likely to benefit both species.  Drs.  Bergman and Wolchek, due to their known seminal research, were originally listed as Contributors to the One Health Newsletter in the summer of 2009 . Thus this book is an important contribution to modern One Health literature.


As most One Health supporters/advocates know, historically the concept of interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary collaborations was initially called “One Medicine” (coined by the late Calvin Schwabe, DVM, DSc) in the latter half of the 20st century.  Then it was changed to “One Health” in the first decade of the 21st century.  Incorporated within both, but especially recognized in the early 21st century, was what the term “zoobiquity” encompasses [i.e. essentially clinical human medical and veterinary medical collaborative comparative medicine/surgery] and has been defined as such since its founding in 2011.  The One Health Initiative website posted a NEWS item about it in April 2012:


Zoobiquity Research Initiative – Posted Friday, April 27, 2012 – One Health Initiative website

Zoobiquity Research Initiative


Cynthia Cheung, MD and Susan Kwan, MPH


Graciously provided to One Health Initiative team/website April 25, 2012 by Dr. Cheung and Ms. Kwan



The Zoobiquity Research Initiative (ZRI) is an innovative, One Health-based research and training program at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis (UCD).  The program was founded in 2011 by UCLA cardiologist Barbara Natterson-Horowitz, MD and UCD veterinarians Cheryl Scott, RN, NP, DVM, MPVM and Patricia Conrad, DVM, PhD to foster research collaborations between UCLA medical students and UCD veterinary students.  The ZRI also encourages communication between practicing veterinarians and physicians and provides a platform for them to generate novel hypotheses and investigate new research avenues to benefit the health of both human and animal patients. 


Current research projects include:

·         Comparative magnetic resonance imaging of tumors in dog and human patients.

·         Comparison of stress-induced cardiomyopathy and sudden death syndromes in humans and capture myopathy in   wildlife.

·         Descriptive study on collaborative potential between veterinarians and physicians on preventing zoonotic diseases among immunocompromised human patients.


We intend to use the results of the latter project to guide us in developing the best approaches to engage current and future generations of veterinarians and physicians to create partnerships and to develop collaborative clinical, research and educational opportunities that will advance the health and well-being of both animals and humans. 


For more information about the ZRI, please contact ZRI Executive Director Susan Kwan, MPH ( or ZRI Co-Directors Cynthia Cheung, MD (, Julio Lopez, DVM (, or Kate Sulzner, DVM, MPVM (



*Previous examples of the Zoobiquity book’s important foundation and principles have been posted on the One Health Initiative website since 2009 and are included in the PDF link below: