One Health History Study Award Granted To London Imperial College (UK) from Wellcome Trust



“The Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine at Imperial

College London, England, has won a prestigious, 5-year award from the

Wellcome Trust to study the history of One Health. Worth over £0.5m

[over $792,000 at current U.S. dollar exchange rate], it

will involve five researchers working over a five year period. The project

will be led by Dr. Abigail Woods, senior lecturer in medical history and a

qualified veterinary surgeon.


While the importance of a One Health approach to human and animal disease

is now widely recognised, its application is not always straightforward.

History will be used to help explain this situation.


During the late 19th century golden age, scientists like Virchow, Pasteur,

Theobald Smith and John McFadyean straddled the human-animal  divide and

made significant breakthroughs. Subsequently, however, barriers developed

between human and animal health, preventing the pursuit of One  Health. The

circumstances under which these barriers developed are not fully

understood. Moreover, the barriers were not universal: in certain times and

places, animal and human diseases were investigated  together.


By studying the history of research into human and animal disease, in Western Europe

and North America, from 1850 to the present day, our programme of research

will examine the  social, political, economic and scientific factors that

both impeded - and in some cases, enabled - a One Health approach. It is

hoped that the findings will help the One Health initiative's efforts to

forge closer collaborations  between physicians, veterinarians and other

health professionals, while also providing new insights into the history of

human and animal health.”



Information provided October 19, 2010 by:


Abigail Woods, MA, MSc, VetMB, PhD, MRCVS

Senior lecturer in the history of medicine

Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine

Imperial College London

South Kensington Campus

London SW7 2AZ (UK)

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