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Cummings School answers an urgent global call for better infectious disease treatments

In recent decades, infectious diseases have emerged as the leading cause of death worldwide and the most pressing global health issue of our time. Compounding the problem, vaccination rates in rural or impoverished regions of the world lag due to inequities in access and education. At the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, teams of veterinarians, physicians, and biomedical scientists are conducting cutting-edge research into the basic biology, epidemiology, treatment, and prevention of infectious diseases.

Over the last half century, 70 percent of emerging infectious diseases in humans originated in animals, including acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Eastern and Western equine encephalitis, and Lyme disease. That's why Cummings School researcher Saul Tzipori believes veterinarians play a critical role in combating infectious diseases. Tzipori leads the TCSVM Division of Infectious Diseases, the single largest research entity within Tufts to improve public health in the United States and overseas. "Through their knowledge of comparative medicine, veterinarians have a unique perspective that greatly advances infectious disease research," Tizipori says. "They regard humans as another mammalian species which shares the same environment and are subject to similar health challenges as animals."

With significant funding from the National Institutes of Health, current research efforts have yielded effective approaches to combating some of the most devastating illnesses of our time. Cummings School researchers are answering an urgent global call for better treatments, more effective prevention strategies, and improved surveillance.

Tufts researchers are developing:

  • The first drug treatment for bacteria-induced hemolytic uremic syndrome, which would help reduce the risk of kidney damage or failure in children
  • A device to concentrate and detect infectious agents from large volumes of water
  • An antidote for botulism intoxication, a Category A bioterrorist threat
  • Thermostable vaccines that have an extended shelf life and can be taken orally with water, improving access to vaccines for those in rural or impoverished areas where refrigeration systems are not available.

Join us in fighting infectious diseases worldwide by making a gift to infectious disease research at Tufts.

Opportunities for funding include Endowed Professorships and Graduate Fellowships. For more information on infectious disease research, please contact:
Shelley Rodman
Director of Development and Alumni Relations, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine