Scientists from Purdue's schools of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine and the IU School of Medicine are initiating the Program of Comparative Medicine through a $2 million, two year start-up grant from the Indiana 21st Century Research and Technology Fund. The program has a total of $4.5 million in initial funding due to contributions from the Purdue schools of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, the IU School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics and the Indiana Genomics Initiative.
"Much of the work we do at Purdue in both the Department of Animal Sciences and the School of Veterinary Medicine impacts both animal and human health," said Randy Woodson, director of agricultural research and co-author of the proposal that netted the state funding. "Purdue's role is to develop animal models for human diseases that also will provide benefits for improved pet and livestock health and productivity."
IU scientists bring to the program expertise in understanding disease development and treatment, said Dr. Mervin Yoder, an professor of pediatrics, biochemistry and molecular biology at IU.
The researchers believe the best way to understand human disease is to understand similar diseases in other animals, said Yoder, who co-wrote the grant proposal with Woodson.
"By studying multiple species, we'll learn more about diseases and ways to treat them," he said.
The research at Purdue will involve a number of current animal sciences and veterinary medicine faculty members and also researchers in two new positions for which the Department of Animal Sciences is recruiting, said department head Alan Grant.
"This draws on our existing facilities and faculties at both universities and also calls for some renovation o
Contact: Susan A. Steeves