Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Warwick Arden and Senior Vice Provost for University Interdisciplinary Programs Rob Dunn today officially announced the launch of NC State’s Global One Health Academy, focused on the health of plants, animals, biodiversity and human societies. The academy represents a universitywide, interdisciplinary effort to engage faculty, staff, undergraduate and graduate students in improving the health of animals, plants, biodiversity, humans and society in North Carolina and beyond.
“NC State is already a world leader in One Health, which is the idea that the health of people is connected to the health of animals, plants and biodiversity,” said Arden. “Our investment in a Global One Health Academy represents a major step forward in our commitment to advancing interdisciplinarity on campus to impact what happens in North Carolina and around the world.”
NC State’s Global One Health Academy will be among just a small handful of similar programs in the world. Even among such programs, it will be unique. The academy will build upon the university’s strengths in agriculture and plant health, veterinary medicine and domestic animal health, and the health of biodiverse ecosystems and human societies. It will also strengthen NC State’s commitment to interdisciplinary excellence and collaboration among faculty, staff and students across colleges and units.
“Through the Global One Health Academy we aim to integrate our disciplinary strengths and even more strongly ensure their benefits to the people of North Carolina,” Dunn noted. “The academy will be global in that it recognizes that our local challenges and opportunities do not emerge in isolation, but instead in the context of the global realities faced by animals, plants, biodiversity and human societies.”
Sid Thakur, a global leader in One Health, has been named executive director of the Global One Health Academy, effective September 1. Thakur is a professor of Molecular Epidemiology in the College of Veterinary Medicine and director of the college’s Global Health program.
In his new role, Thakur will be responsible for expanding NC State’s One Health research and education efforts, as well as increasing opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, with a focus on interdisciplinary project-based experiences, and the development of evidence-based recommendations for tackling current and future global threats. Research within the academy will consider three thematic areas that address the 2030 UN Sustainable Development goals: driving food and water solutions, combating infectious diseases, and addressing climate change-health disparities.
Previously, Thakur was associate director of NC State’s Comparative Medicine Institute and led the Emerging and Infectious Diseases Research program. Before joining the NC State faculty, he was an Oakridge Research Fellow at the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine in Maryland. He seeks to understand how antimicrobial resistance develops in “superbugs” that affect animal and human health.
Thakur has won numerous awards including the Larry Beuchat Young Researcher Award from the International Association for Food and the Outstanding Global Engagement Award from NC State’s Office of Global Engagement. He is an NC State University Faculty Scholar. Thakur has authored or co-authored 75 peer-reviewed publications and edited two books.
Thakur is a member of the American Society for Microbiology and the International Association for Food Protection. He received his DVM from GB Pant University and master’s degree in veterinary public health from the Indian Veterinary Research Institute, and his Ph.D. in population medicine from NC State’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
In addition to Thakur, the academy’s leadership team will include faculty from seven colleges, and will later expand to represent every college at NC State. The team will coordinate connections among the more than two hundred NC State faculty who have agreed to be part of this initiative.
This will be NC State’s third academy, joining the Data Science Academy and the Genetics and Genomics Academy. All three are housed within the Office of University Interdisciplinary Programs.
“These academies will work together on Global One Health, and are a recognition of the value of education and research that connects the extraordinary successes of disciplines at NC State so as to work together toward common goals,” said Thakur.