Conference Program



Plenary Presentation

Session I

Session II

Session III

Session IV

Concurrent Interactive Sesssions


Sunday, April 29, 2018                                            

Conference Welcome and Introductions

Keynote Presentation

Panel Vignettes and Discussion: Science and Policy at the Interface of Environment, Agriculture and Medicine – Global Challenges and Opportunities
Moderator: Kerri Miller, Minnesota Public Radio

Session Panelists:
Peter Agre, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, United States
Peter Doherty, Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, Australia
Robert Mwanga, World Food Prize Laureate, Uganda

Opening Reception and Networking                                                     

Monday, April 30, 2018 

Plenary Presentation: Science and Diplomacy  

Peter Agre, Nobel Laureate, University Professor & Director, Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute, Johns Hopkins University

Session I: Social and Societal Impacts on Health

Session Summary: The structural determinants and conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age. These social determinants of health include factors like socioeconomic status, education, the physical environment, employment, and social support networks, as well as access to health care. Within this conference we will focus specifically on migration, age, poverty/well-being and the challenges of antimicrobial resistance and how these topics influence health and policy.

Migration and Health
Eric Schwartz, Refugees International

Familial Early Onset Alzheimer in Colombia: An Opportunity for Prevention
Francisco Javier Lopera Restrepo, Universidad de Antioquia, Colombia

Social and Behavioral Drivers of Antimicrobial Resistance
Ramanan Laxminarayan, The Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy, United States

Addressing Societal Norms that Affect Well-being through Transectoral Collaboration: Examples from the Field
Lynne Gaffikin, Stanford University

Session II: Infectious Disease and Environmental Disturbance  

Session Summary: Speakers will present science issues surrounding infectious diseases as they pertain to emerging, zoonotic and other infectious diseases. The session will end with a panel discussion of issues. A major outcome of this session is expected to be a monograph on problems and expert suggestions of mitigation strategies.

Prediction of Infectious Disease Emergence
Jonna Mazet, University of California, Davis, United States

Pandemic Avian Influenza: the Chinese Experience
Hualan Chen, Harbin Veterinary Research Institute, China

Viral Biocontrol of Invasive Vertebrates: An Australian Perspective
Ken McColl, CSIRO, Australia

Biocontrol of Mosquito Borne Infections
Hadyn Parry, Oxitec, England

Poster Presentations


The Killer Defense
Peter Doherty, Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, Australia

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Session III: Agriculture Advancing Health

Session summary: The future of global health is inextricable linked to agriculture, the key source of human and animal nutrition and energy. The session highlights the central role of agriculture in improving health, along with economic and policy issues that intersect with science.  Speakers in this session will explore engineering and genetic selection of plants for production of medicines and vaccine delivery in food, growing healthy food in stressed environments, and enhancement of food qualities that limit waste, increase nutrition, and increase economic return.

Plant Modification to Reduce Hunger and Improve Health
Robert Mwanga, World Food Prize Laureate, Uganda

Public Sector Constraints to Plant Biotechnology for Human Health: The Golden Rice Experience
Adrian Dubock, Golden Rice Project, Switzerland

Plants Engineered to Improve Health
Dan Voytas, University of Minnesota, United States

The Science and Policy of Livestock Production in the Era of Gene Editing
Alison Van Eenennaam, University of California, Davis, United States

Panel:  International Aspects of Food Enhancement and Nourishment

Space, Environment, and Health
Pamela Melroy, Astronaut and Commander of Space Shuttle

Session IV: Environment-Health Interface: Research and Policy

Session summary: All health problems have an environmental component at some level, yet recognizing and focusing solutions on environmental linkages remains a challenge. Speakers in this session will highlight emerging scientific paradigms – new methods, approaches or policies that offer new ways of exploring connections between human, animal and environmental health – and the potential for fostering discovery and novel solutions to complex one health problems. Speakers and panel discussants will present emerging approaches directed toward long-term, multi-disciplinary, intersectoral health research and policy making.

Environmental Health Without and Within: from Ecosystems to Communities to the Microbiome
Linda Birnbaum, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, US Department of Health and Human Services

Environmental Health Through the Lens of Global Urbanization
Maria Neira, Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health, World Health Organization

Climate Change and Health
Kristie Ebi, University of Washington, Seattle

Environmental Change and Planetary Health
Samuel Myers, Harvard University, Director, Planetary Health Alliance

Panel discussion: New Research and Policy Paradigms at the Interface of Environment and Health

Overview of iCOMOS-2019 and iCOMOS-2020
Chaing Mai University, Thailand and Univ Andres Bello, Chile

Closing Remarks and Perspective for the Future

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Concurrent Interactive Sessions

CIS 1: One Medicine One Science Approaches to Health at Two NIH Institutes

Coordinators: Hortencia Hornbeak, Peter Jackson, Kimberly Thigpen Tart, Heather Henry
National Institutes of Health (NIAID, and NIEHS – Joint)

This workshop will explore One Medicine One Science (OMOS) approaches applied at two NIH institutes to complex human health issues requiring coordinated, multi-disciplinary research programs and teams. Senior institute staff and funded investigators of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) will lead discussions of (a) Zika as a case study of an emerging disease and pandemic threat, and (b) studies of chronic disease resulting from the interactions of living systems with environmental threats such as chemicals and other contaminants that affect human health. Presentations will feature diverse NIH-supported OMOS-related research studies and will discuss methods and resources for integrating OMOS approaches into aspects of infectious disease and environmental research including surveillance, epidemiology, prevention and intervention, data collection and analysis, partnership building, and training and capacity building.

CIS 2: Effective Policy when Consumer Preferences Do Not Match Actions

Coordinators: Shaun Kennedy, Amy McMillen, University of Minnesota; Markus Lipp, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations

The public in general or a significant subset often drive specific food and health policies as governments and the private sector attempt to meet their expressed desires. The challenge for effective policy implementation, however, is that consumers do not always choose health behaviors or foods that are consistent with their priorities. This is especially challenging when consumers make choices based on one priority that appears to conflict with other expressed priorities. While not a new concept in philosophy or what is sometimes called moral mathematics, it is not generally applied when developing and implementing health and food policies. This is easy to understand when it is an economic priority, cost, overriding a personal priority, enhanced food safety, with simple choices such as not purchasing irradiated ground beef for food safety due to the cost of irradiation. It becomes far more complicated to implement effective policy when it is more nuanced such as consumers making health or food choices that are demonstrably less favorable to their own family’s health or the environment than alternatives. This workshop will look at how to consider health or food policies in the face of competitive, unexpressed or conflicting priorities and the extent to which the policies can achieve their objectives. It will draw beyond policy experts to include experts in consumer behavior, individual to group dynamics, game theory and economics from the academic, public and private sectors to consider policy differently.

CIS 3: Breaking Silos and Building Bridges Within and Across Geographies for One Medicine One Science Policy

Coordinators: Andres Perez, University of Minnesota; Aziz Arda Sancak, Ankara University, Turkey

Despite an increasingly popular One Health rhetoric, authentic examples of multiple disciplinary efforts to transcend the traditional silos of public, animal, and environmental health are still rare. A number of organizations across regions worldwide have agreed to collaborate on research and outreach activities on One Health and policy. The group is collectively referred to as Consortium for One Medicine, One Science (COMOS). The ultimate goal of COMOS is to contribute to securing food and protecting health of human, animals, and the environment through a network of equal partners within and between regions. Integral and cross-cutting to the disciplinary areas of focus is the importance of effective policy and program development and implementation. We will utilize various policy-focused frameworks and tools to ensure that our collective work influences policy design, and our research outputs and outcomes inform strategic programmatic development. By incorporating policy tools and frameworks, we are connecting our research outputs to operational capacity in aspiration of having lasting impact on how and why we collaborate to manage dynamic grand challenges at the interface of humans, animals, and the environment. In this workshop, a summary of research and outreach activities in Ibero-America, South East Asia, and Turkey, planned and conducted under the COMOS umbrella, will be presented, discussed, and evaluated.

CIS 4: Precision Medicine and Genome Editing:
Science and Ethics

Coordinators: Cliff Steer, Pamala Jacobson, University of Minnesota; Kavita Berger, Gryphon Scientific

According to the NIH, precision medicine is "an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person." It refers to the tailoring of medical treatment to the individual characteristics of each patient and the ability to classify individuals into subpopulations that differ in the biology, susceptibility and response to treatment for a particular disease. In January 2015, the US President launched the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI), a bold new research effort to revolutionize how we improve health and treat disease, empowering health care providers to tailor treatment and prevention strategies to individuals’ unique characteristics.  Gene editing uses engineered nucleases or so-called “molecular scissors” to make changes to specific DNA sequences in the genome of a living organism. They include meganucleases, zinc finger nucleases (ZFNs), transcription activator-like effector-based nucleases (TALENs), and the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-Cas system. Genome editing is being developed to treat not only genetic diseases but also infectious diseases and those that have both a genetic and an environmental component.  It is now widely used in biomedical research, including creation of disease models with desired genetic mutations, screening in a high-throughput manner for drug resistance genes, and making appropriate editions to genes in vivo for disease treatment.  All of these applications have been facilitating the development of precision medicine research.

CIS 5: Science Communication and Strategic Engagement
of Policy Makers

Coordinators: American Association of Advancement of Science (AAAS)

Science Communication will help scientists develop their public communication and outreach skills.  Effective scientist-communicators who foster information-sharing and respect between science and the public are essential for true public communication of and engagement with science.  Scientists are increasingly requested by their institutions and funding agencies to extend beyond the scientific community and communicate their research directly to public audiences, but traditional scientific training typically does not prepare scientists to be effective public communicators.  However, there currently are too few effective emissaries for science. Communication is typically an acquired, not an innate skill. 

Strategic Engagement of Policy Makers will provide guidance in navigating engagements with key decision makers. Participants will discuss successful methods within an ever-changing landscape. It will include facilitator presentations and attendee exercises.