About iCOMOS

The International Conference on One Medicine One Science (iCOMOSTM) is an opportunity to explore new ways to solve pressing health issues, facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations, and promote science's role in influencing public policy at the interface of humans, animals, and the environment.

Healthy Living

Sustainable Food Systems

Water Governance

Strengthening One Health Policies

History of iCOMOS

The International Conference on One Medicine On Science (iCOMOSTM) was originally envisioned circa 2010 as a forum for the sharing of the “Science behind One Health”. The term “One Medicine One Science” was specifically chosen to avoid the philosophical debate prevalent among other brands such as “One Health”, “Ecosystem Health”, “Planetary Health” and “Conservation Medicine”, among others, with the primary objective to highlight the commonly shared mission of addressing the complexity of today’s challenges through the tools of science (the how), and subsequent transdisciplinarity (the way), needed to address these so-called “Grand Challenges” or “Wicked Problems” of our time. As such, the intent was to create a forum where the highest level of scientific endeavor is showcased and then connected to global discussions resulting in action; whether that be education initiatives, policy decision making, strategic planning or guidance to funders and/or investors. Thus, each iteration of iCOMOSTM consists of several thematic areas, followed by engagement with representatives from academia, industry, government, policy makers, and science communicators, etc. These are generally reinforced by dedicated interactive sessions (e.g., workshops) with stated outcomes (e.g., policy briefs, review articles, white papers, etc.) in hopes of capturing synergy toward future innovation and progress. Over the previous iterations (2014, 2016, 2018, 2019), iCOMOSTM has grown in scale and partnership scope from the inaugural 300 participants from thirteen countries, to almost 400 from over 35 partner countries. In 2018, we were proud to expand in scope through the creation of a student iCOMOS forum and committee who hosted a large number of student participants from many regions around the world. This was reflected in the overwhelming growth of the scientific poster submissions and sessions dedicated to case studies within the conference themes.

The inaugural iCOMOS 2014 held on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis, MN, USA, focused on four critical topics, including (1) disease recognition at the human-animal-environment interface; (2) evolving solutions to the changing infectious disease horizon; as well as (3) grand challenges in food production and (4) food safety. The Science behind One Health was further explored in heavily attended workshops on grantsmanship in a changing environment; the reality of implementing One Health partnerships on the ground; a vision for safe food systems from local to global; and state of the art methods to predict future infectious disease outbreaks.

The second iCOMOSTM meeting, iCOMOS 2016, also held in Minneapolis, USA focused on the concern that humans face an existential quality-of-life challenge, as growing demands for resources for an ever-expanding population threaten the sustainable existence of wildlife populations, degrade land, and pollute air and water. This forum brought together a broad range of scientists, trainees, regulatory authorities, and health experts from 34 countries to discuss (1) human impacts of air quality; (2) the complexities of water quality, access, and conflict; (3) the opportunities and uncertainties in precision medicine; and (4) the role of science communication in health policy formulation. Workshops focused on the development of physician–scientists and formulation of implementation of multidisciplinary teams toward complex problem solving; tools for analysis and visualization of “big data” problems; (3) international policy development processes; and (4) health models that benefit animals and humans. Key realizations were that local and regional health challenges at the interface of humans, animals, and the environment are variations of the same overarching conflicts and that international gatherings provide new opportunities for investigation and policy development that are broadly applicable. A major success of iCOMOS 2016 was to bring together diverse international partners from nonprofits, government, academia, and private industry to explore the role of science in setting public policy. These ideas were synthesized into several publications.

In 2018, the third in the series of iCOMOSTM meetings, iCOMOS 2018, was organized around the primary goal of providing a venue for thoughtful scientific discussion of science and policy at the interface of environment, agriculture and medicine. iCOMOS 2018 addressed social and economic effects on health, the relationship between infectious disease emergence and environmental disturbance, agriculture advancing health, and new paradigms at the environmental-health interface. Interactive sessions explored OMOS approaches at two NIH institutes, policy development for when human actions do not meet preferences, building bridges globally for OMOS policy, precision medicine and genome editing, and science communication and engagement. The conference was attended by nearly 400 participants including two Nobel Laureates, members of various academic, national and international governmental agencies, foundations, as well as public and private organizations from nearly 35 countries. Cumulatively, iCOMOS 2018 overwhelmingly reinforced the message that both good science and effective communication are required to create good health policies for animals, humans and the environment, as well as those at the interface.

The iCOMOS 2019 was convened by the University of Minnesota and the Chiang Mai University and was held in Chiang Mai, Thailand from February 11 to 14, 2019. iCOMOS 2019 represented the first time that the iCOMOSTM series of conferences was being hosted outside of Minnesota, USA, and thus represented a major stepping stone toward the goal of engendering a global community of practice aimed at a more sustainable, healthy future for humans, animals and the environment.

iCOMOS Publications

Outputs of iCOMOSTM to date have been synthesized and published in multiple disciplinary areas to reach the broadest audience possible, reflecting the scope and nature of the discussion.

iCOMOS 2020 Committees

Executive Committee

  • Juan Agustín Larraín Correa, PhD, Vice President, Academic Affairs, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
  • Trevor Ames, DVM, MS, Associate Vice President, Academic Health Sciences, University of Minnesota

Organizing Committee

  • Fernando Mardones, DVM, Ph.D, co-Chair, iCOMOS, Professor School of Veterinary Medicine, Pontific Catholic University of Chile
  • Andres Perez, DVM, PhD, Professor College of Veterinary Medicine, Endowed Chair of Global Animal Health and Food Safety, University of Minnesota

Scientific Committee

  • Maria Sol Perez Aguirreburualde, DVM, PhD, Research Development Manager for Ibero-America, Center for Animal Health & Food Safety, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota
  • Bruce Alexander, PhD, Professor and Division Head, Division of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota
  • Trevor Ames, DVM, MS, Associate Vice President, Academic Health Sciences, University of Minnesota
  • Salesa Barja, MD, Nutrióloga infantil, Hospital Josefina Martínez, Profesora Asociada, División de Pediatría, Facultad de Medicina, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
  • Galaxia Cortes, Postdoctoral Associate, Dr. Milner's Comparative Oncology Laboratory, Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Victor Cubillos, DVM, Dean, Universidad Austral de Chile, Career Director of Veterinary Medicine, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
  • Patricia García, MD, School of Medicine, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
  • Heather Henry, PhD, Health Scientist Administrator, Superfund Research Program, NIEHS, NIH
  • Diego García Huidobro, MD, PhD, Department of Family Medicine, School of Medicine, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
  • Jorge Olivares Pacheco, PhD, Biology Institute, College of Sciences, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso
  • Ned Patterson, DVM, PhD, Professor, Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota
  • Alonso Perez, PhD, School of Agronomy and Forest Engineering, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
  • Nick Phelps, PhD, Director, Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center, Assistant Professor, College of Food, Agriculture, and Natural Resource Sciences, University of Minnesota
  • Carolyn Porta, PhD, MPH, RN, SANE-A, FAAN, Professor and Director of Global Health, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota
  • Shailey Prasad, MBBS, MPH, Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, Medical School and Executive Director of the Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility, University of Minnesota
  • P. Srirama Rao, Ph.D, Chair, iCOMOS, Vice President and Professor, Virginia Commonwealth University Adjunct Professor, University of Minnesota
  • Kimberly Thigpen Tart, JD, MPH, Health Science Policy Analyst Office of Policy, Planning, and Evaluation, NIEHS, NIH
  • Dominic Travis, DVM, MS, Associate Professor, Department of Veterinary Population Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota

Administrative Committee

  • Maria Sol Perez Aguirreburualde, DVM, PhD, Research Development Manager for Ibero-America, Center for Animal Health & Food Safety, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota
  • Kendra McCormack Grahl, MA, Communications and Marketing, University of Minnesota
  • Anna Pendleton, Communications and Marketing, University of Minnesota
  • Natalia Zimin, Project Coordinator, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Previous International Conferences on One Medicine One Science

Questions? Contact iCOMOS at comos@umn.edu