Exploring Research at RUSVM
RUSVM provides a learning environment that can prepare our students to become leaders in the worldwide public and professional healthcare team supported by a research-informed educational experience. Our research is focused on advancing human and animal health through a transdisciplinary approach as part of RUSVM’s Research Center themes.
The tropical world’s economy is growing 20% faster than the rest of the world, but more than two thirds of the world’s poorest people live in the Tropics. By 2050, more than 50% of the world’s population is expected to reside in the Tropics – facing tremendous challenges from established and emerging diseases, poor education, and rural poverty.
RUSVM aims to be one of the leading training and research centers in the equatorial region, leveraging its unique location, research expertise and facilities to attract students and research scholars from around the globe. The approach will be transdisciplinary - The focus will be One Health.
Strategic Plan 2014-2018
Create an Enabling, Dynamic Research Environment
1. Become a global center for transdisciplinary One Health research, located in the Caribbean servicing other areas of the tropics
2. Place One Health researchers at the core of the veterinary curriculum to maximize impact on education
3. Attract top international researchers, students and funding
4. Ensure that effective operational infrastructure and management processes support delivery of results
5. Communicate expectations clearly to faculty with regards to research outputs
Effectively Maximize External Resources and Strategic Partnerships
1. Forge strategically relevant collaborations and partnerships with universities and research organizations around the world to maximize opportunities and outcomes at each institution
2. Promote RUSVM Research
3. Achieve financial sustainability of our research activities
4. Engage and bring together diverse partners and stakeholders to identify critical knowledge gaps and promote research that can generate new ideas and solutions.
Faculty & Students
RUSVM faculty members have participated in research projects that have received funding from grant-awarding bodies, industry, corporations and governments, and our faculty have contributed to scholarly literature by publishing scientific papers in high quality, peer-reviewed journals. Our research team is comprised of faculty from across the globe—many with experience at international agencies such as the World Health Organization. RUSVM is providing opportunities for our students to engage in research and benefit from being taught by research leaders in their field—enriching RUSVM's reputation for developing career-ready graduates. Postgraduate students in our Masters and Ph.D. programs are supervised by faculty advisors aligned with one of our Research Centers.
Our One Health approach facilitates the implementation of research across all facets of disease and is the theme of RUSVM's largest Research Center. Zoonoses still represent the most significant public health threat, but many of these diseases are neglected. They affect hundreds of thousands of people especially in developing countries, although most of them can be prevented. RUSVM’s One Health Center for Zoonoses and Tropical Veterinary Medicine has been created specifically to have impact on these issues.
Conservation is another important theme in the school, and studies on artificial coral reefs, the endangered marine species that inhabit them, fish diseases, turtle conservation programs, and management of introduced species, contribute significantly to preservation of ecosystems and the environment, and is supported within the Center for Conservation Medicine and Ecosystem Health. Innovation and advances in human and animal healthcare depend on progress in understanding the pathogenesis of diseases and the effects of therapies - the theme of the Center for Integrative Mammalian Research. The Center for Research and Innovation in Veterinary and Medical Education promotes the enhancement of the learning environment through scholarly research that encourages creativity and innovation in teaching and learning.
RUSVM partners with academic institutions around the world, including joint-PhD agreements (e.g. University of Granada, Spain; University of Newcastle, UK; Institute of Tropical Medicine and Ghent University, Belgium; Vienna Veterinary School, Vienna; Teagasc Agriculture and Food Development Authority, Republic of Ireland; Kansas State, USA). Collaborations with major corporations, foundations and other organizations (e.g. Zoetis, IDEXX, Morris Animal Foundation, American Kennel Club, Botstiber Institute, U.S. National Institutes of Health, Caribaea Initiative) also occur. RUSVM has become a member of CaribVET and ACACPMT and also developed a close relationship with CARPHA and PAHO, all enabling research collaborations at the regional level. In addition, our MoU with Dolphin Discovery St. Kitts has supported research, workshops and educational training veterinary students on the clinical aspects of Marine Mammal Health, care, and welfare since 2015.
Research facilities at RUSVM include laboratory space, housing, equipment for surveillance and diagnostics, and pathology and histopathology. In 2013, more than $1M was invested in improving RUSVM's research and research infrastructure. A new ~12,000 sq. ft. research laboratory with capacity for an estimated 50 researchers and facilities for molecular biology, microbiology, cell culture techniques and other basic veterinary research is being completed in May 2018. The new research laboratory provides more than 5 times the current research space. A rodent vivarium of ~500 sq. ft. is also available to researchers and students. Researchers and students are facilitated by a laboratory staff that includes a Senior Scientist as facility manager and three Research Associates. These experienced staff members assist with developing new techniques for research projects and student training. The laboratory complex complies with CDC/NIH standards for Bio-Safety Level 2 containment laboratories and all other US applicable safety standards (OSHA, EPA, etc.).