World Food Prize laureate to kick off new ISU One Health lecture series

AMES, Iowa - The Iowa State University-based international organization One Health Commission will sponsor a lecture with ISU by 2010 World Food Prize Laureate David Beckmann at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 12, at the Des Moines Marriott, Salon D, at 700 Grand Ave.

His presentation, "One Health: World Health Through Collaboration," is scheduled in conjunction with this year's World Food Prize events and is free and open to the public.

Beckmann, head of the organization Bread for the World, had significant impact in shaping international development programs to reflect the needs of the poorest people in the world. He also helped mobilize a grassroots effort for more focused policies and increased appropriations for alleviating hunger by the U.S. government and its partners.

Beckmann's presentation will be the first of the newly endowed ISU One Health Lectureship Series that was established in the College of Veterinary Medicine in honor of Dr. Roger Mahr, CEO of the One Health Commission. The series will present lectures by leaders in the health science and related fields.

"Our mission is to promote the establishment of closer professional interactions, collaborations, and educational and research opportunities across the health science professions, together with their related disciplines and institutions, to improve the health of people, animals, plants and the environment," said Mahr.

"This ISU One Health Lectureship Series will provide a means to augment the mission and goals of both the One Health Commission and Iowa State University," he added.

The One Health Commission, Iowa State University and the ISU-led One Health consortium formed an alliance in January to advance awareness of the value of the One Health approach and to create a better understanding of the important relationship between the health of people, animals, plants and the environment.

"We are delighted to partner with the One Health Commission, both in sponsoring Dr. Beckmann's visit and in attaining its goal of becoming a clearinghouse for all things 'one health.' This collaborative effort has the potential to produce significant benefits for the state, as well as globally," said Dr. Lisa Nolan, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine. "Dr. Beckmann's perspective is certainly timely and relevant to our mutual efforts. We look forward to a fruitful relationship with the commission that will benefit Iowans and their animals long into the future."

"We are excited and honored that the 2010 World Food Prize laureate Dr. David Beckmann has accepted our invitation to deliver the inaugural One Health lecture," said Mahr. "This lecture will be presented in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of the World Food Prize in Des Moines.

"Ensuring a safe, available, affordable, and high-quality food and water supply for the global population is perhaps at the heart of the One Health approach. Dr. Beckmann's global leadership has helped to end hunger for millions of people around the world."

Beckmann was awarded the 2010 World Food Prize along with Jo Luck, president of the organization Heifer International. Luck was honored for providing food- and income-producing animals to the poorest parts of the world resulting in self reliance through animal husbandry and community development.

Future lectures in the series will be held annually, or more often, on the ISU campus, according to Mahr. Some of the topics may include: convergence of humans, domestic animals, wildlife, plants, and the environment; ensuring a safe, available, and high quality food and water supply; basic and translational research related to both infectious and chronic diseases; emerging zoonotic disease surveillance, prevention, and response; chronic disease prevention and control related to cancer, obesity, and diabetes; environmental agent exposure, detection, and response; and disaster preparedness and response.

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