Health was identified as the number one grand challenge Tufts should and could address. Addressing challenges under this theme requires interdisciplinary approaches beyond those currently used. One Health recognizes the importance of the evolutionary and ecological links and interdependencies among humans, animals, and the environment, and creates a research and learning enterprise that integrates human and veterinary medicine in an interactive dynamic of discovery and application.
Address the rise and spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in microbes. Approximately 700,000 human deaths are attributable to AMR each year globally. If trends continue, by 2050, 350 million cumulative deaths may be caused by AMR.
Conduct research on 1) Mechanisms of AMR and new antimicrobial strategies; 2) surveillance of emerging AMR. 3) Develop and implement policies and targeted educational programs for antimicrobial stewardship.
Infectious disease research is a well-documented strength of the university, which will be complemented by efforts at Tufts Medical Center (TMC) to translate the basic science discoveries to practical solutions.
The 3-5-year objectives are to coordinate efforts across TMC, and Tufts University campuses and disciplines to integrate AMR research and training, and to foster diverse fund-raising strategies, including proposal development and connections to pharma. The 5- to 10-year objectives are to convert an initial institutional investment into a self-sustaining center by incentivizing income-generating educational programs. In an era when options for expanding faculty ranks through conventional means are limited, CIMAR will foster a critical mass of Tufts investigators who, by developing collaborations and connections that are difficult to replicate elsewhere, will produce a stable, well-focused center that is a leader in the management of AMR.
Rates of obesity continue to increase in every country worldwide, and nearly 40% of adults and 20% of children in the US are now obese. This is a global crisis not only because obesity causes premature death and serious health problems including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke, but because obesity is an underlying driver of an even broader set of societal problems that include high rates of disability, inefficiency in the workforce, absenteeism, and bullying in school.
Harness strengths in basic sciences, social sciences, medicine, data science, economics, nutrition, engineering, behavioral psychology, and veterinary and dental sciences to define common aspirations, and identify ways to create collaborative, high-impact projects that generate research, scholarship, and training support to solve the global obesity crisis.
Tufts has an exceptional reputation for its obesity research from basic science to real world solutions. In particular our existing strengths in intervention research, active citizenship, strategy, and global connections are critical components that Tufts uniquely offers.
The 3- to 5-year objective of the GOC will be to bring existing Tufts faculty together to define common goals and identify ways to create collaborative, high-impact projects that generate research, scholarship, and training support. The 10-year objective is to be recognized as the leading collaborative for global obesity research, to publish research in the highest-impact journals and significantly increase our funding. The group will make high-impact discoveries across all the major fields represented at Tufts and it will engage local and global communities to demonstrate that we can reverse the obesity epidemic from childhood to old age.
By 2050, the number of people over the age of 60 will increase to 2 billion, exceeding for the first time in the history of the world the number of children under the age of 14. Advances in science have greatly increased the human lifespan; however, at the same time non-communicable diseases such as sarcopenia, cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, dementia, macular degeneration, and cataracts are on the rise. Strategies will need to be developed to address the economic and social costs associated with a growing population of older adults and their impact on the economic survival of every nation.
The Healthy Aging initiative aims to stem the tide of age-related pathologies by conducting interdisciplinary and translational research--especially by employing a “One Health” approach to identify modifiable risk factors and effective strategies for targeting.
Because of its multivariate and unique composition of schools, and its wealth and breadth of interdisciplinary expertise, Tufts is well positioned to be a key player in the field of healthy aging to build a future for vibrant societies in which multi-generational groups live in harmony. Tufts also enjoys significant state-of-the-art multidisciplinary facilities that are dedicated to aging research. This impressive constellation of expertise and resources uniquely positions Tufts to engage in the global conversation on aging issues and to be an active participant in developing strategies to enhance the health and functional span of an older population and thus the economic vitality of their communities globally.
The 3 to 5-year objective is to reinvigorate the Healthy and Active Aging at Tufts (HA2T) initiative to serve as a central node for research on aging. We will recruit key faculty to address knowledge gaps and establish a pilot program. The 5- to 10-year objective is to establish a fully- funded institute on healthy aging that would be the center of Tufts research, training, and education.