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one healthHealth 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.

Center for Integrated Management of Antimicrobial Resistance (CIMAR)

Antimicrobial resistance is one of the greatest public health challenges of our time

Since the identification of the first antibiotics, there has been an explosion of their use for the treatment of human and veterinary infections, as a growth agent for feed animals, and in agriculture and aquaculture. As a result, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has become prevalent worldwide. AMR occurs when bacteria, viruses, and parasites adapt, becoming resistant to the agents that were created to kill them. Sometimes referred to as “superbugs,” these resistant microorganisms cause medicines to become ineffective and infections to persist and spread.

AMR is present in every corner of the globe, posing a serious threat to human, animal, and environmental health. Overuse of antibiotics is the major driver of resistance. In approximately 30%-50% of cases, antibiotic therapy is used inappropriately. Antibiotics are also used as a growth promoter in livestock, with an estimated 80% of the antibiotics sold in the U.S. used in animals; globally, an approximately 67% rise in antibiotic consumption is projected by 2030. The WHO Global Antimicrobial Surveillance System identified widespread antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections in 22 countries. Microbes that cause global morbidity and mortality, such as tuberculosis, malaria, HIV/AIDS, are developing genetically-driven AMR at alarming rates—as many as 162,000 people in the U.S. lose their lives every year due to multidrug-resistant infections, which would make resistant infections the third leading cause of death in the U.S. The AMR Review published in the U.K. estimated in 2014 that at least 700,000 people globally lose their lives every year due to resistant infections. This study estimated that if we do nothing, by 2050, 10 million people will die due to AMR annually worldwide, surpassing cancer deaths.

  1. Our Mission: Rising to a Global Challenge

    The Tufts Center for Integrated Management of Antimicrobial Resistance (CIMAR) is a collaborative and cross-disciplinary initiative with a mission to deliver innovative solutions to combat AMR. Our programs encompass research, policy, and education.

    CIMAR is organized around three central research areas encompassing human, veterinary, and environmental sectors:

    1. Combination drug therapies to treat AMR and slow the development of resistant strains: Identify fundamental mechanisms of resistance and develop and test new antimicrobial therapies.
    2. Surveillance and stewardship using a One Health approach: Generate and implement tools to promote, survey, predict, and shape policy to control emerging antimicrobial resistance in humans, animals and the environment.
    3. Education programs on AMR: Develop targeted educational programs for antimicrobial stewardship by physicians, veterinarians, patients, and agricultural stakeholders. Educate and inspire the next generation of young scientists who will play an important role in developing solutions to AMR.

Our team brings together researchers, physicians, and educators from across Tufts University and Tufts Medical Center with expertise in microbiology, infectious disease, engineering, epidemiology, global health, drug development, and policy. Tufts faculty are longstanding leaders in infectious diseases and the varied diverse fields that are critical to address AMR. CIMAR integrates this expertise to provide a connection between discovery and patient care at the individual and population levels, and to ensure a robust and sustainable workforce with the competencies needed to combat AMR and promote stewardship.

RESEARCH TEAM

Leadership Team
Helen Boucher,* TMC
Ralph Isberg,* TUSM
John Leong, TUSM
David Snydman, TMC

Core Faculty
Bree Aldridge, TUSM
Carol Bascom-Slack, TUSM
Gillian Beamer, Cummings
Clay Bennett, Tufts
Andrew Camili, TUSM
Shira Doron, TMC
Caroline Genco, TUSM
Irene Georgakoudi, SoE
Yoav Golan, TMC
David Gute, SoE
Berri Jacque, Tufts
Michael Jordan, TMC
Ken Kaitin, Tufts CSDD
Krishna Kumar, A&S
Joan Mecsas, TUSM
Nikhil Nair, SoE
Elena Naumova, Friedman
Amy Pickering, SoE
Fiorenzo Omenetto, SoE
Cheleste Thorpe, TMC
Roberto Viau, TMC
Annie Wayne, Cummings
Qiaobing Xu, SoE

*Project Directors

Healthy Aging at Tufts

Diseases associated with the increased human lifespan present significant economic and societal costs.

  • US. Census Bureau projects the number of U.S. individuals over 65 years will increase by 50% between 2005 and 2025.
  • UN population division forecasts the number of people worldwide living over age 65 will rise to almost 1 billion (12%) by 2030 – up from 265 million (6%) in 1980.
  • By 2050 eight out of ten older persons will live in low- and middle-income countries.
  • Fastest growing subset of older adults are those over the age of 80 years – predicted to reach 20% of the world’s population by 2050.

These trends present an unprecedented opportunity for Tufts University to become a leader of research into the underlying molecular underpinnings of aging and the translation of good science into effective preventive and treatment strategies that will support improved health, functional health-span, and quality of life in our aging population. Tufts has a substantial long-standing existing footprint in aging research, including:

  • Eighteen active grants focusing on aging totaling almost $36 million in direct costs. Over the last 10 years, there have been almost 200 faculty involved in aging research spanning all three campuses.
  • A longstanding cooperative agreement with the USDA to house and support the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA), which is recognized worldwide for the study of the role of nutrition and physical activity on age-related chronic disease.
  • Over 220,000 sq. ft. of active research facilities presently involved in aging research. In addition, the Department of Neuroscience at the Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences has a strong focus on the basic biology of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

Faculty and students from Tufts' many schools (Sackler, HNRCA, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Medical School, Dental School, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Fletcher School of International Affairs, and Tisch College of Civic Life) would all benefit from an expanded aging initiative at Tufts. Activities that will innovate, expand and impact the existing aging focus at Tufts include:

  • New Connections: Retreats, research days, advisory board
  • New Faculty: Recruitment in cellular senescence and translational neuroscience
  • New Research: Pilot grants related to Alzheimer’s and Streptococcus pneumoniae
  • New Training: Cross-disciplinary and graduate courses

With its wealth and breadth of interdisciplinary expertise across three campuses, Tufts University is uniquely situated to become a leader in the study of healthy aging. The long-term goal of the Healthy Aging at Tufts Initiative is to build on existing strengths and create a hub of aging research and training. This effort will consolidate and foster collaborative cross-campus initiatives and significantly increase the impact of aging research at Tufts and beyond.

RESEARCH TEAM

Project Director
Roger Fielding, HNRCA

Steering Committee
Peggy Connolly, HNRCA
Chris Dulla, TUSM
Lisa Freeman, Cummings
David Gute, SoE
Phil Haydon, TUSM
John Leong, TUSM
Mitch McVey, A&S
Athena Pappas, TUSDM
Allen Taylor, HNRCA
Ayanna Thomas, A&S
Chenchen Wang, TMC
Henry Wortis, TUSM

Tufts Institute for Global Obesity Research (TIGOR)

Rates of obesity continue to increase in every country worldwide, and nearly 40% of adults and 20% of children in the U.S. 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.

The Tufts Institute for Global Obesity Research (TIGOR) is an initiative to foster collaborations that are urgently needed to address the complex societal problem of obesity, with both a domestic and global focus. Our mission is to harness strengths in basic and translational sciences, social sciences, medicine, data science, economics, nutrition, engineering, behavioral psychology, and veterinary and dental sciences to create innovative projects that generate research, scholarship, training support, and actionable solutions to the global obesity crisis. The group will make high-impact discoveries across all of the major fields represented at Tufts and will engage local and global communities in interventions that can reverse the obesity epidemic from childhood to old age. TIGOR faculty have identified four initial focus areas: Trans-generational obesity; Obesity and stress; Obesity, autism, and pets; and Interventions for obesity, including those using technology.

The TIGOR steering committee is composed of senior faculty from Tufts University and Tufts Medical Center who provide visionary leadership. Over 40 additional faculty members at the university and medical center, along with numerous graduate students, are currently engaged with the initiative. We aspire to be recognized as a leading collaborative for global obesity research that integrates civic and real-world engagement.

Tufts has an exceptional reputation for obesity research from basic science to societal solutions. In particular, our strengths in intervention research, biomedical sciences, active citizenship, and global connections are components that Tufts uniquely offers, and are critical to building an innovative obesity collaborative. Together, Tufts University and Tufts Medical Center, with their strengths in obstetrics, pediatrics, and obesity treatment, are ideally positioned to play a central role in preventing and reversing obesity to create a healthier, more productive population with important benefits for local communities, global economies, and planetary health.

Today, there is a need for a center of excellence for obesity research, healthcare, scholarship, and training in America, and Tufts is poised to bring these disciplines together and fill this gap. The outstanding reputations of Tufts University and Tufts Medical Center for obesity research and clinical care present a singular opportunity to draw from our wealth of expertise and capacity, leverage key assets, and rapidly translate research into care models and community interventions to address the global crisis of obesity.

RESEARCH TEAM

Leadership Team
Christina Economos,* Friedman
Susan Roberts,* HNRCA
Shanti Sharma, Friedman

Steering Committee
Patrick Catalano, TUSM
Jonathan Garlick, TUSDM
Andrew Greenberg, HNRCA
Justin Hollander, GSAS
James Intriligator, SoE
Robin Kanarek, A&S (emeritus)
Deborah Linder, Cummings
Aviva Must, TUSM

Working Group
Martin Beinborn, TMC
Sean Cash, Friedman
Arthur Chernoguz, TMC
Virginia Chomitz, TUSM
Adolfo Cuevas, A&S
Maria Carlota Dao, HNRCA
Sai Krupa Das, HNRCA
Jonathan Davis, TMC
Ann Easterbrooks, A&S
Larry Feig, TUSM
Sara Folta, Friedman
Caroline Genco, TUSM
Irene Georgakoudi, SoE
Jeanne Goldberg, Friedman
David Greenblatt, TUSM
Weimin Guo, HNRCA
Daniel Hatfield, Friedman
Erin Hennessy, Friedman
Bryan Ho, TMC
Shan Jiang, GSAS
Dong Kong, TUSM
Valencia Koomson, SoE
Krishna Kumar, A&S
Jerry Mande, Friedman
Jillian Maron, TMC
William Masters, Friedman
Ellen Messer, Friedman
Vittorio Montanari, A&S
Claire Moore, TUSM
Christina Mule, TMC
Jose Ordovas, HNRCA
Perrie O’Tierney-Ginn, TMC
Emmanuel Pothos, TUSM
Maribel Rios, TUSM
Beverly Rubin, TUSM
Matthias Scheutz, SoE
Sajani Shah, TMC
Parke Wilde, Friedman
Norbert Wilson, Friedman

*Project Directors