Newswise — MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL The intersection of human, animal and ecosystem health will be on display as global experts discuss interconnected topics such as the use of medical marijuana for treatment of epilepsy in humans and canines, the ethical and legal challenges of translating genomic research into public health benefits, and the struggle to harness enormous datasets to improve human, plant and animal health.

Discussion of those topics and more will occur at the second international conference, iCOMOS (International Conference on One Medicine One Science) that will take place April 24-27 at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. iCOMOS provides a global forum to discuss the emerging One Health initiative, which recognizes that human, animal and ecosystem health are all linked. In fact, it’s estimated that 75 percent of infectious diseases originate with animals. One Health promotes, improves, and defends the health and well-being of all species through increased collaborations between physicians, veterinarians and other scientific health and environmental professionals.

To learn more about the topics and speakers at this international event, visit:

Lawmakers are recognizing the importance of the One Health approach. Recently, Senator Al Franken (MN) introduced legislation that would establish a coordinated national plan to fight diseases that come from animals. The landmark One Health Act of 2016 calls for a coordinated worldwide effort among animal health and human health officials to address the threat of viruses and to prevent their spread.

iCOMOS 2016 includes presenters and participants in human health, veterinary medicine, public health, food policy, food production and food safety, infectious diseases, environmental health, and agriculture. Speakers and participants from more than 30 countries will participate.

Hosted by the University of Minnesota in partnership with allied national and international agencies, the conference will foster increased international collaboration to address the threat of emerging and zoonotic diseases, food, air and water-borne pathogens, food systems and challenges in environmental health; and greater engagement between health policy makers and scientists on issues of high importance to animal, human and environmental health.

According to Srirama Rao, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Research and Professor, University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine and co-conference organizer, One Health will be explored in complex environments from molecular/cellular interactions to population health at the level of ecosystem with presentations on precision medicine, air quality and environmental exposures, water quality and quantity, and the role of science in local and global health policy.

iCOMOS features a number of notable speakers including:

Ann Bancroft, explorer and the first woman to cross the ice to the North and South PolesAdam Berger, Ph.D., Office of the Secretary of Health and Human ServicesLevant Bat, Ph.D., Sinop University, TurkeyMargaret Driciru, MS, Wildlife Veterinarian, Uganda Wildlife AuthorityMark Feinberg, MD, Ph.D., International AIDS Vaccine InitiativeJuhwan Oh, MD, MPH, Ph.D.,Center for Global Medicine, Seoul National UniversityElaine, Ostrander, Ph.D., Cancer Genetics, National Institutes of HealthAjay Markanday, MS, Director of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

We will do our best to arrange interviews with speakers and presenters. For a full list visit

The University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine improves the health and well-being of animals and people by providing high-quality veterinary training, conducting leading-edge research, and delivering innovative veterinary services.