Friday, 1 March 2024
Friday, 1 March 2024

Humanimal Trust announces independent Science Committee

Humanimal Trust, the charity founded in 2014 by orthopaedic veterinary surgeon, Professor Noel Fitzpatrick, has announced a new Committee of independent advisors, made up of leading human and animal health professionals, academics and researchers from around the world.

Currently chaired by the Chair of the Trust’s Board of Trustees, Professor Roberto La Ragione, the Science Committee will review grant applications and recommend projects to be funded in specific Humanimal Trust priority areas*, which support the concept of One Medicine whereby humans and animals benefit from sustainable and equal medical progress, but not at the expense of an animal’s life. 

The funding offered by Humanimal Trust will initially focus on smaller projects such as proof of concept, contributions to existing PhD studies, Masters projects and research studies under £20k that fall within the charity’s priority areas, with the aim of promoting collaboration between vets, doctors, researchers, nurses and allied professions. In due course, larger projects may also be considered for funding.

Professor Roberto La Ragione, Chair of Trustees at Humanimal Trust and Interim Chair of the Science Committee, said:

“We know that One Medicine has transformative potential across all areas of medicine where physiological and genetic similarities exist between humans and animals. 

“Research that the Trust has previously funded has the potential to help improve the lives of both humans and animals with similar conditions, and with their combined professional experience, expertise and passion for One Medicine, our new Science Committee will ensure that we are on the right path to developing further evidence that a collaborative, One Medicine approach can benefit all patients, regardless of their species.

“On behalf of all Humanimal Trust trustees, staff, volunteers and supporters, I would like to welcome all new members of our Science Committee and I look forward to working with them.”

Members of Humanimal Trust’s Science Committee are:

Professor Roberto La Ragione (Interim Chair) – University of Surrey, Head of the School of Biosciences and Professor of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology in the School of Veterinary Medicine; Chair of the Royal College of Pathologists Veterinary Pathology SAC; Trustee of the Houghton Trust; member of the APHA Science Advisory Board; member of the FSA ACMSF AMR sub-committee. 

Miss Anna Radford – Consultant Paediatric Surgeon and Urologist at Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust; Consultant Paediatric Urologist at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust; Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer at Hull York Medical School.

Helen Ballantyne – Clinical Nurse Specialist for Living Kidney Donation; Registered Veterinary Nurse. 

Dr Margarida Simoes – human nurse and veterinary doctor; European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) Fellow; Resident of the European College of Veterinary Public Health.

Associate Professor Benjamin Capps – Associate Professor in Clinical Ethics at Dalhousie University; Chair of the Human Genome Organisation (HUGO) Committee on Ethics, Law and Society.

Professor Matthew Breen – Professor of Genomics; Oscar J. Fletcher Distinguished Professor of Comparative Oncology Genetics in the Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences at the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. 

Dr James Yeates – trained veterinarian; CEO of the World Federation for Animals; member of the Scottish Government Animal Welfare Commission and DEFRA Animal Welfare Committee.

Professor Ali Mobasheri – Professor of Musculoskeletal Biology at the University of Oulu, Finland; Chief Researcher and International Advisor at the State Research Institute Centre for Innovative Medicine in Vilnius, Lithuania; Visiting Professor at Sun Yat-sen University, China; Advisor to the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Public Health Aspects of Musculoskeletal Health and Aging at Université de Liège, Belgium.

Professor Ashish Ranjan Endowed Professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Oklahoma State University, USA; Director of the Institute for Translational and Emerging Research in Advanced Comparative Therapy (INTERACT). 

Dr Richard William Doughty – trained veterinarian and consultant pathologist at Akershus University Hospital, Norway. 

Joe Bailey, CEO of Humanimal Trust, said:

“We feel extremely fortunate to have such a passionate and forward-thinking group of people from the worlds of both human and animal health on our Science Committee. Together, we will ensure that the research we fund, facilitate and share has reciprocity at its core, so that not only do practitioners and allied researchers benefit from medical advances, but also patients, regardless of their species.

“By sharing knowledge gained through treating naturally occurring diseases in both human and animal patients to inform medical research, and utilising non-animal research technology to further veterinary as well as human medicine, we truly believe that the use of animals in research can be significantly reduced until one day, experimental animal use becomes obsolete.”

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