When I first arrived at UC Davis (many years ago), one of the unique aspects I soon discovered was the attendance by Bruce Madewell, D.V.M., at our hematology oncology multidisciplinary patient care conference. It was in that forum that I was first educated about canine sarcoma and lymphoma, and cats that get kidney transplants could get a lymphoproliferative disorder very similar to that in humans. It was obvious how much human and veterinary doctors could learn from each other. Soon thereafter, I was in need of a platelet expert for a grant proposal and was lucky enough to be directed to Fern Tablin, D.V.M., Ph.D., who was also at the School of Veterinary Medicine. We were fortunate enough to get the grant. I not only enjoyed a fruitful collaboration, but had a great time learning comparative hematology from Fern and her graduate students during my trips across the Causeway to her lab. Widely acknowledged as one of the best schools of veterinary medicine in the world, the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) is a research powerhouse with a rich and diverse portfolio. School of Medicine and SVM faculty have had many productive collaborations – several of which are highlighted in this issue of the CTSC Connections Newsletter.
Regenerative medicine, cancer, and ophthalmology researchers at both schools have enjoyed long-term collaborations, and we want to encourage many more. Naturally occurring diseases in companion animals share much in common with their counterparts in humans, and clinical trials in animal patients can inform the design of trials in human patients. The SVM has developed a robust clinical trials infrastructure housed at the Veterinary Center for Clinical Trials. Facilitating collaboration between SOM and SVM investigators is one of two “optional modules” within our grant. In collaboration with the CTSC, the SVM developed two informational videos about veterinary clinical trials, and a pathway for faculty to identify collaborators at both schools. For SOM faculty, I encourage you to visit the Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital and the rest of the Vet school campus.
In the coming year, as part of the 50th anniversary of the School of Medicine, we will be highlighting SOM/SOVM collaborations through a One Health symposium, a celebration of the 20th birthday of the Center of Comparative Medicine, and a special symposium featuring the whole-body PET Scanner (Explorer). I hope you will be able to attend some of these events, and eventually forge collaborations with our veterinary medicine colleagues.