MU hosts inaugural forum for One Health/One Medicine series

Thursday, November 29, 2012 | 1:27 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA —  As a star diver for the MU women's swimming and diving team, Loren Figueroa can truly attest to the phrase "Life is motion, motion is life."

The phrase was the theme for the first forum of the One Health/One Medicine breakfast series presented Wednesday morning by Mizzou Advantage, a program with a mission to increase MU's visibility, stature and impact in higher education. It consists of four areas: One Health/One Medicine, Food for the Future, Sustainable Energy and Media of the Future.

Figueroa, a junior, spoke at the event about hyperextending her knee during practice at the NCAA Championships during her freshman year. She underwent surgery at the Missouri Orthopaedic Institute to replace cartilage and missed most of her sophomore season.

Figueroa announced she is back to full health, winning all of her recent competitions and looking ahead to the 2016 Olympics because her injury made her miss the London trials.

"I seriously don't know what I would do if I couldn't dive," she said.

More than 100 people were part of Wednesday's event.  The purpose of the series is to inform the community about research within the MU Health Care System. A new forum will take place every semester, and the series will continue as long as each breakfast is a success, said Carolyn Henry, faculty facilitator for One Health/One Medicine.

"The next one will be about oncology and cancer care," she said. "We are timing it in the spring to line up with the opening of the new patient tower where the Ellis Fischel center will be housed."

Mizzou Advantage's One Health/One Medicine initiative works to form a collaboration between animal and human health research and care at the university — a topic that was also addressed at Wednesday's breakfast.

James Cook, director of the MU Comparative Orthopaedic Laboratory and a professor of orthopaedic surgery, spoke about his experience with One Health/One Medicine. Instead of replacing cartilage with metal or plastic, he stressed the benefit of using actual cartilage. He said because of the concept of converging animal and human research, advancements like this are possible.

Keeping with the theme of the morning, Cook said, "'Life is motion, motion is life' is true whether you're a two-legger or a four-legger."

Supervising editor is Simina Mistreanu.

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