Research in SACBS

Research in the School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences spans a number of disciplines and address current issues with the environment, genomics, physiology, livestock, aquaculture and human health.

  1. Environmental Biology Program (Physiology, Nutrition, Reproduction/Perinatal Environment.
    There is a strong interest/expertise in the areas of Impact of global warming/Adaptation to hot environments, obesity, effect on intra-uterine growth, pre- and peri-natal programming, and control of feed/food intake.
     
  2. Genomics and Bio-Informatics
    New technologies mean that agricultural and biomedical researchers are able to collect and produce an increasing amount of data at an increasing rate. However, for this data to be translated into gains for agricultural production and human health, researchers need to be able to model their data in a way that enables them to understand the complex biological processes they are studying. Bioinformatics is the use of computing and information sciences to link our existing knowledge to experimental data and analyze it in a way that bridges the gap between research and agricultural production or clinical use.

    Researchers at the School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences use bioinformatics and computing to provide information about genes found in agricultural and biomedically important animals, what they do and how they work together to create an organism. We provide free, public databases that are used by researchers worldwide to make sense of their data. We also provide training and outreach for researchers and students who wish to learn how to apply this information to their own research projects
     

  3. Reproductive Physiology In Animals and Humans
    Researchers in this area provide expertise in follicular development, luteal physiology, and neuroendocrinology. The school houses established programs in fetal physiology, endocrinology, and pathophysiology.
     
  4. Shrimp Pathology and Aquaculture Program
    The Aquaculture Pathology Laboratory (APL) has impressive ties to the industry and outstanding faculty and facilities in place. The APL is an OIE (Office International des Epizooties or World Animal Health) Reference Laboratory and a USDA APHIS Approved Laboratory for testing of live shrimp and other products intended for export. The services provided by the APL include disease diagnostics, surveillance and reference lab services from the main diagnostic lab, quarantine and disease challenge services at the West Campus Aquaculture facility and technical services and training to governments, companies and aquaculture cooperatives located in the United States, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Oceania and in east and southeast Asia. The APL also carries out a variety of applied research projects for USA-based and foreign companies. This includes quarantine and disease challenge studies to evaluate genetic gains in disease resistance to several OIE-listed shrimp virus diseases provided primarily to commercial shrimp breeding companies located in Hawaii and Florida. Research activities are aimed at developing new tests for shrimp disease diagnosis and for evaluating specific antibacterial and antiviral compounds
     
  5. Human Health Research in Microbiology.
    Microbiologists explore the diversity of microbial life and examine what allows some organisms to live in symbiotic relationship with the host organisms while others cause disease.  Specialization in the field of microbiology encompasses the study of the fundamental processes of bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites, as well as the study of host defense systems that counter microbial infection.  Microbiologists develop techniques to identify microbes, to utilize them (e.g. to produce food and pharmaceuticals, to degrade toxic waste, etc) or to kill them when they harm. Several active faculty projects currently focus on pathogenesis of bacterial and parasitic human disease and related research. Currently studied pathogens represent areas of importance for government funding agencies.
     
  6. Virology Program
    Research using cutting edge virology and immunology approaches to study the fundamental mechanisms of virus-host, virus-virus or virus-microbe interactions interactions that lead to a better understanding of animal and/or human health and to novel therapeutic approaches.
     
  7. Extension Programs In Dairy, Beef, Equine, and STEM
    The School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences has a very strong Cooperative Extension and Outreach program which provides service to Arizona’s beef industry, dairy industry, food producing entities and the equine industry. We also recently established a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) extension and research program.
     
  8. Food Safety
    Foodborne diseases due to microbial pathogens, biotoxins and chemical contaminants in food represent serious threats to the health of people around the globe. The Food Products and Safety Laboratory, a federally inspected meat processing plant, is heavily involved in conducting microbiological and chemical analyses of various food products for consumers and businesses, as well as providing training to students in food safety procedures. This facility provides an outstanding unit for students to gain hands-on experience working with meat animals, carcasses and with instrumentation designed to evaluate food products for microbiological evaluation and chemical analyses.