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Tackling Antimicrobial Resistance through Research & Education

Iowa State University will establish and host a new national Institute for Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Education. APLU and the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) chose Iowa State to lead the institute, which is designed to foster and coordinate research and education activities using a One Health approach to comprehensively tackle the AMR problem.

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, according to the CDC, cause at least 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths in the United States every year. Infections caused by these pathogens cost an estimated $20 billion a year in direct health care costs and up to $35 billion in lost productivity as a result of hospitalizations and sick days. The growing public health threat has prompted action on a number of fronts.

The new institute is a result of a joint Task Force on Antibiotic Resistance in Production Agriculture that AAVMC and APLU created in 2014, which released a report the following year that offered an array of research and education recommendations to address the problem. The report called for the creation of an Institute for Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Education to coordinate the implementation of the report’s recommendations.

As envisioned, the institute will serve as a national resource for coordinating and focusing the efforts of various stakeholders, organizations and institutions from academia, government and industry. The institute will embrace and coordinate multidisciplinary approaches for fundamental, translational, and applied research; implement and evaluate education and training efforts to address the challenges of AMR; and identify effective interventions to reduce or prevent AMR among people, animals, and the environment.

A review committee selected the Iowa State University proposal from among nine submitted by major universities from throughout the nation. As the leader of the new institute, Iowa State will partner with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (a co-funder with Iowa State), as well as the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the University of Iowa, and the Mayo Medical Clinic. The institute will also partner with two major USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) facilities, as well as a collection of agricultural stakeholders representing over one-fourth of the U.S. swine and beef industry.

On March 23, 2017, APLU and AAVMC sponsored a legislative briefing, Antimicrobial Resistance and One Health, for Congressional staffers.

The briefing focused on the educational, public policy, and research needs of antimicrobial/antibiotic resistance and One Health. The panel discussion consisted of the following:

  • Barbara Ekwall, Senior Liaison Officer, Liaison Office for North America, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, served as the moderator
  • Terry W. Lenhenbauer, Associate Professor and Director, Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center, University of California, Davis, covered the educational program of the program (veterinarian) (full presentation here)
  • Hellen Gelband, Associate Director for Policy, Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics, and Policy covered the public policy segment (full presentation here)
  • Amelia R. Woolums, Professor, Department of Pathobiology and Population Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Mississippi State University, covered the research portion of the program (veterinarian) (full presentation here)

Additional Congressional briefings will follow.

Featured Project & Initiative

The Data Literacy Institute – a partnership between APLU and the Association for Institutional Research with funding from Ascendium – brings together cross-departmental teams from 11 Powered by Publics institutions from Cluster 14 to engage in training that enhance their use of data to improve equitable student outcomes. In May 2022, Powered by Publics held […]

Featured Publication

2022 APLU Annual Report