Collaborations lead to better lives in Cameroon

Study in Foot and Mouth disease

Dr. Rebecca Garabed, assistant professor in the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, welcomes Cameroon collaborator Saidou Kari, founder of CARPA. He will discuss, "Founding a non-governmental research and development organization in Cameroon - the story of CARPA," on Wednesday, April 7 at noon in Lazenby Hall, 1827 Neil Avenue Mall, room 34. CARPA contributes to the sustainable management of natural resources in Cameroon, helps to preserve the culture and improve the lives of local pastoralists - people who depend on raising livestock for their livelihood - and facilitates projects with African, European and American researchers. Part of the Ohio State collaboration was funded through the Public Health Preparedness for Infectious Diseases program and the Initiative in Population Research.

Dr. Garabed also collaborates on this project with Song Liang, assistant professor in the College of Public Health, Ningchuan Xiao in the Department of Geography, and Mark Moritz, assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. Professor Moritz conducted research in Cameroon as an undergraduate. Now, he involves undergraduates in his research, by allowing them the opportunity to travel too. This project was featured by The Ohio State University website: http://www.osu.edu/features/2009/cameroon/.

Dr. Garabed's goal with her portion of the project is to understand the epidemiology of infectious diseases in the ecological context of networks of host movements. Specifically, the goal is to understand transmission and maintenance of Foot and Mouth Disease Viruses (FMDV) in networks of livestock movements in the Far North Region of Cameroon. Because FMD is endemic and vaccinations are not used, the region provides an unprecedented opportunity to examine how different networks of livestock movements affect disease epidemiology. In addition, fundamental questions about the nature of the FMD virus (FMDV) can be examined in this natural laboratory.

Several undergraduate and veterinary students will be traveling to Cameroon during the summer to extend their research studies.

Dr. Rebecca Garabed joined the Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine on October 14. She is a member of the Public Health Preparedness for Infectiousness Diseases program, which focuses on emerging infectious disease threats and how we can respond. Her research focuses on applications of Bayesian statistics and mathematical modeling in the field of transboundary animal diseases. Dr. Garabed has a special interest in foot and mouth disease. She teaches veterinary students how to apply epidemiology in clinical practice in "Principles of Epidemiology."

Dr. Garabed is also the director of the Disease Ecology and Computer Modeling Laboratory (DECML) at Ohio State, which strives to improve understanding of the ecology of infectious diseases through computer simulation and advanced statistical modeling.

Two undergraduate students, one majoring in computer science and one majoring in animal science, are working with her to develop a computer model that simulates cow behavior. The laboratory serves to promote the use of computer modeling and statistics in veterinary medicine through individual training of undergraduate, graduate, and professional students and the publication of research findings for a broad audience.

Originally from Pennsylvania, Dr. Garabed received her bachelor's degree from Penn State University and her veterinary medicine degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She received her Master's and PhD degrees from the University of California, Davis.

Posted: 4/2/10

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About the College of Veterinary Medicine at Ohio State

Founded in 1885, The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine is ranked fifth in the nation and includes more than 1,000 faculty, staff and students in the Departments of Veterinary Biosciences, Veterinary Clinical Sciences, and Veterinary Preventive Medicine. The Veterinary Medical Center is one of the largest specialty referral centers in the world, with more than 35,000 farm, equine, and companion animal patients each year. A nationally-recognized ambulatory practice and teaching unit in Marysville, Ohio provides farm animal experience to every veterinary student, and the Food Animal Health Research Program in Wooster, OH focuses on detection, control, and prevention of disease. Located on the only campus in the country with a comprehensive medical center offering seven health sciences colleges, we admit up to 162 veterinary students per class, and offer a new comprehensive graduate program in Veterinary and Comparative Medicine as well as a unique Master’s degree in Veterinary Public Health, in partnership with the College of Public Health. http://vet.osu.edu.