The mission of this program is to develop a dynamic, network of collaborative faculty and projects that facilitates and expedites the translation of pre-clinical research into approved or proven drugs, therapies and diagnostics with real-world benefits. Our members rely heavily on the use of established animal models, including spontaneous animal diseases models, or use molecular genetics to create new animal models. Faculty in this program have formed the following areas of excellence and focus within the TPP: gastrointestinal physiology, pain physiology and management, nutritional physiology, cancer and host response, translational pharmacodynamics.
Associate Directors, Translational Pharmacology & Physiology
As joint Associate Directors for the CMI, Dr. Liara Gonzalez and Dr. Scott Laster bring an excellent balance of basic and clinical research experience to the TPP. Dr. Gonzalez is a veterinarian, specialty trained in large animal surgery, with a clinical and research focus on intestinal disease. Dr. Gonzalez’ research has aimed to develop and utilize large animal models to translate lab bench findings into clinically relevant therapeutic interventions that benefit both human and veterinary patients. Dr. Laster is a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology and his work focused on defining new treatments for the damaging inflammatory response that often accompanies infection. The Laster lab is also investigating the mechanisms underlying food allergy, specifically the effects of certain food allergens on cytokine production by dendritic cells. Combined, Dr. Gonzalez’ and Dr. Laster’s role is to look for opportunities and initiatives that will assist basic and clinical researchers to collaborate in the transition of basic discovery to ‘cage side’ or ‘bed side’ clinical/drug therapies.
The Center for Food Allergy Modeling in Pigs (CFAMP) studies food allergy in the important large animal model pig. Food allergy is increasing in the human population with millions suffering worldwide from allergies to peanuts, eggs, soy, wheat, shellfish, and meat to name just a few. Although the mouse model has been critical to the understanding of the molecular and cellular basis for food allergy, anatomical and physiological differences between mice and humans have left many important questions unanswered. Therefore, because of the anatomical, physiological, and immunological similarities between pigs and humans CFAMP was created. The center supports research and education in the food allergic response of pigs; and it uses the pig model to address key issues associated with human food allergy.