The mission of this program is to develop a dynamic, meshwork of collaborative faculty and projects that facilitates and expedites the translation of pre-clinical research into approved or proven drugs and therapies with real-world benefits, through maximizing the use of spontaneous animal diseases and veterinary species in this process. The faculty in this program have clinical and non-clinical expertise in multiple areas including gastrointestinal physiology, dermatology, comparative behavior, ophthalmology, neurology, and oncology.
As joint Associate Directors for the CMI, Dr. Anthony Blikslager and Dr. Scott Laster bring an excellent balance of basic and clinical research experience to the TPP. Dr. Blikslager has significant experience and understanding of clinical research, and the practical translation of basic research to the clinical setting. His focus is on the mechanisms by which the gut repairs and regenerates following injury, including ischemia/ reperfusion injury, ulceration, and inflammatory insult. 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. Bliskalger’s 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.