Utrecht University: UTOMIC: improving the health of humans and animals

Disorders such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, neurological disorders and musculoskeletal diseases claim the lives of more than 41 million people worldwide each year. Research into more effective diagnostics and treatment options for these so-called non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is therefore more important than ever. Unfortunately, that research currently still relies heavily on animal testing.

NCDs are also the most common causes of death in companion animals such as dogs and cats. We now know that there are many similarities between humans and animals when it comes to the causes, prevention and treatment of these conditions.

Accelerating One Medicine research
Through joint research, veterinary and human medicine can help each other while simultaneously reducing the use of laboratory animals. By closely observing animal patients during their treatment, researchers and clinicians can gain important insights that lead to better diagnostics and treatments in both animals and humans. This concept is known as One Medicine.

To take One Medicine research to the next level, Utrecht University’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine is establishing UTOMIC: the Utrecht Translational One Medicine Innovation Centre. This open academic workplace will enable researchers and clinicians in veterinary and human medicine to work together even better and use state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment facilities. In this way, they can jointly contribute to better health for humans and animals, and at the same time reduce the use of laboratory animals in biomedical research.

UTOMIC partners
Within UTOMIC, the faculty of Veterinary Medicine intends to further link its One Medicine research with healthcare for humans and animals in the coming years. The establishment of the center with advanced diagnostic equipment is made possible by financial and in kind contributions from academic partners, partners from the private sector and equity funds, such as LUMC Leiden, Radboudumc, UMC Utrecht, UMC Groningen, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Elekta, Philips Benelux, Siemens Healthineers Nederland, Curify, Stichting Abri voor Dieren, Stichting DierenLot, Stichting D.O.G., Stichting Dr. C.J. Vaillant Fonds, Stichting Het Waardige Dier, Triodos Foundation and Utrecht University Fund.

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