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Oklahoma State University
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Office of the Vice President for Research

OSU’s Interdisciplinary Research Strengths

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The focus of the OneHealth interdisciplinary research strength at Oklahoma State University is recognizing and fostering the the university’s expertise, resources and history as a research leader in fields impacting human health, animal health, and environmental health. The OneHealth research concept encourages a holistic approach to health-related inquiry by recognizing that many disciplines do not exclusively benefit animal, human, or environmental health. Below are brief highlights of OneHealth research expertise and resources at OSU.


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College of Human Sciences

A majority of the research taking place in the College of Human Sciences involves health. Faculty in the college are investigating the importance of nutrition to health including the benefits of bioactive compounds found in foods and the impact of diet on disease prevention. Faculty are also exploring issues impacting aging, family health, and child development. Human Sciences is nationally recognized for faculty work involving health issues surrounding the built environment.

The College of Human Sciences is home to nutritional research facilities that analyze bioactive compounds at the cell and tissue level, assess the diet’s effect on metabolic phenotyping, and clinical studies focusing on nutrition and disease, among others. A variety of labs work with children, adolescents and older adults to examine physical and mental health.


Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

The broad expertise among faculty in Oklahoma’s chief agriculture and natural resources university encompasses research covering the expected, like animal science and crop production, to the unexpected, including the development of self-sterilizing surfaces. DASNR research crosses academic disciplines and blurs lines between human and animal health. Food production and safety, agriculture sustainability, plant and animal disease management, and community health are all areas of research at DASNR that impact the health of animals, humans, and the environment.

DASNR laboratories include those for the study of insect-borne diseases, genetics and cellular function, dietary supplements and nutrition, improvements in food crops, forages and other plants, livestock management and improvement, food safety and biosecurity, and food processing. DASNR research facilities can be found throughout the state at Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Stations.


College of Arts and Sciences

With a wide spectrum of disciplines, faculty in Arts & Sciences lead research in an extensive range of health-related areas. Chemistry faculty are developing novel bioactive compounds, biosensors, and clinical agents to be used in medicine and agriculture. Psychologists are studying cognitive aging and memory as well as pediatric psychology. The health impacts of natural disasters, and populations impacted by health disparities are being studied by sociologists. In the fields of biology, and microbiology and molecular genetics, scientists are looking at pathogens and disease as well as health outcomes related to environmental stress and nutrition.

College of Arts & Sciences laboratories contain sophisticated, state-of-the-art scientific instrumentation and facilities essential for work in organic and biochemistry, microbiology, genomic data analysis, immunology, as well as facilities for behavioral assessment.


College of Education

Scientists in the College of Education focus primarily on how physical health, sports, and recreation affect wellbeing as well as cognitive development and learning. Faculty in the college study the influence of health education programs on groups facing health disparities, and the impacts of social support on health behavior.

The college features a wide range of laboratories for investigating health and human performance including facilities for the study of exercise physiology, physical therapy, research looking at the health and wellness of populations like LGBT groups, as well as psychology counseling centers. Education also contains the Wellness, Health & Equity Research Lab for Social Justice, including multiple research projects focusing on health disparities.


Center for Veterinary Health Sciences

For much of its history, the OSU veterinary college has recognized the interdependence of animal and human health and how both are affected by environmental health. Toxicologists are investigating how pollutants and other chemicals impact the development of plants, animals and humans. For years, center scientists have researched the development of ways to protect people and animals from parasites. New therapies are being developed to treat pulmonary diseases while nanotherapies promise to deliver targeted drugs to the body to treat disease. Scientists across disciplines are working to better understand viruses while tissue engineering will improve treatment of respiratory disease. These are just a few areas of research underway at CVHS.

The multi-institutional and multidisciplinary laboratories at the Center for Veterinary Health Sciences include those specializing in respiratory diseases and therapy, such as the Oklahoma Center for Respiratory and Infectious Diseases. Other labs lead investigations of neurotoxicology, stem cell therapy, regenerative medicine, gene silencing and editing, diagnosis and treatment of metabolic disease and state-of-the-art physiology research including equine and canine sports medicine.


Center for Health Sciences

CHS faculty in Tulsa conduct research into a variety of areas with impacts on health, including researchers with the OSU College of Osteopathic Medicine and in related fields like rural health care delivery. CHS faculty include paleontologists examining the development of mammals and those researching the application of forensic psychology. Other researchers are examining muscle performance and function, improved ways to manage pain, and the link between hepatitis C and liver cancer, to name just a few.

Center for Health Sciences research laboratories include a facility equipped with an electron microscopy laboratory as well as the Center for Aerospace and Hyperbaric Medicine specializing in aviation physiology and aerospace medical research. Other research facilities can be found in the School of Biomedical Sciences and the Anatomy and Vertebrate Paleontology program.