Why Zoobiquity is Important
Zoobiquity uses comparative medicine as a contemporary translational science, bringing knowledge from veterinary and evolutionary medicine to the human bedside. It expands the field of comparative medicine in several key ways.
Zoobiquity considers a species-spanning approach to clinical problems in cardiology, gastroenterology, pediatrics, oncology, and many other sub-specialties including, significantly, psychiatry. While leaders in veterinary medicine and global health (including One Health and One Medicine) have long pointed out key connections between animals and humans, infectious disease concerns including zoonoses and emerging infections have been the primary, and sometimes sole, areas of focus. Zoobiquity broadens this emphasis to include many other areas of human and animal medicine and looks for linkages with clinical implications for patients both human and animal.
By broadening the field in this way, zoobiquity makes comparative medicine relevant to the daily work of rank-and-file physicians, nurses, psychotherapists, and other healthcare professionals, including, of course, veterinarians and vet techs.
A “zoobiquitous” approach also includes patients in the process. By making the science accessible and the ideas applicable to people’s lives and health challenges, zoobiquity opens comparative medicine to new populations and generations that can move the field forward.
A firm basis in evolutionary and comparative biology also distinguishes zoobiquity. Indeed, Randolph Nesse, MD, the author, with George Williams, of the pioneering book on evolutionary medicine, Why We Get Sick wrote, “Zoobiquity is a groundbreaking book that shows how comparative medicine can improve human health. Meticulously researched and engagingly written, it expands the scope and power of evolutionary medicine and transforms our understanding of the very nature of disease and health.”
Zoobiquity has attracted interest and attention from leaders at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), Institute of Medicine (IOM), National Academies of Science (NAS), American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), One Health Commission, One Health Inititvue, and Smithsonian Institution and deans of vet and med schools around the world.
Peter Rabinowitz of the Yale School of Medicine, and the Director of Yale Human-Animal Medical Project wrote that Zoobiquity is “a ground-breaking book and essential reading for anyone interested in the connections between human and animal medicine. [It] throws a gauntlet out to the biomedical scientific and clinical community, urging it not to delay further, but instead to set up an effective research and development infrastructure to pilot and test new hypotheses and clinical approaches using this enhanced comparative model. It will be fascinating to see who comes forward to accept this challenge.”