Target Area Rationale:

Good health is essential to individuals’ well-being and to achieving widely shared prosperity that is holistic and environmentally sustainable. Yet, almost six in ten adults in the U.S. live with a chronic health condition and, in many countries, populations are aging fast as birth rates fall and life expectancy rates rise. Soon, older adults will outnumber children worldwide for the first time in human history. Rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, neurogenerative diseases and dementia, and more are projected to skyrocket, overwhelming health care systems. Transdisciplinary approaches that integrate health determinants (i.e., biological, social, lifestyle, environmental, economic), biotechnologies, and research on effective personal and public health interventions are key to finding solutions to these global health challenges.

Developing integrated health and biotechnology-based solutions to prevent disease and optimize health across individuals’ lifespans is a challenge that OSU is uniquely positioned to tackle. First, necessary and promising contributions bridge existing and potential research and teaching expertise in OSU’s colleges, schools, and departments. Second, finding and testing solutions will depend on maximizing and building new external partnerships and engaging diverse communities skillfully, an OSU strength. Third, there are valuable linkages to the other three focus areas identified in Prosperity Widely Shared (robotics, climate science and related solutions, and clean energy and related solutions). OSU is fully capable of being a global leader in blending biomedicine, social and behavioral science, organizational behavior, environmental science, biotechnology, nanomedicine, robotics, and data science into cohesive interventions tailored to optimizing health and well-being for all and driving high impact solutions.

Integrated Health and Biotechnology Task Force Members:
  • Emily Ho, University Distinguished Professor of Nutrition and Director, Linus Pauling Institute – Co-Chair (COH)
  • Ben Dalziel, Associate Professor, Department of Integrative Biology (COS)
  • Karen Hooker, Professor Emeritus, School of Social and Behavioral Health Sciences (COH)
  • Matt Johnston, Associate Professor, School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science - Co-Chair (COE)
  • Sean Newsom, Associate Professor, School of Biological and Population Health Sciences (COH)
  • Stephen Ramsey, Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences (Vet Med) and School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (COE)
  • Susan Tilton, Associate Professor, Environmental and Molecular Toxicology (CAS)