Craig Miller, DVM, Ph.D., DACVP, is an assistant professor in the Department of Veterinary Pathobiology at Oklahoma State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, He also sits on the internal advisory committee for the Institute of Translational and Emerging Research in Advanced Comparative Therapy or INTERACT.
“INTERACT impacts my work in several ways,” Miller said. “My lab focuses on animal model development, diagnostic assays and improving and studying pathogenesis of viruses and protozoal pathogens that affect animals and humans alike. The concept of INTERACT is very important to my lab because it provides a collaborative environment for us to seek out advice or relationships that can further our research in ways that we cannot.
“Because my lab studies immunopathogensis of infectious diseases, resources within the college hospital really help us, especially in relation to those faculty members who specialize in clinical medicine. Just understanding that concept or the clinical side of things really adds a whole other dimension to our research, which allows us to expand our understanding to more applications in treating and diagnosing diseases.
“Lately we have been focused on the development of a feline model for SARS-CoV-2 infection and studying COVID-19 disease progression. Not only in a translational capacity, which we can learn more about the virus and the ways that it infects cells and causes disease in cats, but then translate that to humans to better understand or come up with different therapies that might treat some of the more difficult syndromes that we’re seeing in COVID-19 such as the long hauler syndrome.
“Our lab also focuses on trying to understand the pathogenesis behind Cytauxzoon felis or bobcat fever. This includes understanding how the parasite replicates in its natural host and in domestic cats and using that knowledge to then develop new therapies to not only prevent it, but treat it when cats are infected.
“We’re really focused on learning how diseases not only affect animals but how they can be applied to human medicine. Whether that’s from a basic understanding of pathogenesis or from an understanding of how certain treatments or vaccination methodologies could then be translated to human clinical medicine. INTERACT has a very broad comparative aspect.
“I want to develop and foster collaborative relationships that can essentially take what we’re doing in my lab to the next level. Take that basic pathogenesis research, that basic understanding of how infectious diseases work and take them and apply them clinically. That means new treatment modalities, new vaccination strategies. Being able to collaborate with individuals to have a deep knowledge of how to treat, how to apply these therapies in a clinical environment is my short-term goal for INTERACT.
“The most important thing about INTERACT is that this is an association between scientists not only in academic but in industry in all facets of research. Why it’s really so important is that it is bringing together these individuals who have unique knowledge in very specific fields and then it combines that knowledge to produce new advancements in science and technology.”
The Institute for Translational and Emerging Research in Advanced Comparative Therapy (INTERACT) aims to fulfill One Health research by conducting parallel investigations in both humans and animals. INTERACT promotes interdisciplinary research within the veterinary college, across the OSU campus and throughout the state and nation by developing and translating discoveries into therapies for patients. INTERACT has faculty participants from almost all OSU colleges, industry experts, foundation partners, and personnel from other academic institutions around the country. For more information, visit INTERACT or contact email@example.com.