The Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) recently announced its 2017 winners of CUGH's Leadership Awards. Dr. Jonna Mazet (DVM, MPVM, PhD), professor of Epidemiology and Disease Ecology and Executive Director--One Health Institute, UC Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine was awarded the CUGH Tom Hall/Nelson Sewankambo Mid-Career Award. This is the first year of this award. Mazet shares this inaugural honor with Dr. Ami Bhatt, MD, PhD, assistant professor of Medicine and Genetics at Stanford University.
Mazet is being recognized for her innovative work in One Health to address some of the immense challenges our world faces and in particular making the links between environmental degradation, animal health and human health. The award will be presented at the CUGH annual conference in Washington DC, April 7-9, 2017.
The CUGH Hall-Sewankambo Mid-Career Leadership Award recognizes individuals between the ages of 30-50 who have demonstrated a proven commitment and consistent record of outstanding achievement in one or more of the areas of global health education, research, advocacy and/service. Candidates must have worked to reduce health disparities particularly within low-income communities, have established collaborations with colleagues in resource poor settings and have demonstrated strong leadership abilities.
Under Mazet’s leadership, the One Health Institute advances global health at the animal-human-environment interface through research, education, diagnostic surveillance, community outreach and service. In addition, she leads community engaged research projects focused on health and environmental challenges faced by pastoral communities in sub-Saharan Africa, pathogen pollution of coastal waters and emergency preparedness and response, serving on multiple government and NGO advisory panels. Mazet was elected to the National Academy of Medicine in 2013 in recognition of her successful and innovative approach to emerging environmental and global health threats.
Mazet is active in One Health research programs globally, most notably in relation to disease transmission among wildlife, domestic animals, and people and the ecological drivers of disease emergence. She is the global director of a $175 million viral emergence early warning project, PREDICT, developed with the US Agency for International Development’s Emerging Pandemic Threats Program. Working in 31 developing countries, PREDICT establishes a global surveillance system for zoonotic diseases emerging from wildlife using geospatial modeling, genomics, molecular virology and targeted field studies.
Mazet’s strong record of scholarship, leadership in research and education, and success building networks for disease surveillance, emergency response, training, community engagement and development of science-based health policy demonstrates her amazing commitment to global health. The Health for Animals and Livelihood Improvement (HALI) Project she founded in 2006 with Sokoine University of Agriculture in Tanzania is one example of her efforts to address health disparities. A collaborative partnership, HALI focuses on identification and mitigation of zoonotic disease transmission amongst pastoralists recognizing their essential cultural characteristics, the centrality of life-sustaining natural resources, and impact of education in effecting change.
She is a committed educator who has mentored 51 graduate and 19 postdoctoral trainees and tirelessly supported the cross-fertilization of human and veterinary medical teams by development of international short-courses that train health professionals in inter-disciplinary best practices for improved global health.