Making the world safe and secure from emerging infectious and neglected tropical diseases by applying One Health – the synergy of animal, human, and environmental sciences – to global health and security.
Originally published in October 2017 Dean's Corner. View original article here.
Students at the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM) learn early in their training about diverse career paths. Recently, Dr. Michelle M. Colby, a veterinarian and scientist who has walked a unique path, visited campus and made time to present, speak, and network with veterinary, undergraduate, and postgraduate students, as well as staff and faculty.
In her talk, Colby emphasized the importance of addressing societal needs through interdisciplinary and cross agency teams, consensus building, and the importance of continuing to develop new international programs in the U.S.
She also shared information about several externship and fellowship opportunities in the field of foreign animal disease modeling and countermeasures.
The students were very interested to learn from Colby how they could become involved, according to Rosina “Tammi” Krecek, research professor of Global One Health.
Colby currently serves as the branch chief for agricultural defense in the Chemical and Biological Defense (CBD) Division of the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency at the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate in Washington, D.C.
She is responsible for managing all of CBD’s research and development efforts related to agricultural defense, including programs in foreign animal disease modeling and advanced development of veterinary countermeasures.
Before joining DHS in 2009, Colby served as the assistant director for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear countermeasures in the Homeland and National Security Division of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), for which she managed all of the OSTP’s work, coordinating research and development on countermeasures to chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats.
Her career began at OSTP as a fellow under the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) /Nuclear Threat Initiative Global Security Fellow in October of 2003.
Prior to joining the OSTP, Colby was a post-doctoral research fellow at the Maryland campus of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine (VMRCVM), where her research focused on the use of geographic information system databases in the management of infectious diseases of livestock and poultry.
Colby received her Bachelor of Science degree in animal science from the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore, her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the VMRCVM, and her Master of Science degree in epidemiology from the University of Maryland, along with a certificate of residency for completion of the three-year applied veterinary epidemiology training program.
The Texas A&M Global One Health Initiative is dedicated to the discovery, development, communication, and application of knowledge in a wide range of academic and professional fields, providing the highest quality undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs to prepare students to assume roles in leadership, responsibility, and service to society.