“One Health” is a concept based on advancing human and animal health in parallel with reciprocal and mutual benefit, requiring medics, vets and basic scientists to work together. Having established a grounding in molecular biology in my PhD and early Fellowship time, I am now based at Cambridge Veterinary School to collect clinical research data. I am interested in how fundamental aspects of ageing biology predispose to chronic disease states. Our companion animal dogs and cats suffer a similar range of naturally occurring diseases of older age, for example arthritis, cancer, and chronic diseases of the liver, pancreas and kidney. These diseases often cluster together in individuals, complicating clinical management and patient welfare; mirroring the situation in human medicine. Our beloved dogs and cats share our home environment, exercise habits and often diet, in addition to having similar physiology and ageing biology to humans. Understanding how ageing biology impacts on natural disease in our veterinary patients will not only advance our clinical care and options for therapeutic intervention, but will also provide a unique insight for human ageing research.
Dr Laura Hardwick
I graduated from Clare College, Cambridge, in 2009 as a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine, with an intercalated degree in Pharmacology. I then spent the next three years in clinical work as a veterinary surgeon in small animal practices in Cambridgeshire and Leicestershire. My lifelong ambition has been to apply scientific research to promote advances in veterinary and human medicine, so in 2012 I returned to Cambridge to complete a PhD project in developmental neurobiology. I joined Peterhouse in 2016 for my Research Fellowship, and I am using this wonderful opportunity to start to integrate my molecular biology research with my veterinary background.