On Wednesday, the Colorado School of Public Health at Colorado State University proudly co-sponsored the 6th Annual Public Health Symposium. This year’s topic was Antimicrobial Resistance, a problem that affects human health, animal health, and environment. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the most important global challenges facing society today. The emergence and transmission of AMR is a challenging problem, part of a complex system involving people, animals (farm and wild), and the environment.  This symposium explored the public health aspects of AMR from a broad perspective related to human health care, food safety, water, and agriculture.  The interdisciplinary nature of the topic brought together students and experts from many different departments at CSU, as well as from other academic institutions and industry sectors. Over 100 people attended the symposium in all.

The highlight of the event was the keynote address given by Dr. Christopher Heaney, Director of the Johns Hopkins Environmental Health Microbiology and Immunology Laboratory (EHMIL). Dr. Heaney spoke passionately about his research looking at anti-microbial resistance associated with industrial swine operations, both in the United States and internationally. He also noted the importance for improved communication and collaboration across disciplines around the issue of anti-microbial resistance. The Symposium also included a keynote response panel, and research presentations from both CSU faculty and CSU students.

In addition to the symposium, thirty people attended a special workshop on microbial sequencing. This crash course on microbiological techniques was taught by leaders in the field, and allowed participants to get hands-on experience in all phases of Next Generation Sequencing for microbial community analysis.

The symposium was co-sponsored by the Colorado School of Public Health at Colorado State University, the School for Global Environmental Sustainability at Colorado State University, and the High Plains Intermountain Center for Agricultural Health and Safety.