Skip to main content

CMI Officially Announced

CMI 12 10 15Comparative Medicine Institute (CMI) became official on October 28, 2015. It transitioned from the Center for Comparative Medicine and Translational Research (CCMTR). The CCMTR was formed in 2005 and over time it expanded considerably, moving from an essentially CVM-only unit to a campus-wide unit. As a result, the CCMTR was reorganized into the Comparative Medicine Institute (CMI) housed under the office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, Innovation and Economic Development (ORIED). This change now emphasizes the campus-wide research role of the Institute, and reinforces the fact that the CMI has a wider scope and expanded representation across campus and the region. The CMI is comprised of four program areas: Emerging & Infectious Diseases, Functional Tissue Engineering, Translational Genetics & Genomics, and Translational Pharmacology & Physiology.
On December 10, 2015, there was a CMI Announcement Event at the Talley Center, Provost Warwick Arden, Vice Chancellor Alan Rebar, Dean Paul Lunn and Director Jorge Piedrahita addressed the crowd.  Dean Lunn gave a brief history of the CCMTR while Provost Arden and Vice Chancellor Rebar spoke of the present and future vision of the CMI.  Director Piedrahita introduced the four Associate Directors, Sid Thakur, Frances Ligler, Trudy Mackay, and Duncan Lascelles.  He also “inspired the troops” to work together to make the institute the success that it is set up to become.


I am pleased and excited to welcome the Comparative Medicine Institute into the NC State family of Centers and Institutes. The Institute, with its focus on translational research and the development of novel treatments for important diseases, holds great promise for the

future. Opportunities for collaboration abound, not only among NC State faculty, but also with colleagues from other universities and industry. Through these collaborations, the cures of tomorrow can be discovered, refined, and implemented today.


As 2016 start, we look back at 2015 and the significant transition we have gone through. I am grateful to all of you that provided the roadmap for us to follow during last year’s retreat. The excellent input provided, combined with the external review recommendations, have led us to where we are today. I strongly believe that the CMI, with the present structure and outstanding Associate Directors, will have a significant impact on interdisciplinary research here at NC State. Even though we have only been official for a few months, groups are already actively working to develop highly innovative and ambitious initiatives, building strong connections to other units across the region, and aggressively pursuing partnerships with industry. All the components that will make us a great success, and all being proposed and led by you, the faculty. I look forward to the end of 2016, and to seeing all we have been able to accomplish as a group of passionate and dedicated faculty.


Emerging & Infectious Disease led by Sid Thakur, CVM.

The mission of this program is to integrate basic clinical research to investigate infectious diseases in animals and humans. Members are part of multidisciplinary teams that use the concept of “One Health” to study infectious diseases in multiple areas of interest including molecular pathogenesis, mathematical modeling, antibiotic resistance, microbial diversity, pathogen detection, drug discovery and vaccines. An important aim of this program is to foster collaboration and partnerships at the international level through a One Health approach. (cont. pg 3)

Functional Tissue Engineering led by Dr. Frances Ligler, COE.

The mission of this program is to promote innovation and translation of tissue engineered products and regenerative medicine technology. Multidisciplinary teams focused on creation and implementation of novel biomaterials, manufacturing approaches, mechanobiology stem cell technology and large animal models will work together to translate basic findings into clinical/societal applications.

Translational Genetics & Genomics led by Trudy Mackay, COS.

The mission of this program is to serve as a catalysis center for faculty with research interests in aspects of genetics and genomics relevant to comparative animal and human health and disease. The program will foster initiatives to develop multi-disciplinary teams in companion animal personalized medicine, phenotype mapping, evolutionary and comparative genomics, bioinformatics applied to One Medicine, and will assist with translation of basic findings into clinical/societal applications.

Translational Pharmacology & Physiology led by Duncan Lascelles, CVM.

The mission of this program is to develop a dynamic, meshwork of collaborative faculty and projects that facilitates and expedites the translation of pre-clinical research
into approved or proven drugs and therapies with real-world benefits, through maximizing the use of spontaneous animal diseases and veterinary species in this process. Faculty in this program have clinical and non-clinical expertise in gastrointestinal physiology, dermatology, ophthalmology, neurology and oncology.