Research Focus Areas

The Faculty's vision is to have strong internationally recognized research groups in wildlife, infectious diseases, One Health, epidemiology and veterinary public health in support of UP’s 2025 Vision and current research clusters. At the same time, it must have the potential to generate high-impact publications, attract more postgraduate students nationally and internationally, and escalate the research status of the Faculty. 

Fundamental to these visionary requirements, the Faculty has also changed its focus through the introduction of four new research themes.

The following research niche areas and themes serve as the driving force behind all research and postgraduate programmes and were chosen to establish, achieve and project an African uniqueness and to complement external expertise and technology:

Translational Medicine

This theme will focus on the treatment of human and animal disease. For the former, this will involve the use of natural disease in animals as a model for human disease or the use of animal models of disease to study new treatment(s). For the veterinary application, it will either entail the treatment of disease in the target animals in order to optimize veterinary treatment protocols or use animal models of veterinary disease to develop new treatment modalities for the veterinary patient

African Wildlife Health and Management

This theme focuses on the unique animals of Africa and their management. Research within this theme will be cross-cutting from the basic sciences, diagnostics medicine to clinical medicine/surgery. In this theme, research will focus on the physiology, farming, management, disease management, food safety and disease transmission

Pathobiology of Disease

The following research theme will be dedicated to the study of diseases in animals including disease epidemiology. Areas of study will include changes in the normal physiology of animals brought about by disease and disease processes. An integral component of this theme will include disease diagnostics from clinical changes observed in the patient, diagnostic imaging, clinical pathological changes, pathological changes, molecular study of disease processes, including descriptions of new pathological agents and/or toxins and the epidemiology of animal disease

Sustainable Livelihoods and Wellbeing

The theme will look at the implications of animal diseases on human health and wellbeing with emphasis on the country’s wildlife interface areas. It will focus on diseases that are uniquely African and thus not under investigation in other countries. The theme also largely revolves around the One Health concept. Research in this theme will include aspects such as bacterial resistance transmission, environmental toxicity, zoonotic diseases and sustainable food production, all in an attempt to improve the livelihood of people in Africa

All research protocols are submitted for approval by the Animal Use and Care Committee and the Research Committee in order to ensure ethical and scientific standards.

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