The mission of the AVMA includes the improvement of animal and human health. To fulfill this, the AVMA is committed to advancing the science and art of veterinary medicine, including its relationship to public health, biologic science, and agriculture. Moving towards the future, the AVMA has identified the following research-related issues as high priority:
Translated medical discoveries improve the practice of veterinary medicine, enhance the value of veterinary care to patients and clients, and are fundamental to the continued advancement of the veterinary profession. Funding for translational research that improves animal health is extremely limited and expansion of funding sources is a major goal of the AVMA.
It has been estimated that over 75% of pathogens in humans have their origin in animals. Emerging infectious agents must be characterized and their interactions with the host and the environment defined. The mechanisms by which these agents alter their disease-causing capacity must be determined. In addition, research is needed to better define the mechanisms by which microbes change, mutate, or adapt to host species, or become resistant to existing antibiotics. Research efforts should also be directed towards new diagnostic tests to identify infected animals, and new vaccines to protect both animals and humans against clinical disease and prevent transmission of the disease to humans. The rapid identification and eventual control of new and reemerging diseases requires surveillance and monitoring of disease patterns in people and animals. Furthermore, future research should emphasize development of new antimicrobial agents, as well as the development of alternative strategies for treating and prevention of infectious diseases.
The recruitment of biomedical scientists continues to be one of the most challenging issues facing the research community. Recruitment and training of additional veterinary medical scientists are critical to meet present and predicted needs. By virtue of their training, veterinarians are uniquely qualified to engage in in vivo studies. By increasing funding and opportunities for training in biomedical research, the veterinary profession will be better equipped to form partnerships with other health professions to solve environmental, food safety, trade, and re-emerging/new emerging disease issues that may arise and affect our society.