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Dec. 6, 2012 Volume 34, No. 15

MU veterinary college research helps advance human health


Joint-replacement patients tell their stories

About 60 people gathered Nov. 28 in the Reynolds Alumni Center to hear two MU professors discuss research in total joint replacement. Sponsoring the event was Mizzou Advantage’s One Health/One Medicine, an initiative that strives to bring together research in human and animal health. 

The event showcased how veterinary medicine research advances human health care. MU is one of only three Southeastern Conference universities to have both a medical school and veterinary college. 

“We are looking from one species to another and seeing if advances in one [area of medicine] can lead to [advances in] another,” said Carolyn Henry, facilitator of One Health/One Medicine.  

James Cook, professor of small animal and orthopedic surgery, talked about his research using cadaver cartilage, rather than metals or plastics, to replace cartilage in dog joints. 

“Life is movement, and movement is life, whether you’re a two-legger or four-legger,” Cook said at the event.  

James P. Stannard, chair of the Department of Orthopaedics, talked about how Cook’s work has contributed to joint treatment for humans. 

Two patients of the Missouri Orthopaedic Institute spoke of their joint replacements.

Loren Figueroa, a sociology sophomore and member of the MU dive team, received treatment one year ago after injuring her knee during a dive. Months after cartilage surgery, she was diving again and hopes to be part of the 2016 Olympic trials. 

Tory Flaherty, an MU School of Health Professions graduate, injured her knee while running. Two years after surgery at the institute, Flaherty was running more than 3 miles a day. 

“That this [research and surgery] is in our own backyard is so amazing,” Flaherty said at the event.

— Ashley Carman