2013 Conference Overview

2013 Zoobiquity Conference:
A Species-Spanning Approach to Medicine

The Rockefeller University, Caspary Auditorium
and the Bronx Zoo
New York
Saturday, November 2, 2013


Download conference brochure here.
Complete conference program schedule can be accessed here.

Conference Location

Morning Session

The Rockefeller University
Caspary Auditorium [map]
1230 York Avenue
New York, NY 10065
Phone: (212) 327-8000

Afternoon Session (transportation provided for conference registrants)

Bronx Zoo
2300 Southern Blvd
Bronx, NY 10460
(718) 220-5100

Conference Description

Comparative medicine once occupied a primary position in medical thought and education. Today, although the spectrum of clinical illness in humans and non-human animals overlaps tremendously, human and veterinary clinicians often operate in largely separate professional silos. The professions come together episodically around concerns such as emerging infectious diseases, zoonoses, and food safety. However, the connections between human and veterinary health and clinical practice extend far beyond these issues—a reality well known to veterinarians but less recognized by physicians.

One step to facilitate understanding of the global and species-spanning nature of illness and health is to facilitate introductions and engagement between clinicians and researchers on both sides of this “species-divide.”

The 3rd Zoobiquity Conference is sponsored by the Animal Medical Center, New York, the Wildlife Conservation Society and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. The conference is designed to bring together leading clinicians and scientists in both human and veterinary medicine to discuss the same diseases in a wide spectrum of animal species, including people.

The intention of this cross-disciplinary conference is to create conversations and relationships between human and veterinary colleagues confronted with similar clinical challenges. By crossing disciplines in this manner, we can significantly expand the perspective of clinicians, scientists and patients about these shared disorders and broader health concerns.

The morning will begin at The Rockefeller University where veterinarians and physicians will discuss cases in the areas of oncology, psychiatry/behavior, infectious disease and neurodegenerative/neurological diseases.

Following the morning program, conference participants will board buses and travel to the Bronx Zoo to participate in “Walk Rounds” which will be led by the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Zoological Health Program staff. The afternoon session will feature several fascinating veterinary cases with important comparative elements relevant to human clinical care. A cocktail reception at the Bronx Zoo’s Schiff Family Great Hall will conclude the conference and participants will board buses back to The Rockefeller University.

Conference Objectives

The purpose of the Zoobiquity Conference is to facilitate understanding of the global and species-spanning nature of health. Our intent is that this conference provides a structure and program through which relationships can develop bridges across the “species divide” and from which a broader understanding of disease may emerge.

We hope that the development of these relationships around shared clinical challenges will lead to:

  • Broader consideration of the epidemiology of disease (with implications for shared environmental triggers/exposures);
  • Potential for new approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of disease in both animals and humans;
  • New collaborations and novel hypotheses for investigation and
  • Greater appreciation for the shared biology and pathophysiology of humans and animals.

By extension, this points to the shared vulnerability of many species (including humans) to the same basic health threats—a message which speaks directly to the need for a global and species-spanning approach.

Target Audience

This course is targeted to clinicians and scientists in the fields of medicine, veterinary medicine, evolutionary biology, public health, psychology and others.


The Office of Continuing Medical Education, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.  The Office of Continuing Medical Education, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA designates this live activity for a maximum of 7.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits TM. Physicians should claim only credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The Animal Medical Center (AAVSB RACE Provider # 429) is accredited by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB) to sponsor Registry of Approved Continuing Education (RACE) courses for veterinary practitioners. This program has been submitted (but not yet approved) for AAVSB RACE hours pending of continuing education credit in jurisdictions which recognize AAVSB RACE approval; however, participants should be aware that some boards have limitations on the number of hours accepted in certain categories and/or restrictions on certain methods of delivery of continuing education.


The FDA has issued a concept paper which classifies commercial support of scientific and educational programs as promotional unless it can be affirmed that the program is “truly independent” and free of commercial influence. In addition to independence, the FDA requires that nonpromotional, commercially supported education be objective, balanced, and scientifically rigorous. The policy further states that all potential conflicts of interest of the CME staff and faculty be fully disclosed to the program’s participants. In addition, Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education policy now mandates that the provider adequately manages all identified potential conflicts of interest prior to the program. We at UCLA fully endorse the letter and spirit of these concepts.