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The Health Frontier

Leading the One Health Initiative to Achieve Whole Health >>>

Changing the paradigm from a focus on disease and symptoms to one of whole health, integrating intersections of animal, environment, and human health and building in communities and systems to empower multifaceted well-being. 

A person-centered approach to health research

The Whole Health Consortium at Virginia Tech will combine the expertise of faculty, students, and community partners to explore a more well-rounded approach to person-centered well-being than traditional health research.

People in the grass with a dog.

A National Priority

Created more than 20 years ago to facilitate the study and evaluation of complementary and alternative health practices, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (has worked to advance the position that evidence-based complementary therapies should be “integrated” with and not used as an “alternative” to conventional medicine. The center’s strategic plan for fiscal years 2021–25 expands the definition of integrative health to include whole person health -- empowering individuals, families, communities, and populations to improve their health in multiple interconnected domains: biological, behavioral, social, and environmental. The plan has been informed and shaped by an effort to better define and map a path to whole person health by expanding and building on current activities while advancing new research strategies and ideas.

National Priority graphic.

Bringing the One Health vision to Botswana

For nearly 30 years, Kathleen Alexander has helped to make towns and villages in northern Botswana a place of convergence, where ecological research in one of the most dynamic natural environments on the planet meets the human dimensions of a rapidly changing world.

Kathleen Alexander (at center) has made a career researching wildlife and conservation in Botswana. Here, she and colleague Lena Patiño (both at center) assess the health of two banded mongoose with Virginia Tech students. Photo courtesy of Cole Grazia.

Linking stress and mental health disorders

By studying zebrafish, Albert Pan and his team found a molecule that is critical in developing the stress response, a finding that sheds new light on the potential cause of mental health conditions such as stress, anxiety, and related disorders.

Albert Pan, an associate professor with the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC, found a connection between a molecule called DSCAML1 and development of the brain’s stress response by studying zebrafish. His findings, published in Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology, could lead to a better understanding of stress, anxiety and related conditions in humans. Photo by Clayton Metz for Virginia Tech.

Health Research Areas

  • Aerosol Science
  • Air Quality
  • Addiction Recovery
  • Antibiotic Resistance
  • Applied Microbiology and the Microbiome
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomechanics
  • Biomedical Imaging
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular Engineering
  • Cardiovascular Science
  • Children's Health
  • Climate Dynamics
  • Coastal Engineering
  • Disaster Resilience
  • Ecological Restoration
  • Environmental Modeling and Simulation
  • Environmental Data Analysis and Visualization
  • Food Safety
  • Freshwater Salinization
  • Health Behaviors
  • Invasive Species
  • Hazardous Waste Assessment and Treatment
  • Human Neuroscience
  • Infectious Disease
  • Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology
  • Pollution in Freshwater Systems
  • Psychology and Mental Health
  • Tissue Engineering
  • Water Health
  • Water Infrastructure
  • Water Treatment
  • Water Reuse and Recycle
  • Watersheds, Lake, and Reservoir Management
  • Water Supply
  • Vegetated coastal hydrodynamics
  • Viruses


Health Research Experts

From airborne transmitted diseases to greenhouse gas emissions, Virginia Tech faculty, students, and partners work together at the intersection of health science and technology disciplines.

Warren K. Bickel portrait.

Warren K. Bickel

Linsey Marr portrait.

Linsey Marr

XJ Meng portrait.

X.J. Meng

Karen Roberto portrait.

Karen Roberto

Virginia Tech Health Research Sponsors

Health Research Teams

Talented faculty and students are developing cutting edge research that is leading Virginia Tech’s rise as a global destination for health sciences and technology. Virginia Tech’s health sciences footprint is growing, connecting research to Virginia Tech campuses in the Washington D.C. metro area and  in Roanoke and Blacksburg, Virginia .

Health News

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