July 25, 2024

Effort bolsters research, education and engagement throughout multiple colleges, as well as industry and government partnership opportunities across West Lafayette, Indianapolis and Lebanon

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Advancing a strategy several years in the making, Purdue University trustees on Friday (June 7) endorsed the launch of the One Health initiative. One Health adds to and synergizes with the university’s initiatives in Indianapolis, the Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business and Purdue Computes.

The strategic move unifies the strengths of Purdue’s comprehensive, health-focused academic units and research programs while leveraging new investments in health-related institutes, partnerships and disciplines. One Health will also bolster the deep connections and research opportunities that will be offered through Purdue University in Indianapolis, set to launch July 1 as the university’s urban campus.

“Our vital One Health initiative will accelerate, amplify and elevate life and health sciences at Purdue, positioning this great university for excellence at scale in these consequential areas and supporting many students and faculty across many departments in at least six colleges,” Purdue President Mung Chiang said. “One Health represents both a foundational contribution to society and a unique strength at this land-grant insitution.”


Four pillars form the foundation of the One Health initiative: 

  • Health Academic Affairs: This will become the key academic unit for aligning health and life science undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in a way to find synergies, including strategic program growth at West Lafayette and Indianapolis.
  • One Health Innovation District in Indianapolis: Modeled after Discovery Park District at Purdue in West Lafayette, and in collaboration with companies such as Elanco, this will create a future that improves animal, plant, environmental and human health while positively impacting Indiana’s economy.
  • Life Science/Chem+ Research Facility Study: Building on Purdue’s investment for the new West Lafayette facility that will be shared by pharmacy and nursing, studies will explore additional facility support for faculty and students — one for a broad health and life sciences research facility and another for a research facility for four departments in chemistry-related fields across four colleges.
  • Eli Lilly and Company: Purdue is continuing its collaboration with Eli Lilly and Company as the Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical company’s official education and training partner at Indiana’s LEAP Research and Innovation District.

“We will grow our incredible institutional strengths by combining our established, globally engaged and highly ranked programs in critical areas such as health, human sciences and nursing to pharmacy, animal and plant health, medicine and wellness — all with the collective goal to meet the rapidly changing landscape of delivering quality care and medicine to humans and animals alike,” said Provost Patrick Wolfe, who on May 6 announced Eric Barker’s promotion to vice president for health affairs, effective July 1. “Purdue is well positioned for this important, transformational step in our research and education efforts that advance human health, enrich lives and leave a lasting impact on our global community.”

Establishing the One Health Innovation District also will create opportunities for coordinated partnerships among public, private, government, university and community groups aimed at attracting and retaining top talent and driving growth and development for downtown Indianapolis.

On May 24 Purdue announced it will partner with Elanco Animal Health Inc. and become part of Indiana’s new One Health Innovation District and its focus on establishing a globally recognized research innovation district dedicated to optimizing the health of people, animals, plants and the planet. Purdue and Elanco plan to develop a shared-use facility on three acres in the One Health Innovation District near the future Elanco global headquarters on the western edge of the White River in Indianapolis.

Four days later, Purdue confirmed the continuation of its collaboration with Lilly to build upon its scholarship and training effort, the Lilly Scholars program, which helps Boilermaker students earn pharmaceutical manufacturing scholarships and unique learning opportunities with Lilly, one of the world’s most innovative pharmaceutical companies.

Lilly also unveiled plans to invest another $5.3 billion in its Boone County manufacturing complex, boosting its total investment to $9 billion. Purdue is a key partner in creating a pharmaceutical training facility there. LEAP is a key part of the Hard-Tech Corridor from Purdue’s flagship campus in West Lafayette to the heart of downtown Indianapolis.

“We’re excited to capitalize on a state, national and global trend through the launch of this new strategic initiative focused on One Health, which applies an integrated approach that is at the new frontier in biosciences,” said Karen Plaut, Purdue executive vice president for research. “And through the One Health Innovation District, we will build a robust R&D ecosystem in Indianapolis, partnering with industry leaders such as Eli Lilly, Elanco and others, while collaborating on new physical facilities in partnership with Elanco in order to support research and innovation in One Health.”

One Health globally is recognized by scientific institutions, including the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as the preferred approach where the interconnection among human, animal and plant science can help solve complex health problems.

In advancing the One Health initiative, Barker will continue working closely with the College of Health and Human Sciences’ Leadership Advisory Committee, led by Jerome Adams, Purdue Distinguished Professor of Practice and former U.S. surgeon general. Adams has held listening sessions this spring, tasked with developing the blueprint for the future of Purdue’s health and life sciences academic programs and research thrusts.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a public research institution demonstrating excellence at scale. Ranked among top 10 public universities and with two colleges in the top four in the United States, Purdue discovers and disseminates knowledge with a quality and at a scale second to none. More than 105,000 students study at Purdue across modalities and locations, including nearly 50,000 in person on the West Lafayette campus. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue’s main campus has frozen tuition 13 years in a row. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap — including its first comprehensive urban campus in Indianapolis, the Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business, Purdue Computes and the One Health initiative — at https://www.purdue.edu/president/strategic-initiatives.

Writer: Phillip Fiorini, [email protected]

Media contact: Tim Doty, [email protected]

Sources: Mung Chiang

Patrick Wolfe

Eric Barker

Karen Plaut


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *