co-director of the ihhe
The University of Idaho Institute for Health in the Human Ecosystem
Dr. Luckhart is a founding co-director of the UI IHHE. The IHHE was established in 2017 and is one of five university-wide research institutes.
The IHHE created a new model for innovative, collaborative, and transdisciplinary research, engagement, and transformative education in plant, animal, and human diseases to train the next generation of skilled leaders and to improve well-being and health. The IHHE brings together experts and trainees from relevant fields of plant, animal, and human diseases to share knowledge, tools, and strategies. Through these efforts, we seek to identify core processes to accelerate novel discoveries and innovative and sustainable interventions for coordinated improvements in plant, animal, and human health.
In principle, the control of plant diseases has much in common with control of diseases that impact human and animal health, including shared core process and key ecosystem drivers. In this context, we aim to identify tools and research perspectives from agriculture and from human and animal health that can be leveraged for sustainable health in human ecosystems.
The IHHE has established a working model – through symposia, courses, funded research, facilities, training grants, and support for undergraduate and graduate education – to show how communication and collaboration among researchers across plant, animal, and human diseases can be achieved and applied successfully to develop sustainable solutions.
The IHHE offers scholarships and internships to undergraduates as well as research and travel scholarships to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.
The IHHE also hosts an annual 6-day “Biology of Vector-borne Diseases” course in June that is focused on breaking down barriers and building new intellectual skills, thinking and collaboration across plant, animal and human vector-borne diseases.