Announcement: Dr. Francisco Olea-Popelka re-appointed as Beryl Ivey Endowed Chair in One Health

Dr. Francisco Olea-Popelka Dr. Francisco Olea-Popelka

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Francisco Olea-Popelka has been re-appointed as the Beryl Ivey Endowed Chair in One Health at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University, effective January 1, 2024, to December 31, 2028.

In addition to holding the Endowed Chair position, Dr. Olea-Popelka is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, and holds a cross appointment in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Schulich Medicine & Dentistry. 

Dr. Olea-Popelka earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the School of Veterinary Medicine at Universidad Mayor in Santiago, Chile, and a Master’s and PhD in Epidemiology in 2002 and 2007 respectively, from the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph.

From 2007 to 2018, he served as an Associate Professor in Clinical Sciences at the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at Colorado State University, U.S.A., where he contributed to the creation of, and became the faculty advisor for the One Health Student Club in 2008 – a pioneering initiative among academic institutions in North America.

While at Schulich, between 2019 and 2023, Dr. Olea-Popelka played a pivotal role in the implementation and expansion of the School’s One Health program – a first-of-its-kind program among medical schools in Canada.

Dr. Olea-Popelka’s multisectoral One Health approach focuses on the study of diseases and health issues of global importance at the intersection of livestock, wildlife, and humans, considering unique social, cultural, and economic factors, while working closely with affected local communities.

As an internationally recognized leader in One Health, Dr. Olea-Popelka has participated and contributed to key local, provincial, national, and global strategic One Health initiatives. His contributions were instrumental in forming a multidisciplinary team, which included the Asia Pacific Cities Alliance for Health and Development (APCAT), The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (The Union), and the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH). He also presented at the preparatory workshops for the 2022 G20 Summit in Indonesia – a contribution that led to the incorporation of One Health into the agenda of the 2022 G20 Summit. Since 2022, his efforts have been pivotal in integrating the One Health approach into a rabies vaccination campaign for dogs in Bali, Indonesia, in collaboration with both local and international partners.

Dr. Olea-Popelka’s professional area of interest is mycobacterial infection and tuberculosis (TB), and he is recognized as an international leader in bovine and zoonotic TB. Currently, he is leading the global effort to address the public health challenges posed by zoonotic TB in close collaboration with the World Health Organization, The Union, The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, and WOAH.

Dr. Olea-Popelka’s work has informed several bovine and zoonotic TB guidelines and policy documents. He is one of the editors of Bovine Tuberculosis, and has contributed to multiple book chapters and peer reviewed publications, both in human and veterinary textbooks and journals. Since 2020, he has been one of the lead scientists at the WOAH ad hoc group focusing on strategies to control bovine TB in low-middle income countries.

Please join me in congratulating Dr. Olea-Popelka on his re-appointment as the Beryl Ivey Endowed Chair in One Health.

John Yoo, MD, FRCS(C), FACS
Dean, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry
Western University