Three animal science faculty named to endowed positions

AMES, Iowa – With financial support from donors, three animal science faculty members will continue to conduct impactful research in their work with the added recognition of a named and endowed position.

Iowa State University’s Department of Animal Science faculty Jim Dickson, professor, Nick Gabler, professor and associate chair of research, and Juan Steibel, professor, were all recognized during a medallion ceremony Jan. 19 in Kildee Hall.

“The tremendous work we do here at Iowa State would not be possible without the generous donors who help fund these and other endowed positions in our college,” said Daniel J. Robison, endowed dean’s chair of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. “These three outstanding faculty members will make even greater and more innovative contributions to the animal science and meat science fields with the support and prestige of these named positions. It is wonderful to have them here and see the impact of their work.”

“The animal science department is fortunate to have such great partners in animal agriculture for whom these prestigious endowments are named for. Likewise, we have great faculty we’re privileged to have in these named positions that carry forward important work that continues the department’s long legacy of global influence in agriculture,” said Jason W. Ross, chair of the animal science department.   “These endowed faculty positions are critical in helping our faculty continue advancing their impact on animal agriculture that will reap benefits for decades to come.”

Morrison Chair in Meat Science

Jason Ross, Jim Dickson and Daniel J Robison standing in a line.
Jim Dickson, center, is the holder of the Morrison Chair in Meat Science. He was presented a medallion in recognition of this honor by Jason Ross, animal science department chair, left, and Daniel J. Robison, holder of the endowed dean's chair in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Dickson is the newest holder of the Morrison Chair in Meat Science. The position previously was held by Joseph Sebranek, distinguished professor emeritus of animal science, who was named the inaugural holder of the chair in 2010.

Dickson has been a faculty member at Iowa State since 1993. Prior to joining the Department of Animal Science, he was a faculty member and former chair of what used to be the Department of Microbiology (now the Department of Plant Pathology, Entomology and Microbiology).

He has an extensive background in the microbiological safety of foods of animal origins, focusing on controlling bacteria of public health significance. Each year, Dickson provides lectures in processed meat workshops at Iowa State.

Before beginning his academic career, Dickson worked with various organizations, including private industry and the USDA ARS, to ensure proper food safety standards were established and followed.

The Morrison Chair was established in 2008 by David and Judith Morrison to support Iowa State’s continued work in the food safety arena as it relates to the meat industry.

David Morrison earned a bachelor’s degree in food technology and a master’s in chemical engineering from Iowa State. He was a former CEO of SAMPCO, Inc., a food and beverage company based in Chicago, Illinois. Judith Morrison also is an Iowa State alumna, earning a bachelor’s degree in home economics and a master’s in home economics education.

Dr. John Patience Professorship in Applied Animal Nutrition

John Patience, Nick Gabler and Daniel J Robison standing next to each other.
John Patience, left, was recognized for the new professorship established in his name. Nick Gabler, center, is the first holder of the new Dr. John Patience Professorship in Applied Nutrition. The two were recognized by Daniel J. Robison, right, holder of the endowed dean's chair in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Gabler is the inaugural holder of the Dr. John Patience Professorship in Applied Animal Nutrition.

He joined the Department of Animal Science in 2008 after completing his postdoctoral work in Iowa State’s Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition.

Since then, he has built a robust research program in swine nutrition and physiology, focusing on understanding and improving swine feed efficiency and growth.

In 2011, Gabler and a colleague were awarded a U.S. patent for creating a method for increasing performance and intestinal transport of nutrients in the offspring of animals.

The Patience professorship was established in 2021 to honor and recognize the exceptional career of Dr. John Patience, professor emeritus of animal science. Patience was a faculty member at Iowa State for 13 years before retiring in April 2021. He had also served as interim department chair.

A global leader in swine nutrition research and internationally recognized speaker, Patience made a tremendous mark on the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Iowa State. His research focused on applied swine nutrition, energy metabolism and fiber and fat utilization.

Several of Patience’s former students and industry members – Gene Gourley, Trey Kellner and Chad Pilcher – led the effort to establish the professorship, along with Pat McGonegle, CEO of the Iowa Pork Producers Association.

Jay L. Lush Chair in Animal Breeding and Genetics

Jason Ross, Juan Steibel and Daniel J Robison standing in a line.
Juan Steibel, center, was presented a medallion representing his holding of the Jay L. Lush Chair in Animal Breeding and Genetics. The medallion was presented by Jason Ross, left, animal science department chair, and Daniel J. Robison, holder of the endowed dean's chair in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Steibel became the Jay L. Lush Chair in Animal Breeding and Genetics when he joined the Department of Animal Science in August 2022 after a successful faculty career at Michigan State University.

Dorian Garrick, former professor of animal science, was the first holder of the Lush chair position. Garrick held the position until he left Iowa State in 2016.

Much of Steibel’s work has been related to swine breeding and swine production systems. He has extensive research experience in developing and applying statistical and computational methods to analyze genetic, molecular and phenotypic data to make better selection decisions in animal production systems.

Steibel has served on several multi-state research committees focused on improving animal management and genetics.

In addition to his research, Steibel has co-instructed classes on applied data science and statistics in animal science and quantitative genomics methods.

The Lush Chair honors the achievements of Jay Lush, former researcher, graduate mentor and outreach educator at Iowa State from 1930-1966. Lush was named a Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in 1957 and is considered the father of modern animal breeding. His work centered around finding ways to apply genetics more objectively to improve animals and plants. Lush’s classic book, “Animal Breeding Plans,” and many other outputs have transformed this science and the industry that depends on it.

Tom and Jean Sutherland provided lead funding for the Lush endowed chair, which was established in 2007.

Lush was Tom Sutherland’s major professor while he was working toward his master’s in animal science and doctoral in animal breeding from Iowa State. Sutherland went on to lead a distinguished career in animal science at Colorado State University before working overseas with notable challenge and great success.

Other of Lush’s former students, as well as friends and family, also contributed to the endowed chair position.


Jim Dickson, Animal Science, 515-294-4733,

Nick Gabler, Animal Science, 515-294-7370,

Juan Steibel, Animal Science, 515-294-2712,

Whitney Baxter, Agriculture and Life Sciences Communications, 515-294-2314,