Dorian Garrick Named to Jay Lush Endowed Chair at Iowa State

August 30th, 2007

A native of New Zealand is the first person to hold the Jay Lush Endowed Chair in Animal Breeding and Genetics at Iowa State University. Dorian Garrick has been on campus since Aug. 15, moving to Iowa after five years as professor of animal breeding and genetics at Colorado State University.

The Lush Endowed Chair was established in 2004. Lush is considered the father of modern animal breeding and was one of the first to teach the importance of selective breeding. Lush was a professor of animal science at Iowa State from 1930 to 1966 and named a Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in 1957.

"Jay Lush is considered the person who brought the science of animal breeding into the modern age here in our animal science department," said Maynard Hogberg, department chair. "During his career, Iowa State attained a worldwide reputation of excellence in animal breeding and genetics. Dorian Garrick was chosen for this position because we believe he can further strengthen Iowa State's already excellent animal breeding and genetics program."

A symposium honoring Lush will be held April 25, 2008, at Iowa State, at which time Garrick will be formally installed as the Lush Endowed Chair. Details of the symposium will be available at a later date.

Garrick earned a bachelor's degree at Massey University in New Zealand in 1982 and a doctorate at Cornell University in 1988. He returned to Massey University the same year and began work as a teacher and researcher.

One of his first major research efforts was to develop a dairy evaluation system to enhance current methods of sire and cow evaluation. The result was the first large-scale, across-breed animal modeling system in the world. Work in the swine, beef and sheep industries followed.

In 1994, Garrick was named to the A.L. Rae Chair at Massey University. Rae, also a New Zealand native, became interested in animal breeding while studying and teaching at Massey. He earned a doctorate at Iowa State in 1950, where he was a graduate student under Lush.

Garrick said his past research has exposed him to the genetic improvement of a range of animal species and a variety of traits. He plans to continue that type of research as the Lush Endowed Chair.

"Discoveries in molecular genetics, mathematical modeling and new applications in electronic, communication and information technology will lead to different and sometimes better ways of improving our livestock species than has been the case to date," Garrick said. "My goals are to continue to be part of this research and assist in its appropriate application."

Garrick is a director of the National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium, which is responsible for the development of tools for selection. At Iowa State, he will be involved in graduate teaching.

Tom and Jean Sutherland, Fort Collins, Colo., took the lead in establishing the Lush Endowed Chair with a $1 million commitment through the Iowa State University Foundation.

Lush was Tom Sutherland's major professor during graduate school. Sutherland graduated in animal science with a master's in 1956 and doctorate in 1958 in animal breeding. Other former students, friends and family of Lush also have contributed to the endowment.

The ISU Foundation is a private, non-profit corporation dedicated to securing and managing gifts and grants that benefit Iowa State.

Contacts: 

Dorian Garrick, Animal Science, (515) 294-2080, dorian@iastate.edu
Maynard Hogberg, Animal Science, (515) 294-2160, hogberg@iastate.edu
Susan Thompson, Agriculture and Life Sciences Communication Service, (515) 294-0705, sander@iastate.edu
Photos of Dorian Garrick are available by contacting Susan Thompson.