Iowa State Creates Center for Integrated Animal Genomics

October 7th, 2002

AMES, Iowa — A new Center for Integrated Animal Genomics at Iowa State University will work to identify, map and understand the function and control of genes to improve both animal and human health.

"The center's goal is to make Iowa State University the premier institution worldwide in integrated animal genomics by building on its top national ranking and international reputation in animal genetics and genomics and its current strengths in comparative genomics and animal-microbe interactions," said Max Rothschild, an Iowa State animal science distinguished professor who has been named the center's co-director. Susan Carpenter, a professor of veterinary microbiology and preventive medicine, is the center's other co-director.

Catherine Woteki, dean of Iowa State's College of Agriculture, said many will benefit from the new center's programs. "I expect the Center for Integrated Animal Genomics to make discoveries that will be scientifically important as well as relevant to producers' and consumers' needs," she said.

Carpenter stressed the interdisciplinary nature of the new center. "It provides a forum to bring together people from across campus to advance animal genomics, microbial genomics, comparative genomics and bioinformatics and ultimately to enhance the health of animals and people," she said.

"The Center for Integrated Animal Genomics will significantly increase our competitive situation in both federal grant procurement and graduate student recruitment and ensure that Iowa State continues to rank among the very best universities in animal and microbial genomics. It also will provide excellent opportunities to collaborate with faculty in plant genomics and food safety," Rothschild added.

The proposal to create the center was approved last month by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. The center will be administered by the College of Agriculture with input from the colleges of veterinary medicine and liberal arts and sciences. Considerable initial funding was provided by the dean of the College of Agriculture and the president's office. This funding will provide for two new positions, one each in the colleges of agriculture and veterinary medicine, combined with salary matches from the Department of Animal Science and from the College of Veterinary Medicine.

Plans for the center include a competitive grants program; workshops devoted to animal genetics and genomics; and a genomics scholar program to help faculty establish collaborations and research opportunities. The center also will prepare students for the challenges and opportunities in emerging areas of animal agriculture.

Contacts: 

Max Rothschild, Animal Science, (515) 294-6202

Susan Carpenter, College of Veterinary Medicine, (515) 294-5158

Ed Adcock, Communications Service, (515) 294-2314