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Department of Animal Science

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE CENTER FOR THE STUDY OF FETAL PROGRAMMING, IN THE DEPARTMENT OF ANIMAL SCIENCE, AT THE UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING

Rationale For Establishing The Center At The University Of Wyoming

The idea for the establishment of the Center was hatched at the Society for the Study of Reproduction Meetings in Ottawa, Canada in the Summer of 2001 by Dr. Stephen Ford, Professor and Rochelle Chair, in the Department of Animal Science at the University of Wyoming and Dr. Peter Nathanielsz, James Law Professor of Reproductive Medicine at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University. Both of these researchers have had a long and keen interest in gaining a better understanding of uterine and placental factors controlling the growth and development and birth of a healthy fetus. Further, both Dr. Ford and Dr. Nathanielsz have recently relocated.  Dr. Ford, a Professor in the Department of Animal Science at Iowa State for 22 years joined the Department of Animal Science at UW in May 2001, While Dr. Nathanielsz, a Professor at Cornell University for 20 years, recently assumed the position of Director of the Center for Women’s Health Research, and Professor of Obstetrics, at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center (UTHSC) at San Antonio.  Because of Dr. Nathanielsz’s move to UTHSC, he was unable to continue his very active research program, which utilizes the sheep as a model for understanding the impacts of maternal stressors on human fetal health.  After visiting the excellent life sciences research faculty at UW, and seeing the tremendous livestock facilities available there, he decided to relocate his research equipment and research animals, as well as several of his research personnel to UW to establish the Center.   Financial assistance in renovating laboratory and animal space for the center and/or providing necessary equipment and personnel include Bill Gern, Vice President for Research, Frank Galey, Dean of Agriculture, Robert Kelly, Dean of Health Sciences, Randy Lewis, University of Wyoming NSF EPSCoR Project Director, and Doug Hixon, Chair, Department of Animal Science at UW, as well as the administration at UTHSC. This Center will have a double mission, in that it will be committed to developing understandings leading to the production of healthy, high quality livestock, while at the same time, applying this understanding to improve the health and longevity of human babies.  This will allow the Center personnel to apply for federal agricultural funding through USDA, as well as biomedical funding through NSF and NIH. Establishment of this Center is expected to attract high quality undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral students as well as additional excellent life sciences faculty to UW, who will wish to become a part of its exciting research efforts. The UW Center was officially opened at the Department of Animal Science Livestock Center west of Laramie with a ribbon cutting ceremony on September 21st, 2002, with Dr. Ford serving as Center Director.  History

  Drs. Bill Gern, VP of Research: Doug Hixon, Chair, Department of Animal Science; Steve Ford, Prof. and Rochelle Chair in Dept. of Animal Science, and Director of the Center and Peter Nathanielsz, Prof., Dept. Ob/Gyn an NYU and Co-director of the Center (L to R) at the ribbon cutting.


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