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Fetal Development, Bacteria Structures Earn UW Research Awards

March 13, 2017

The professor who established the Center for the Study of Fetal Programming in the University of Wyoming’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and an assistant professor attracting national attention for insights into the sub-cellular workings of bacteria have received research awards from the Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station (WAES).

“This year’s award winners epitomize the quality, depth and breadth of research being conducted by our college’s fantastic faculty and students,” says Bret Hess, associate dean of research in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and WAES director.

Stephen Ford, animal science professor and Rochelle Chair, reproductive biology, fetal programming, earned the Outstanding Research Award. Ford directs the internationally recognized Center for the Study of Fetal Programming at UW.

“The dual mission of the research program is to delve deep into developmental biology and physiology for production of healthy, high-quality livestock and to benefit lifetime health and longevity of human babies, as well,” Hess says.

Ford was on the four-member team that received the USDA’s Abraham Lincoln Honor Award in 2016. The award is that agency’s highest.

Grant Bowman in the Department of Molecular Biology received the Early Career Research Award. His research, funded in part by the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation, focuses on a protein scaffold that creates microdomains in the cytoplasm of bacteria.

“Dr. Bowman’s cutting-edge research is a good example of how science will continue to advance our understanding of protein biology,” Hess says.

Bowman joined the faculty in 2012.

The award for top faculty story in Reflections, the college’s research magazine, went to Brian Mealor, associate professor in the Department of Plant Sciences and director of the Sheridan Research and Extension Center for “Cheatgrass: Developing a Wyoming strategy for a big (little) problem.” Slade Franklin of the Wyoming Department of Agriculture was co-author.

The award for top student story in Reflections went to Jessica Windh of Reedley, Calif., an undergraduate student in rangeland ecology and watershed management. Her article is “Dead lambs aren’t the only loss: Counting the non-lethal cost of Wyoming livestock‒predator interactions.” Derek Scasta, assistant professor in ecosystem science and management, and Barton Stam, a UW Extension educator in Hot Springs County, were co-authors. WAES supporter Kurt “Cub” Feltner presented the inaugural Reflections student paper award in memory of his late wife, Lynn Feltner.

Reflections is a publication of WAES, which operates four research and extension centers around the state. It supports fundamental and applied research relevant to agricultural, natural resource and community issues affecting Wyoming, the West and beyond.

For more information, call Hess at (307) 766-3667 or email

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