Jason Ross has been named the new chair of the Department of Animal Science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University.
Ross, Lloyd L. Anderson Professor in Physiology, has been a faculty member in the department since 2008. In July of last year, he was named associate chair for industry engagement. He also serves as director of the Iowa Pork Industry Center. His department chair responsibilities will take effect Aug. 16.
"It is terrific to have the leadership of Dr. Jason Ross going forward for the college's Department of Animal Science. Jason will bring tremendous experience and familiarity with the department to the role of chair," says Daniel J. Robison, endowed dean's chair of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. "He has an extraordinary record of accomplishment, deep experience in all mission areas, fullest devotion to the department, and has done outstanding work with food animal industries and stakeholders across the state. He'll provide great momentum as the department carries forward its tradition of excellence in every dimension."
Ross received his bachelor's degree in animal science from Iowa State. He also has a master's degree in animal science and a doctoral degree in reproductive physiology with a minor in biochemistry from Oklahoma State University. Prior to joining the faculty at Iowa State, Ross served as a postdoctoral research scientist at the University of Missouri, Columbia.
Through his leadership efforts, Ross has helped the department's research program acquire more than $20 million in funding, $6 million of which was for projects where he served as the principal investigator. His research focuses on using biotechnology to improve reproductive efficiency in animals and developing strategies to control novel physiological mechanisms.
While serving as the department's associate chair, he has worked to promote the department's programming at the local and global levels through stakeholder relationships and external engagement for public and private partnerships. He has also engaged with animal agriculture industry members to gain insights for curricular needs and create internship programs for students.
"It's an honor for me to be able to serve the animal science department at Iowa State University. The caliber of students, faculty, staff and stakeholders of this department are among the best," Ross says. "I grew up in Iowa and the animal science department is where I began my career both as a student and as a faculty member, making this opportunity to serve Iowa State and the state of Iowa particularly meaningful."
Ross will take over chair duties from John Lawrence, who has been serving as the department's interim chair since January 2022.
"I would also like to recognize the outstanding work of Dr. John Lawrence, Iowa State's vice president for extension and outreach, while serving as interim chair of the department for these last months. He has truly served so very well," Robison says.
The Department of Animal Science offers programs that integrate science, practice and innovation to serve the immediate needs of animal industries. Students are prepared for careers in animal production, veterinary medicine and the diverse areas of animal business and industry. Many faculty in the department are internationally recognized, with expertise in breeding and genetics, genomics, nutrition, physiology, meat science and meat processing, animal well-being and management.
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