Tissue Biology and Processing
Research on the development of skeletal muscle is focused on the extrinsic, extracellular matrix, environment to the muscle cells. The goal of research is 1) to understand the mechanisms by which the extracellular matrix regulates the formation and growth of muscle, 2) to identify genes and to understand their roles in muscle growth and intramuscular fat development, 3) to identify and elucidate the gene products, that is the proteins, that participate in skeletal muscle growth in several species of agricultural interest, including, cattle, sheep, and fish, and 4) to identify the proteins and the post mortem processes within skeletal muscle that might underlie meat quality characteristics, including tenderness and formation of meat gels.
Mammary biology research programs investigate mammary development and mastitis control to optimize production potential and milk quality in dairy cows.
The Meat Science program is an extremely active and exciting program that focuses on research and education with the goal of providing sound, science-based information to a wide variety of clientele. Primary research priorities focus on the study of factors influencing variation in fresh and processed meat and fat quality, palatability, wholesomeness, and food safety. Research is often multi-disciplinary in nature, including the study of pre-harvest factors such as genetics, nutrition, growth and development, and animal handling factors that influence food animal products. Through cooperative agreements with industry, inter- and intra-departmental ties, and academic partners across the globe, students have the opportunity to interact and develop fundamental relationships and knowledge that will guide their future.
Sandy Velleman, PhD, Muscle Biology
Dr. Velleman’s research interests include characterization of extracellular matrix macromolecules with an emphasis on those involved in regulating growth factor signaling. Dr. Velleman is also interested in how genetic selection for muscle growth has influenced the structure and function of skeletal muscle and the implications on meat quality.
Kichoon Lee, PhD, Muscle Biology
Dr. Lee’s research interests are to identify and define genetic and metabolic networks that promote muscle growth and enhance marbling of food animals.
Macdonald P. Wick, PhD, Muscle Biology, Beef, Poultry, Fish
Dr. Wick’s research focuses on nutritional and environmental influences on the molecular mechanisms of muscle growth, development, and meat quality in cattle, poultry, sheep, and fish.
Kristy Daniels, PhD, Mammary Biology
Dr. Daniel’s research interests are to define and optimize biological factors influencing mammary cell regulation, mammary development, and milk production in dairy cows.
Joe Hogan, PhD, Mammary Biology
Dr. Hogan’s research interests are to characterize mammary host defenses, to manipulate virulence factors of mammary pathogens, and to apply new technologies to advance milk quality and safety.
Steve Loerch, PhD, Beef, Sheep
Dr. Loerch’s focus is in two main areas: 1) nutritional factors affecting adipocyte development, and 2) fetal imprinting. Vitamin A regulates expression of 5 key genes involved in adipocyte differentiation and proliferation. Manipulation of dietary vitamin A is being investigated as a strategy to affect the site of adipose accretion in beef and sheep. Nutrition of cows and ewes during gestation may affect prenatal and postnatal growth and development of their offspring. Source and timing of nutrition during gestation is being investigated to determine long term effects on performance and carcass characteristics of their progeny.
Donald Mahan, PhD, Swine
Dr. Mahan’s research program evaluates the mineral and vitamin needs of pigs at all stages of production. He has directed much of his research efforts toward Se and Vitamin E research, but more recently he centers his research on the use of organic materials.
Steve Moeller, PhD, Swine
Dr. Moeller’s research interests are focused on the genetic and environmental factors influencing variation in muscle and fat quality, use of ultrasonic techniques to assess fat and muscle deposition, and assessment of the influence of welfare practices on stress and meat quality.
Henry Zerby, PhD, Meat Science
Dr. Zerby’s research interests are in the area of carcass and meat product quality resulting from different live animal production and management strategies. He focuses more specifically in the areas of enhancing taste and tenderness in whole muscle meat products. Dr. Zerby also works with the Intercollegiate Meat Evaluation Team
Francis Fluharty, PhD
Dr. Fluharty’s primary research interests include the effects of energy and protein intake on animal growth, nutritional factors affecting site of fat deposition and carcass composition, and the nutritional requirements of stressed ruminants. Dr. Fluharty co-leads collaborative efforts to investigate the impact of grain versus forage-based diets in beef production systems on growth, carcass characteristics, fatty acid composition, and consumer desirability of meat products.
Paul Kuber, PhD, Meat Science, Beef
Dr. Kuber focuses on meat science, particularly fresh and processed meat quality and consumer perception and preference as well as product development.
Herb Ockerman, PhD, Meat Science
Dr. Ockerman’s research programs include biochemistry, microbiology, processing, quality, food safety, shelf life, and economics of muscle tissue from slaughter to consumption in all species.
Lynn Knipe, PhD, Meat Science
Dr. Knipe’s research interests include: identification of processing methods that optimize the functional quality of pork, identification of processing procedures that limit shelf life and/or safety of meat products, shelf life determination of such products, and maximizing the functionality of high-collagen meat raw materials.
Research is conducted at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Poultry Research Center (Wooster) and with cooperating commercial poultry companies. The Poultry Research Center maintains genetic lines of turkeys, chickens, and quail that have been selected for growth characteristics as well as their randombred populations. Additional poultry facilities are located at the Poultry Research Center (Columbus). Research laboratories for muscle biology are available within the department and equipped with expertise and instruments for muscle cell culture, gene manipulation in cells and animals, gene cloning, protein purification and quantification, quantification of mRNA and protein, and facilities for experiments in general molecular, cellular, and developmental biology.
Mammary research is conducted at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Krauss Dairy Center (Wooster, Ohio) and on cooperating commercial dairy farms. The Krauss Dairy Center maintains a herd of approximately 100 lactating Holsteins for research. Areas used for mammary physiology and mastitis trials include customized stalls for intensive sampling and video recording. Applied field trials are conducted on commercial dairies throughout Ohio. Laboratory support for mammary research includes Dr. Daniel’s laboratory (microscopy, protein characterization, cellular, and molecular biology) and the OARDC Mastitis Laboratory (microbiology, mastitis diagnostics, and milk cytology).
The Meat Science program has access to food animal species including swine, cattle, sheep, goats, and poultry. Excellent facilities are available to conduct post-harvest research in the areas of processing, product development, shelf-life, sensory panel assessment, and analytical procedures. Through cooperative agreements with industry, inter- and intra-departmental ties, and academic partners across the globe, students have the opportunity to interact and develop fundamental relationships.
ANIMSCI 2010 Bar-B-Q Science
ANIMSCI 3100 Animal Growth and Development
ANIMSCI 3110 Introductory Meat Science
ANIMSCI 3147 Milk Secretion
ANIMSCI 3210 Food Animal Processing
ANIMSCI 4007 Dairy Herd Management
ANIMSCI 4510 Processed Meats
ANIMSCI 5100 Advanced Growth and Development
ANIMSCI 5510 Advanced Meat Science
ANIMSCI 6067 Physiology of Lactation
ANIMSCI 6510 Advanced Meat Technology
ANIMSCI 8780 Molecular Biology Techniques