The Poultry Science Association (PSA) released a list of the recipients of its annual awards and honors for members working in poultry science and related disciplines. The highest recognition PSA can bestow on a member is PSA Fellow. An individual is named a PSA Fellow for their professional distinction and contributions to the field of poultry science without regard to longevity. This year two of the five members selected for this prestigious award are ANSC faculty members, Dr. Tom Porter and Dr. Roselina Angel.
Dr. Tom Porter received his Ph.D. in Animal Physiology from the University of Minnesota in 1988. He conducted research as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology at the Medical University of South Carolina. In 1993, he joined the Department of Poultry Science at Texas A&M University as an Assistant Professor, and in 1997, he was recruited to the Department of Animal and Avian Sciences at the University of Maryland, where he was subsequently promoted to Associate Professor and Professor. He served as Chair of the Department of Animal and Avian Sciences at the University of Maryland for 8 years (2007-2015). Dr. Porter has served the Poultry Science Association for more than 20 years as Associate Editor (1995-2004), Section Editor (2004-2010), and Editor-in-Chief (2010-2016) of the journal Poultry Science.
Dr. Porter’s research interests center on molecular and cellular endocrinology in poultry. Early in his career, he demonstrated that the production of steroid hormones in the ovaries of birds requires three different cell types, a situation which is different from that in mammals. One major focus of his research over the past 20 years has been on the mechanisms controlling cellular differentiation within the anterior pituitary gland during chick embryonic development. The overall goal of this research is to improve growth characteristics in broiler chickens through an increased understanding of the regulation of the bird’s own growth hormone production. Dr. Porter’s group has developed a working model for the regulation of growth hormone cell differentiation that involves hormones from other endocrine glands as well as nuclear transcription factors and signal transduction cascades. A second major focus in Dr. Porter’s laboratory has included genome-wide analysis of gene expression in the neuroendocrine system. The long-term goal of this research is to increase our understanding of global patterns of gene expression in the hypothalamus and pituitary gland and to identify the genes and gene networks controlling growth rate, body composition and feed intake in broiler chickens.
Dr. Porter is the author of 82 refereed scientific papers, 21 book chapters or reviews, and 131 abstracts. His publications have been cited more than 1,700 times. He and his collaborators have submitted 35,452 nucleotide sequences to GenBank and five cDNA microarray platforms to GEO (Gene Expression Omnibus). Dr. Porter’s research and teaching accomplishments have been recognized with the Junior Faculty Excellence Award, Alumni Excellence in Instruction Award, and the Dean Gordon Cairns Award for Distinguished Creative Work and Teaching in Agriculture from the University of Maryland and the Research Award and the Embrex Fundamental Science Award from the Poultry Science Association.
Dr. Roselina Angel received her Ph.D. in Poultry Nutrition from Iowa State University in 1990. Following graduation she joined Purina Mills, Inc. as a nutritionist in their Specialty Research Group and was promoted to Research Manager of Purina Mills Specialty Business Group. Recruited to the University of Maryland as an Assistant Professor in 1998, Dr. Angel was promoted to Associate Professor in 2004 and to her current rank of Professor in 2015. She was Co-editor of the nutrition section of the Journal of Applied Poultry Research from 2009 to 2011 and served four 2-year terms as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Poultry Science. Dr. Angel was a member of the Poultry Science Association’s Board of Directors from 2001 to 2004. She has been a member of the program committee for the Poultry Science’s Informal Nutrition Conference since 1998. She has been a panel member for USDA’s National Research Initiative competitive grants program and an Ad Hoc reviewer for USDA-NRI, the Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund, and other funding agencies.
At the University of Maryland, Dr. Angel established an internationally recognized research and extension program in the field of poultry nutrition with emphasis on nutritional modifications to reduce nutrient excretion in poultry production. The impetus for this research direction was the 1997 Pfiesteria outbreak on the Pocomoke River. By feeding phosphorus more closely to the requirements and optimization of the use of phytase, and other tools, the poultry industry has decreased the use of inorganic phosphorus in poultry diets by close to 50% and decreased excreted phosphorus per kilogram of broiler produced by more than 65%. Dr. Angel’s recent focus has also been on improvement in dietary amino balance, and the use of protease enzymes to enhance protein utilization and reduce nitrogen excretion. Her research has had a direct measurable impact on water and air quality and the environmental and economic sustainability of the poultry industry.
Dr. Angel has published seven book chapters, 74 articles in refereed journals and more that 120 abstracts. Since coming to Maryland she has given more than 150 invited presentations, more than half of which have been presented overseas. She is a routine contributor to the “Informal Nutrition Conference” a key forum for university and poultry industry nutritionists held at the annual meeting of the Poultry Science Association.
Dr. Angel has been recognized for her accomplishments throughout her academic career. In 2002 she was named to the Committee on Animal Nutrition, at that time the only standing committee of the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Angel has been the recipient of one regional and three national awards including the Medal of Achievement Award from the Delmarva Poultry Industry in 2003, and the National Chicken Council, Broiler Research Award, the American Feed Industries Poultry Nutrition Award, and the Informal Nutrition Conference Teacher, Advisor, and Life Mentor Award, from the Poultry Science Association in 2006, 2007, and 2014, respectively.