Research on animal nutrition and genomics at the University of Kentucky has received $900,000 in grant money from Alltech, an international biotechnology company based in Nicholasville, KY.

The grant will foster collaboration between Alltech and the university to advance research in nutrigenomics, which is a new field studying the effects of nutrition on gene expression in animals. Scientists, students, the agriculture industry and ultimately consumers will benefit from the program.

“Our partnership with Alltech represents an ideal collaboration. Not only does this partnership allow us to conduct cutting-edge research, it provides our master's and doctoral students the opportunity to work alongside the best scientific minds from private industry and academia to find solutions and further our knowledge,” says Lee Todd, Jr., University of Kentucky president.

“Alltech is proud to be the first company of its kind in the world to partner with a major university in this precise way to further education and serve the worldwide animal health industry,” says Pearse Lyons, Alltech founder and president.

The grant will support a variety of efforts, including a seminar series and placement of University of Kentucky Collage of Agriculture faculty and students at Alltech’s new state-of-the-art laboratory building to study how nutritional factors affect protein and metabolite expression in animals, and how diet impacts the animal’s immune function.

“This collaboration is about improving animal health – about helping food animals be more productive, about making performance animals such as horses more be competitive, and even helping pets be healthier,” says Nancy Cox, associate dean for research in the university's college of agriculture.

The funding represents a continuation and enhancement of a long-standing partnership between the university and Alltech.  Poultry nutrition research has been jointly conducted at the Coldstream Research Campus for several years, and in 2006 Alltech and the University of Kentucky announced the formation of a new alliance to collaborate on nutrigenomic research to improve animal diet and health.

“Our partnership with, which is more than two decades old, not only helps Kentucky’s producers but also the agriculture industry globally,” says Karl Dawson, Alltech’s director for worldwide research.  “The field of nutrigenomics is one of the most exciting in science today and our programs with the university promise to keep Kentucky at the forefront of this technology.”

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Source: Alltech