Brenda Murdoch
University of Idaho
Moscow, ID United States

Term of service (2nd, 2021-2025)

Dr. Murdoch is currently an associate professor in the Department of Animal, Veterinary and Food Sciences, affiliate faculty member in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology and a member of the Institute of Modeling Collaboration and Innovation at the University of Idaho. Dr. Murdoch’s research focuses on characterizing the relationship between both genetic and epigenetic variation and important biological traits to further improve our understanding of how genomic variations affect biological processes of both undesirable (disease) and desirable (economically important) phenotypic traits. Some of the ongoing research projects that Dr. Murdoch is involved in include: the functional annotation of the animal genomes of both cattle and sheep, and assemblies of both the ovine and bovine pangenomes. Additionally, she has developed genomic selection tools to enhance the sheep and goat industry. Her research efforts are supported by several industry and federally, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, funded grants.

Lin Jiang
Institute of Animal Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences
Beijing, AA China

Term of service (1st, 2019-2023)

Lin Jiang is currently a professor at the Institute of Animal Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS). She received her bachelor’s degree of biological sciences from Tsinghua University in 2005 (Peking). From 2005 to 2014, she obtained a master’s degree in bioinformatics, PhD in animal genetics, and postdoctoral fellowship at Uppsala University (Sweden). She was selected by the CAAS Elite Youth Program (2014) and Agriculture Department’s Scientific Research Project for Prominent Talents (2021). Currently, Jiang is the vice director of the National Germplasm Center of Domestic Animal Resources (Ministry of Science and Technology of P.R.C.). The overall object of her group is to use genetics and genomics to evaluate the genetic diversity of domestic animals, as well as to identify new genes and mutations underlying the economic traits and environmental adaptations of domestic animals. She is supported by Natural Science Foundation of China NSFC-CGIAR (Grant number: 31961143021; 1.55 million), National Key Research and Development Program of China (2020YFA0509503-01, 1 million), and Ningxia Key Research and Development Program (2018BBF02016; 1.89 million). These projects mainly focus on the genetic studies of small body size in horses, muscle development in pig, fat deposition in fat-tailed sheep, convergent hypoxia adaptation in Tibetan horse, sheep, and goat, as well as the general adaptation of Afar goat to the dryland. An important tool in the current research is to use whole-genome resequencing to detect the phylogenetic relationship and signatures of selection. Jiang has published more than 40 research papers in high-impact journals, such as Current Biology, PLoS Biology, and Molecular Biology and Evolution.

Marina Naval Sanchez
The University of Queensland
Brisbane, Australia

Term of service (1st, 2019-2023)

Benjamin Rosen
Beltsville, MD United States

Term of service (1st, 2021-2025)

Micah Wells
Rapid Genomics
Gainesville, FL United States

Term of service (1st, 2021-2025)

Micah is a native of the Great Basin of Southeast Oregon, who currently resides in Gainesville, FL. After the Navy, he earned a double BS in Range Management and Crop and Soil Science and a MS in Ecology and Animal Science from Oregon State University. He has a deep passion for agriculture and has devoted his career to advocating for the advancement of the industry. His experiences include time as a lobbyist for a state cattlemen’s association, water quality with the department of agriculture, dairy, swine and poultry housing ventilation and design, sales director of beef genomics and over a decade in livestock nutrition. His role as Sales and Business Development Manager for Rapid Genomics affords him the opportunity to expand his passion and experience in sequence-based plant and animal genomics on a worldwide basis.

Huaijun Zhou
University of California, Davis
Davis, CA United States

Term of service (1st, 2021-2025)

Huaijun Zhou is currently a full professor, chancellor’s fellow, and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) poultry genome coordinator, and was a chair in the immunology graduate group at the University of California, Davis. He received his PhD in molecular genetics and immunogenetics in 2002 and MS in bioinformatics and computational biology in 2003 from Iowa State University. Zhou’s research program applies genetic, genomic, comparative epigenomics, and bioinformatics to address important biological questions, apply the knowledge to improve global food security, production efficiency, and food safety, and currently leads international efforts on annotating of livestock genomes. His main research program has focused on genetic resistance to pathogens, the molecular and cellular mechanisms of host–pathogen interaction in chickens, functional annotation of regulatory elements in farm animal species, and comparative epigenomic research in complex traits. His recent work on conservation of cis-regulatory elements across mammalian species including humans provides novel insights of tissue-specific functional elements for studying human diseases using appropriate animal models. He has received more than $31 million ($20 million as a principal investigator) in funding from the US Agency for International Development (USAID), USDA, National Institutes of Health, and livestock industries. Zhou is the program director of USAID Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Genomics to Improve Poultry targeting both East and West African countries, under the US government’s Global Hunger and Food Security Initiative. Zhou has published more than 140 full-length papers in the journals Nature, Science, Nature Communications, Genome Research, Genome Biology, Cell Host & Microbe, and others, 6 book chapters, and 220 abstracts and conference proceedings. His work has received significant accolades and he was honored with the Hy-Line International Research Award (2010), PSA Early Achievement Award for Research (2011), Evonik Degussa Award for Achievement in Poultry Science (2016), Zoetis Fundamental Science Award (2018), and Chancellor’s Award for International Engagement, Prize of Outstanding Achievement in Science (AAFC; 2020).

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