Livestock research centre announces partnership agreement

(Edmonton) University of Alberta’s Livestock Gentec Alberta Innovates Centre has formalized a partnership with yet another institution in an effort to further its research into developing livestock industry solutions through the science of genomics.

Through a memorandum of understanding announced July 26, the centre and Olds College have opened a pathway to continue previous collaborating efforts, particularly in the area of co-ordinating a supply of students from the college for industry placements and internships.  Similar agreements are in place with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the universities of Guelph and Saskatchewan, and are currently being developed with the University of Calgary.

The centre also welcomes Graham Plastow as its interim chief executive officer effective Aug. 1. Plastow, a professor in the U of A Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences, steps up from his position as the centre’s chief operating officer, replacing former chief executive officer, Stephen Moore, who is taking on a new career opportunity as director of the Centre for Animal Science at the University of Queensland in Australia.

“Livestock Gentec under the leadership of Dr. Moore and Dr. Plastow has achieved recognition as a global leader in livestock genomics and the Centre is well-placed to provide the genomics technology to enhance the competitive position of Canada’s livestock sector,” said John Kennelly, dean of the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences. “The Centre represents an important component of the university’s commitment to agriculture.”

The process of securing the CEO position begins this fall, Kennelly said.
Livestock Gentec brings together highly skilled scientists from university and government research laboratories that are focused on providing new solutions to help improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the livestock sector.

The centre has become one of the very best groups in the world at livestock genomics research, development and technology transfer. Researchers at the centre participated in an international collaboration to sequence the bovine genome. To date, researchers at the centre have found more than 125 genetic markers to improve cattle. More than a dozen have been commercialized and many are in the technology transfer pipeline.

Core funding for Livestock Gentec is provided by Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions and the Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency.