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Curators' Distinguished Professor of Genetics and Animal Sciences, Wurdack Chair in Animal Genomics of the University Of Missouri is this year’s recipient of the NAAB Research Award.
Jerry Taylor is one of the few researchers globally to have translated quantitative and molecular genomic methodologies to accelerate genetic improvement within the international livestock industries. His major contributions include: the recent description of Birth Date Selection Mapping, a method to identify and distinguish loci currently exposed to on-going, recurrent natural or artificial selection in temporally stratified populations and the development of the first bovine bacterial artificial chromosome library, genome-wide oligonucleotide gene expression microarray, and high-density single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping assays. He assisted in the development of a method for deep sequencing of reduced representation libraries for SNP discovery used by the cattle, swine, sheep, horse and soybean genomics communities to develop high-density genotyping assays. He is currently supported by on-going USDA NIFA grants and leads the National Program for Genetic Improvement of Feed Efficiency in Beef Cattle Consortium. He is highly regarded for his insights, ability to create novel hypotheses, mentorship of students and young scientists, and for serving the broader community through service to scientific advisory boards and domestic and international grant review panels.
Dr. Taylor has excellent analytical ability and is highly trained in genetics, mathematics, statistical methodologies and experimental design. Taylor has chaired the committees of 23 MS and 24 PhD candidates and has advised 14 Postdoctoral Fellows. Along with his co-investigators and graduate students he has authored 219 peer reviewed research articles, 5 book chapters, 6 patents and has edited one book. He was the invited presenter for 60 international papers, and has presented over 400 key national invited papers. Dr. Taylor has received over $43M in total grant support ($13M as PI; $30M as Co-PI). He has a voluminous listing of honors and recognitions.
Jerry's work towards the implementation of Genomic Selection within the US beef industry led to Consortium efforts which developed a method for inexpensively discovering single nucleotide polymorphisms , four high density SNP genotyping assays, and the genotyping of approximately 20,000 animals for the generation of training populations in Angus, Limousin, Hereford, Simmental and Shorthorn.
Taylor's group has recently shown that the sequence reads obtained in the whole genome or transcriptome sequencing of animals contain value information that is often not captured by investigators.
This work has demonstrated the need for much improved livestock reference assemblies and that ancillary data regarding the health status of sequenced animals can be garnered from an analysis of the unmapped reads.
Of significance to the AI industry, the development of the Bovine SNP50 assay overcame the key obstacle to the implementation of Genomic Selection in the US beef and dairy industries. Funding to develop this assay and to genotype sufficient animals to enable the training of molecular breeding value prediction models was primarily provided by a $2.5M USDA CREES AFRI grant to Curt Van Tassell and Jerry Taylor who respectively led the development work in dairy and beef cattle.
Jerry has been working with several of the US Beef Breed Associations to sequence the genomes of the bulls that have had the greatest impact on each breed to generate a resource for: 1) Identifying alleles likely to be early embryonic or developmental lethals within each breed, 2) Identify variants that can be designed onto SNP genotyping assays, and 3) Contribute to the International 1000 Bull Genomes project as a resource for the imputation of whole genome sequences.
Dr. Taylor's current extramurally funded research program includes seven grants from USDA, EU and Australia. These demonstrate that Dr. Taylor is a willing collaborator and is sought out to participate in major national level research programs.
Jerry Taylor is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and several University of Missouri System Awards. He is the American Society of Animal Science's 2013 Rockefeller Prentice Memorial Awardee in Animal Breeding and Genetics and a member of the Missouri Quality Beef Team that was awarded the NIFA Pa1inership Award for Mission Integration of Research, Education, or Extension in 2013. He is a member of the Bovine Genomics Consortium which developed the Illumina BovineSNP50 assay for which the team won the 2008 USDA Technology Transfer Award, the 2009 FLC Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer and the 2010 USDA Secretary's Honors Award. He has mentored 61 postdoctoral fellows, M.S. and Ph.D. students. Jerry has served on the Scientific Advisory Board for Sigma-Aldrich Biotechnology in St Louis, MO and currently serves on the NSF Plant Genome project advisory board and the Business and Scientific Advisory Board of Recombinetics, Inc. a biotechnology company focused on genetic engineering of livestock based in Minneapolis, MN.
Jeremy Taylor was born in the UK, educated in Australia (receiving the Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Bachelor of Science in Mathematical Statistics from the University of Adelaide, and PhD in Quantitative Genetics from University of New England in Australia). He was additionally a post-doctoral research associate in Dept. of Animal Science at Cornell University.
Congratulations, Dr. Taylor.