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Texas Tech names new leadership for Department of Animal & Food Sciences

Texas Tech names new leadership for Department of Animal & Food Sciences

A nationally-recognized leader in skeletal biology research has been named the new chairman of Texas Tech University’s Department of Animal and Food Sciences today (Jun. 21) according to officials within the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. Michael Orth takes the helm of the highly successful agricultural academic unit at the university after serving 17 years at Michigan State University.

“I’m both humbled and excited to serve as the new chair,” Orth said. “The department has great faculty, staff, and students and I am looking forward to working with them to enhance our international reputation.”

In the past, Orth has focused his research efforts on improving joint and skeletal health in livestock species and companion animals. He’s found that many diagnostic tools developed for humans have tremendous potential in the livestock industry for evaluating strategies designed to improve bone health.

“Michael Orth has made substantial contributions to our understanding of skeletal biology,” said Michael Galyean, dean of Tech’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. “Just as importantly, he’s an inspiring and dedicated teacher whose enthusiasm for animal science comes through in the broad range of courses he’s led. I join the Department of Animal and Food Sciences in welcoming him.”

Orth joins Texas Tech’s faculty after serving in a variety of academic positions at Michigan State’s Department of Animal Science, including professor, associate professor, associate chair and assistant professor. He was also an adjunct associate professor with Michigan State’s Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition.

Prior to working at Michigan State, he was a visiting assistant professor of biochemistry and a medical biochemistry instructor with Chicago’s Rush Medical College. In addition, he was a research assistant in the Department of Kinesiology and the Departments of Poultry and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Wisconsin.

Orth earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa. His doctorate is from the University of Wisconsin. He is a member of the Michigan Allied Poultry Industries and the American Society of Animal Science. Awards for Orth include: University of Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Student Fellowship (1986); NASA Group Achievement Award as part of the Cosmos 2G Comparison Study Team (1994); and the Falk Award of Excellence – Greater Chicago Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation (1995).

Less than a decade ago Texas Tech’s animal and food sciences department moved into a new state-of-the-art teaching and research facility. The facility includes four multimedia-classrooms, five specialized teaching and research labs, the largest retail meat cooler on a university campus, and a retail store. The department has more than 20 active faculty members engaged in teaching, research and service across a number of cutting-edge fields, including food science, food safety, muscle biology, nutrition, animal well-being, breeding and genetics, physiology and with specialties in cattle, horse, sheep, goats, poultry and swine.

Written by Norman Martin

CONTACT: Michael Galyean, Dean, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2808 or michael.galyean@ttu.edu

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