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Spring 2014

CASNR Professor Walks a Technology Bridge Between Two Texas Tech Campuses

Sam Prien shares his expertise in assisted reproductive technologies with Texas Tech University and the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center.

by Norman Martin

Sam Prien

Sam Prien’s work world is divided between two disparate parts of the Texas Tech campus. The professor, an expert in assisted reproductive technologies, splits his daily duties between the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) Obstetrics and Gynecology Department and TTU’s nationally known Department of Animal and Food Sciences.

“I’ve worked with some amazing young men and women over the years,” Prien said. “I have a sign on my door that reads ‘No one can bestow the title mentor on themselves. It is a special title bestowed on us by others. A title once given, we must strive daily to deserve.’ I have had the honor of a number of these individuals call me their mentor. I hope I can continue to earn the title.”

Prien received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in botany from Texas Tech. His doctorate in animal science–reproductive physiology is from Texas Tech. At the university’s obstetrics and gynecology center, Prien directs the department’s clinical laboratory. Over in animal sciences, he teaches and leads an active research program.

Specifically, Prien is a board-certified high-complexity clinical laboratory director and is certified in both clinical andrology and embryology. In addition to his general clinical laboratory work, he works directly with the TTUHSC’s doctors and reproductive endocrinologist in the treatment of infertility patients as part of its assisted reproductive technology program.

In addition, he conducts physiology-based research in a number of areas, both animal and human. In his time at Texas Tech, he has published more than 70 journal articles and has made more than 150 presentations of his work at regional, national and international meetings. He holds four U.S. patents, with others pending.

Away from laboratory and classroom, Prien’s downtime includes being the author of some rather unusual songs and poems, usually with a laboratory or reproductive bent. What started years ago with “Twas the Night Before Ovulation,” now includes “Thesis Killer”, a parody of the ‘80s hit “Thriller.” More recently he has turned novelist, completing two works with a third on the way.

College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources

The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources is made up of six departments: Agricultural and Applied Economics, Agricultural Education and Communications, Animal and Food Sciences, Landscape Architecture, Plant and Soil Science, and Natural Resources Management.

The college also consists of 11 research centers and institutes, including the Cotton Economics Research Institute, the International Cotton Research Center and the Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute.

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Norman Martin is a Unit Coordinator for Agricultural Communications in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Texas Tech University.

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