AFS’s Johnson garners national AMSA Distinguished Research Award
By: Norman Martin
An internationally-recognized animal science researcher with Texas Tech's Department of Animal and Food Sciences has been presented the American Meat Science Association's 2020 Distinguished Research Award. Brad Johnson, Texas Tech University's Gordon W. Davis Regent's Chair in Meat and Muscle Biology, will receive the honor in August during the virtual 66th International Congress of Meat Science and Technology and the AMSA 73rd Reciprocal Meat Conference awards presentation.
The award was established in 1965 to recognize members with outstanding research contributions to the meat industry and is sponsored by Conagra Brands, Inc.
"My greatest research accomplishments aren't the number of publications or the amount of grant dollars awarded, for these are only numbers on a piece of paper," Johnson said, "but rather the people I have interacted with. My greatest memories are watching my former students, both undergraduate and graduate, and postdocs, earn success and accolades in the animal and meat sciences fields and transitioning from my students to my colleagues."
It's not the first time Tech's Department of Animal and Food Sciences have been in the AMSA limelight, with Texas Tech faculty receiving the AMSA's Distinguished Research Award in each of the last three years, a first for the organization.
Mark Miller, a professor and San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Distinguished Chair in Meat Science at Texas Tech, received the research award in 2019. Mindy Brashears, a Texas Tech professor of food microbiology and food safety, took home the research honor in 2018. Brashears, currently Under Secretary of Agriculture for Food Safety at the USDA, is expected to return to Texas Tech following her USDA service.
Johnson has deep research ties to the U.S. beef-production industry, as well as global production. His expertise has been sought worldwide in issues related to meat and muscle biology. Last year Johnson and other researchers received a received a $239,693 grant from the USDA to identify the means by which development of intramuscular adipose tissue, or marbling, can be promoted without also increasing subcutaneous adipose tissue, or back fat.
In addition, he has worked with the feedlot industry in Indonesia to address the use of growth promotants in beef cattle production; he performed β-adrenergic agonist research in South Korea with the native Hanwoo cattle and introduced that compound to the feedlot industry in Brazil. And since 2015, he has worked with Egyptian scientists to increase their knowledge of the mechanism of action and metabolism of veterinary drugs.
His work includes 116 peer-reviewed journal articles, 12 invited reviews or book chapters, and he has advised more than 70 graduate and postdoctoral students. Johnson received his master's and doctorate degrees from the University of Minnesota, and his bachelor's degree from South Dakota State University.
After completing his degrees, he went on to serve as an assistant professor at South Dakota State University, and later as an associate professor at Kansas State University. He joined Tech's College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources in 2008. He is a member of the American Meat Science Association and the American Society of Animal Science.
The majority of Johnson's research over this time has involved evaluating the mechanism of action and physiology of two classes of veterinary drugs approved for meat production, steroidal implants and β-adrenergic agonists. Many models have been used by Johnson to evaluate the mode of action of both of these veterinary drugs including cell culture, tissue explant and in vivo experiments. Johnson was the first to evaluate the combined trenbolone acetate/estradiol 17β steroidal implant for beef cattle in the United States.
Results from these experiments defined the mechanism of these compounds on postnatal muscle growth, and subsequently, the metabolism of the parent compounds as they were excreted from the target animal. In addition, his laboratory also has worked extensively on the mechanism of action of β-adrenergic agonists at both the skeletal muscle and adipose tissue level.
More recently, he has been asked to address the proposed metabolism of these compounds as it relates to potential residues in edible tissues. Specifically, he has played a pivotal role in anti-doping cases involving meat consumption.
CONTACT: Brad Johnson, Gordon W. Davis Regent's Chair in Meat and Muscle Biology, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Tech University at (806) 834-7057 or firstname.lastname@example.org
0710NM20 / For more detailed information on Brad Johnson's research to boost marbling in beef without increasing overall fatness, please click here
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Editor: Norman Martin
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