The research mission of the Department of Animal Sciences is to develop and enhance excellence in basic and applied research in focused areas within Animal Science. As the only entity in the state that addresses the needs of New Jersey animal agriculturists, we are recognized as regional leaders in animal sciences. The Department of Animal Sciences serves not only New Jersey animal producers and processors but also a significant number of biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies with an interest in animal health. To this end, the departmental faculty constitutes a cohesive, yet diverse body, implementing novel ideas in molecular biology in research in animal science with application to human health. At the same time, members of our faculty address practical on-farm problems related to feeding/nutrition and optimizing growth and well-being in animals. The research interests of the Animal Sciences faculty are focused in the following areas: Endocrine Physiology, Equine Science, and Sustainable Animal Agriculture.
Endocrinology represents a major common interest that bridges the multidisciplinary research programs of the majority of the departmental faculty. Collectively, these faculty members conduct a broad range of endocrine-related research encompassing both agricultural as well as biomedical applications. The endocrine and growth-related research described here includes studies in farm animals, laboratory animals, and zebrafish as well as both animal and human cell lines. Specifically, research is focused on the hypothalamic/pituitary control of reproduction, reproductive tissue growth and remodeling, circadian rhythms, the neuroendocrine axis of stress, hormonal control of reproductive and feeding behaviors, and developmental regulation of growth. Additionally, faculty members bring unique skills and expertise in whole animal approaches, protein chemistry, electrophysiology, and cell and molecular biology.
Research: Reproductive endocrinology; Control of reproductive tissue growth; Maternal programming of development
Research: Molecular aspects of chromatin remodeling and circadian rhythms; non-coding RNA
Research: Neural control of feeding and diet selection
Research: Endocrine regulation of mammary gland biology and breast cancer
Research: Endocrine regulation of reproductive behavior in ruminants
Research: Effect of environmental stresses, both naturally occurring and anthropogenic, on the physiological functions of organisms
Research: Alcoholism, stress biology and cancer
Research: RNA biology, fertility, male contraceptives, novel RNAs, male germ cells
Research: Testis and ovary development in mammals
Equine Science and Sustainable Animal Agriculture
Equine science research in the department focuses on improving the quality of life and well-being of horses, while ensuring the vitality and viability of the equine industry, statewide and nationally. The broad area of aging in horses and the effects of exercise on their well-being is a major interest of this group because this system provides an excellent model for answering questions about equine physiology, and the research may apply to human medicine as well. Faculty with research programs in equine science include specialists in nutrition, immune function, exercise physiology, endocrinology and reproduction. Several of the research programs in the Department of Animal Sciences are focused on sustainable animal agriculture with positive economic and environmental impacts for the State of New Jersey. These applied research programs include: food waste utilization and recycling, and nutrient and manure management.
Research: Equine endocrinology and physiology
Research: Equine exercise and environmental physiology; neuroendocrine control of cardio-renal function
Research: Ruminant nutrition; growth by-product utilization