Dr. F. Abel Ponce de León Retires
After 19 years at the University of Minnesota and 37 years total in higher education Professor F. Abel Ponce de León retired July 1, 2016. Dr. Ponce de León received his Ph.D. in animal science at the University of Massachusetts and then completed his postdoctoral training at Amherst College. He went on to serve as a faculty member with the University of Massachusetts where held teaching, research, and administrative positions. He came to the U of M in 1997 to serve as the Department Head for the Department of Animal Science as well as the Co-Director of the Animal Biotechnology Center. From 2006 – 2013 he served the university as the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs in the College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources, as well as the Deputy Director of the MN Agricultural Experiment station. In 2015, he acted as visiting professor at Universidad Nacional Agraria – La Molina.
Dr. Ponce de León’s research focused on structural and functional genomics and cellular reprogramming and animal transgenesis. He is a leader in his field and has achieved widespread national and international recognition for his achievements. He has received many awards in recognition of his contributions to his field, the most notable being his position as Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) Fellow. He is author or co-author of over 100 scientific articles and book chapters. Dr. Ponce de León is co-inventor on five patents on animal cloning, PGC and stem cell culture systems. He has been invited to participate in national and international symposia that reflect the importance of his research including: Conference of the Peruvian Association of Animal Science, National Congress of Animal Genetics – Spain, European Colloquium on Animal Cytogenetics and Gene Mapping, Poultry Breeders of America and Southeastern Poultry and Egg Association, International Society for Animal Genetics Conference, Peruvian Association of Biologists Round Table, MN Dairy Leaders Round Table, European Red Partridge Preservation symposium, and International Symposium on Cloning and Animal Genetics.
Dr. Ponce de León taught animal science courses and advised 13 graduate students to completion of their degrees and oversaw three postdoctoral scholars. The department will be honoring him at a retirement reception on October 4 at 3 p.m. in the Cargill Building on St. Paul Campus.