Dr. Tom Porter - 2019 Golden Alumni Award Recipient


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Dr. Tom Porter with Department Head, Dr. Mike Schutz.

The Department of Animal Science, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences at the University of Minnesota is pleased to announce that Dr. Tom Porter was chosen as the winner of the Golden Alumni Award – Achievement in Academia. The Golden Alumni Award recognizes two alumni that have achieved distinction in their professional lives for their outstanding contributions to animal science and exceptional service to their respective fields.

Dr. Tom Porter received his doctoral degree from the University of Minnesota, Department of Animal Science under Dr. Mohamed El Halawani. After completing his Ph.D. degree, Tom went on to a serve as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology at the Medical University of South Carolina. He then obtained an Assistant Professor position at Texas A&M University. In 1997, he was recruited to the Department of Animal and Avian Sciences at the University of Maryland where he was subsequently promoted to Associate Professor and Professor. He became chair of the department in 2007 and currently is serving as Interim Associate Dean and Associate Director for University of Maryland Extension.

As a researcher, Tom is best known for his research in regulatory mechanisms for growth hormone production in broiler chickens. His research group has also made discoveries using genome-wide gene expression analyses to enhance our understanding of the neuroendocrine genes and gene networks controlling critical performance factors (growth, composition, and feed intake) of broiler chickens. Tom has been recognized for teaching and mentoring excellence. He has received numerous awards from the University of Maryland including: Junior Faculty Excellence Award, Alumni Excellence in Instruction Award, and Dean Gordon Cairns Award for Distinguished Creative Work and Teaching in Agriculture. Students flock to Tom’s laboratory. He has trained more than 20 graduate students and 5 postdocs and has served on more than 50 graduate advisory committees. More than 45 undergraduate students have apprenticed in his laboratory. Tom’s service contributions to professional societies and organizations are exceptional and numerous,  and include the Poultry Science Association (PSA) and the International Society for Avian Endocrinology (ISAE) as only a few examples. For the Poultry Science Association, he served as editor-in-chief of the Poultry Science journal from 2010-16 where he improved the quality, the impact and the breadth of published research.