Center for Integrated Animal Genomics

The Center for Integrated Animal Genomics (CIAG) at Iowa State University (ISU) comprises an interdisciplinary group of faculty and students using integrated systems-wide genomics approaches to address current and future challenges and opportunities in animal agriculture and human health.  Scientists at the Center work to identify, map and understand the function and control of genes to improve animal and human health.  CIAG embraces basic research areas of animal biology and veterinary medicine that build on current strengths at ISU and are predicted to be of particular importance in agricultural research in the next five to ten years.  These areas include functional genomics, comparative genomics and animal-microbe interactions and bioinformatics.

The potential impacts of CIAG are substantial.  Animal agriculture benefits through continued genetic improvement of important livestock qualities related to food quality and waste, through improvements in disease resistance and pre-harvest pathogen control, and through improved design and utilization of livestock feeds.  The fundamental scientific discoveries made using the integrated genomics approach contribute to permanent improvements in animal health and production systems that are compatible with current environmental concerns and long-term sustainability of agriculture.  Human health benefits accrue directly from food safety and public health considerations and directly through comparative genomics work with model species.  The understanding of basic molecular and cellular processes, for example, allows for rational design of therapeutic drugs and treatments.  It also enables more effective methods to combat bioterrorism mediated by infectious agents of animals, thus helping to secure the safety of the citizenry and the security of the food supply.  Finally, the Center has the opportunity to enhance economic development in Iowa for the animal and food industries.

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