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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


OARDC Poultry Scientist Honored for Research Achievements

August 17, 2009

WOOSTER, Ohio — Ohio State University poultry scientist Sandra G. Velleman, an international leader in the study of the extracellular matrix in poultry and in muscle development, has received the Poultry Science Association’s (PSA) 2009 Evonik Degussa Award for Achievement in Poultry Science.


The award, provided by Evonik Industries, honors distinctive achievements in the advancement of poultry science within the previous seven years.

Velleman is a professor of animal sciences at the university’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) in Wooster, where she studies the molecular and cellular mechanisms regulating muscle growth in chickens and turkeys, with an emphasis on extracellular gene expression.

She has made major research contributions in maternal inheritance of breast muscle morphology, in heparan sulfate proteoglycan regulation of muscle growth in turkeys, and in regulation of transforming growth factor beta family signal transduction by the extracellular matrix.

She joined OARDC in 1995 and before that was a National Institutes of Health post-doctoral fellow with the University of Pennsylvania’s Medical School Connective Tissue Research Institute and an assistant professor in residence in the University of Connecticut’s Department of Animal Sciences.

She has produced 96 full-length publications in 23 highly respected scientific journals, two invited book chapters, a patent, 14 published gene sequences, eight conference proceedings, 39 abstracts and seven technical bulletins and has given 25 invited presentations.

Her previous honors include the Ohio Poultry Association Meritorious Service Award and Ohio State’s Gamma Sigma Delta Research Award, both this year; PSA’s Embrex Fundamental Science Award in 2008; the National Turkey Federation Research Award in 2006; and PSA’s Research Award in 1998.

A native of Malden, Mass., she holds a doctorate with a specialization in cell and developmental biology from the University of Connecticut and a bachelor of arts degree with distinction in biology from Boston University.

PSA’s 3,500 members are educators, scientists, Extension specialists, administrators and producers from around the world.

Evonik Industries is a multinational specialty chemicals firm.

OARDC (" is the research arm of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences and is the largest university agbioscience research center in the United States.

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Kurt Knebusch
Sandy Velleman