Alan Ealy, professor in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, has been appointed the Horace E. and Elizabeth F. Alphin Professor of Agriculture and Life Sciences by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The professorship was established in 1995 through the gifts of Col. Horace E. Alphin, a member of the Virginia Tech Class of 1934, and his wife, Elizabeth, to further scholarly endeavors in the area of agriculture and life sciences. The term of the professorship is five years, with the potential for reappointment.

A faculty member in the School of Animal Sciences since 2012, Ealy is a leading authority in bovine reproductive biology whose research in dairy cow subfertility and infertility has helped dairy producers across the globe improve pregnancy outcomes, offspring health, and production efficiency. Ealy’s research in reproductive physiology focuses on molecular and cellular events controlling embryo and placental development and how these events dictate ultimate pregnancy outcome and neonatal health. His work not only targets cattle and sheep, but also has relevance to human pregnancy.

Ealy has an international reputation as a leader in bovine embryology. He has given numerous invited talks, published over 120 peer-reviewed publications, and helped secure more than $10 million in federal, state, and intramural funding as a principal investigator or co-investigator. He is an active research mentor, having advised more than 25 graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, and visiting scientists, and he has earned awards from the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences for graduate mentoring and excellence in basic research. Ealy currently organizes a weekly reproductive biology seminar that routinely involves researchers and students from the throughout the country. The seminar is supported through the Richard G. and Ann L. Saacke Education Enrichment Fund, an endowment created in honor of the pioneering reproductive physiologist Dick Saacke and his wife, Ann.

Ealy is active as a member and leader in many professional societies, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Dairy Science Association, and the Society for the Study of Reproduction. He is associate editor of the journal Animal Reproduction Science, serves on the board of directors for the American Society for Animal Science, and recently finished a six-year term as section editor for the Journal of Animal Science.

Ealy received his Ph.D. in animal molecular and cellular biology from the University of Florida in 1994. He holds a master’s degree in animal science from Michigan State University and a bachelor’s degree in dairy production from Penn State.

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