April 20, 2007

Research on animal nutrition and genomics at the University of Kentucky took a big step forward today with announcement of a $900,000 grant to UK from Alltech Inc., the international biotechnology company based in Nicholasville.

The grant will foster collaboration between Alltech and UK to advance research in nutrigenomics, which is a new field studying the effects of nutrition on gene expression in animals. Scientists, students, the agriculture industry and ultimately consumers will benefit from the unique program.

“Our partnership with Alltech represents a truly ideal collaboration. Not only does this partnership allow us to conduct cutting-edge research, it provides our master's and doctoral students the opportunity to work alongside the best scientific minds from private industry and academia to find solutions and further our knowledge,” said UK President Lee T. Todd Jr.

“Alltech is proud to be the first company of its kind in the world to partner with a major university in this precise way to further education and serve the worldwide animal health industry,” said Pearse Lyons, Alltech founder and president.

The grant will support a variety of efforts, including a seminar series and also placement of UK College of Agriculture faculty and students at Alltech’s new state-of-the-art laboratory building to study how nutritional factors affect the expression of proteins and metabolites in animals, and how diet impacts the animal’s immune function. 

“This collaboration is about improving animal health – about helping food animals be more productive, about making performance animals such as horses more competitive, and even helping our pets be healthier,” said Nancy Cox, associate dean for research in the College of Agriculture.

The funding represents a continuation and enhancement of a long-standing partnership between UK and Alltech. Poultry nutrition research has been jointly conducted at the Coldstream Research Campus for several years, and in 2006 Alltech and UK announced the formation of a new alliance to collaborate on nutrigenomic research to improve animal diet and health.

“Our partnership with UK, which is more than two decades old, not only helps Kentucky’s producers but also the agriculture industry globally,” said Karl Dawson, Alltech’s director for worldwide research. “The field of nutrigenomics is one of the most exciting in science today and our programs with UK promise to keep Kentucky at the forefront of this technology.”

Alltech, which is sponsor of the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games to be held
in 2010 in Lexington, employs 1,800 people in 85 countries. The College of Agriculture has about 270 faculty and more than 2,500 students at the undergraduate and graduate 


Carl Nathe (859) 257-1754 or Haven Miller, (859) 257-4736, Ext. 272