COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Dr. Leif Andersson, former Texas A&M; Institute for Advanced Studies (TIAS) Faculty Fellow and professor at Uppsala University in Sweden was one of five faculty members at Texas A&M; University to be awarded a Governor’s University Research Initiative (GURI) Grant. As part of the grant, Andersson was awarded $1,568,000 to support his research in molecular and comparative genetics, which has numerous applications in animal breeding and veterinary medicine.
“Texas is the home of innovation, and with the addition of these world-class scholars to our university faculties, we will continue to lead the nation in cutting-edge research,” Governor Greg Abbott said. “This strategic investment in higher education will further elevate future generations of students and faculty at Texas universities while spearheading new breakthroughs in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine, all of which are crucial to the long-term success of the Texas economy. I would like to thank GURI Advisory Board Chairman James Huffines and all our advisory board members for their outstanding work. I am proud and deeply honored to welcome these distinguished researchers to the Lone Star State.”
“We congratulate Dr. Andersson on receiving a GURI grant, a well-deserved honor for an accomplished and distinguished researcher, whose work has the potential to truly transform and improve the lives of people locally, nationally, and internationally,” said Dr. Eleanor M. Green, the Carl B. King dean of veterinary medicine. “Additionally, we would like to recognize the vision of Governor Abbott in establishing this grant through which great advancements in science and research can be made.”
Andersson will join the faculty half time at the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences (CVM). In this role, he will participate in graduate education programs as well as teach and assist with graduate and undergraduate courses.
“It is a great honor to receive this prestigious award that will allow me to more quickly build up a strong research program at Texas A&M;,” Andersson said. “I am very much looking forward to take advantage of this opportunity and initiate my research program together with my faculty colleagues at Texas A&M.; I applaud the governor and his staff for making this major investment in research and higher education.”
A world-renowned scientist who has published more than 370 scientific articles and has received six patents and filed applications for two more, Andersson has mentored 27 students to doctorate or professional degrees. He has also been uniquely elected to four major scientific royal societies in Sweden (Royal Swedish Society for Agriculture and Forestry, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Royal Society of Sciences in Uppsala and the Royal Physiographic Society in Lund) and was recently elected as a Foreign Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. He received the Wolf price in Agriculture in 2014.
“Dr. Andersson previously was a TIAS Faculty Fellow in our college, and we are thrilled that he soon will be a permanent faculty member,” said Dr. Evelyn Tiffany-Castiglioni, department head of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences. “My perception of his interactions with collaborators at Texas A&M; is that Dr. Andersson’s recruitment will greatly accelerate research here in the area of domestic animal genetics. His brilliant explorations of genetic diversity in domesticated animals have already had far-reaching implications in animal agriculture and human health.”
The aim of the GURI is to recruit nationally recognized researchers to universities in Texas, who bring with them a breadth of knowledge and great potential for scientific progress and development. The initiative has been a top priority for Governor Greg Abbot and is set to bring transformative research to Texas that positively impacts the lives of Texans and the Texas economy.
A total of $34,292,550 was awarded through the GURI grant to various Texas higher education institutions.