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Texas A&M Professor Awarded the Prestigious Nilsson-Ehle Gold Medal

Posted February 08, 2016

Dr. Leif Andersson receiving the Nilsson-Ehle Gold Medal from Prince Carl Philip, Duke of Värmland at the Stockholm City Hall (© Kungl. Skogs- och Lantbruksakademien, photo:Pelle T Nilsson)
Dr. Leif Andersson receiving the Nilsson-Ehle Gold Medal from Prince Carl Philip, Duke of Värmland at the Stockholm City Hall (© Kungl. Skogs- och Lantbruksakademien, photo:Pelle T Nilsson)

 

COLLEGE STATION, Texas – Dr. Leif Andersson, professor in the Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences and at Uppsala University in Sweden, received the Royal Swedish Academy of Forestry and Agriculture’s Nilsson-Ehle Gold Medal for his research in animal genetics. Named after the pioneering geneticist Dr. Herman Nilsson-Ehle, the award honors those with outstanding contributions to the field of genetics with practical applications in agriculture.

Andersson, a Texas A&M Institute for Advanced Studies Faculty Fellow, was chosen for the Nilsson-Ehle Gold Medal based on his exceptional molecular genetics research, which has important applications in animal breeding and veterinary medicine. Specifically, he investigates how genetic mutations can affect gene function and regulation. He also compares genomes from many species to uncover the importance of the molecular mechanisms and underlying genetic traits to human and veterinary medicine.

”It is great honor to receive this prestigious award as a recognition for my research,” Andersson said, “and the ceremony in the Stockholm City Hall, where the Nobel prize banquet takes place in December every year, was fabulous—a memory for life.”

Andersson’s work has garnered national and international attention both among scholars and in the media. Recently, he discovered the gene that is responsible for the ability of some horse breeds, such as the Paso Fino and Tennessee Walker, to move with a smooth ambling gait. Additionally, in his recent paper published in Nature, Andersson determined the gene responsible for the variation in beak shape in Darwin’s finches.

Andersson 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 elected as a Foreign Member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. Andersson has received numerous other prizes: the Wolf prize, the Thureus Prize in Natural History and Medicine from the Royal Society of Sciences, the Linnaeus Prize in Zoology from the Royal Physiographic Society in Lund, the Hilda and Alfred Eriksson’s Prize in Medicine from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and the Olof Rudbeck Prize from Upsala Medical Society.

“Dr. Leif Andersson has dedicated his career to molecular genetics, and his research is truly exceptional,” said Dr. Eleanor M. Green, the Carl B. King dean of veterinary medicine. “Dr. Andersson has achieved international recognition for his outstanding research, and we are proud of his accomplishments. This award is a well-deserved recognition of his contributions to the fields of genetics, agriculture, and veterinary medicine.”

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Contact Information: Megan Palsa, mpalsa@cvm.tamu.edu, 979-862-4216, 979-421-3121 (cell)



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