Dr. Fuller Bazer, interim head of the veterinary pathobiology department of the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, has been awarded an honorary Doctor of Science degree by the University of Florida, the institution where he began his illustrious research and teaching career.
Bazer received this honorary PhD at the fall graduation ceremony at the University of Florida this past December.
“It’s a special honor to be nominated by colleagues who I worked with for a long time and still collaborate with,” Bazer said, reflecting on the significance of the award.
This honorary degree is the latest in a long list of accolades that Bazer has received over the course of his almost 42-year-long academic career, which began at the University of Florida. He joined the faculty of animal science there as an assistant professor in 1968. Bazer worked at the University of Florida for more than 24 years, receiving research and teaching honors and rising through the ranks to be appointed in 1988 as Graduate Research Professor of the Department of Animal Science and the Department of Pediatrics.
“Dr. Bazer has been a presence in every aspect of his professional life,” said Dr. Eleanor Green, Carl B. King dean of veterinary medicine. “His reputation lived on at the University of Florida long after his departure to Texas A&M. This award is recognition of his many contributions and the regard in which he is still held. It is an honor for me to work with him closely here at Texas A&M as he is serving on our administrative team.”
Bazer joined the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University in 1992. Over the years, he has held several prominent posts at the university, such as Director of the Center for Animal Biotechnology and Genomics, Associate Director of the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station and Associate Vice President for Research.
Currently, Bazer holds the prestigious titles of Regents Fellow, Distinguished Professor and the O.D. Butler Chair in the Department of Animal Science.
An internationally renowned expert in the field of reproductive biology, Bazer’s research focuses on uterine biology and pregnancy, particularly the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie the establishment and maintenance of pregnancy. Bazer was the co-recipient of the 2002-2003 Wolf Foundation Prize in Agriculture for “discoveries of interferon-t and other pregnancy-associated proteins, which clarified the mystery of signaling between embryo and mother to maintain pregnancy.” Bazer holds five patents and has published more than 400 scientific articles, reviews and book chapters.
Described by a colleague as someone who “inspires by example,” Bazer has also been recognized for his work as a mentor. During the course of his career, he has guided more than 90 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. In 2009, he received a Trainee Mentoring Award from the Society for the Study of Reproduction (SSR). With this award, Bazer became the first member of the society to win all four of the organization’s top scientist awards, including the Carl G. Hartman Award, the SSR Research Award and the SSR Distinguished Service Award.
“It’s been a fun career,” said Bazer, who’s in his 42nd year of academic service.
In the coming years, he aims to continue his commitment to graduate student education as well as his involvement in collaborative research projects, which include determining the genetic basis of infertility in cattle and identifying genes critical for placental development.