Professor accepted into international exchange program

Ivy Christianson


ISU professor of animal science was recently selected to partake in

the U.S.-U.K. Fulbright Commission educational exchange


<span style=

“line-height: 24px;”>Christopher Tuggle has been with Iowa State

since 1991, spending some of his time teaching and the rest doing

research on genomics — specifically studying gene pathways and

genetic improvement of disease resistance and growth efficiency in


As a Fulbright

Scholar, Tuggle will travel to the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh,

Scotland and spend six months working to improve food safety by

looking at salmonella infections in pigs.

The Roslin

Institute is well-known for playing a large hand in the successful

cloning of Dolly the sheep in 1996.

“We’re collecting

a lot of genomic data, especially on how the animal responds to

being infected,” Tuggle said. “What we’re trying to identify is

animals that respond better, that are more resistant.”

Tuggle said

they’re trying to correlate molecular data drawn from the blood to

see if there is something that lets scientists predict whether an

animal is going to be more or less resistant to salmonella.

Tuggle will take

data he has already collected for the experiment to Edinburgh to

compare with what researchers in Edinburgh have found in similar


To be chosen for

the Fulbright Scholar Program, applicants are required to complete

a five-page proposal in which they outline what type of research

they want to do. Not only that, but they must have letters from

people eminent in their field that think the research outlined in

the proposal is a good idea.

Once the

application process is complete, the U.S. side of the commission

looks at the proposal. If they rank the proposal highly, it is sent

over to the U.K. side. If marked highly there, a phone interview is

conducted with the finalists. The program is not only for faculty,

many undergraduates attend as well.

For Tuggle’s

area, only two scholars are selected, whereas there are

significantly more undergraduates in other parts of the program. A

total 135 people will be in attendance.

“I think it’s

competitive and it’s quite an honor to be selected,” he said.

Tuggle’s group

will find the classifier that would identify the pigs who are more

resistant to salmonella, which would decrease the spreading of the

disease. He plans to bring new ideas back to Iowa State,

specifically for the genomics group-work he does, but also for

larger department groups.

Tuggle said the

program is very well organized, and allows for a great experience


“We really need

to keep engaged with other countries, and I think this is a great

program that helps us do that,” he said.

Tuggle, his wife

and two of his children will make the venture to Scotland in

January 2011, and will stay until June. has more information about the Fulbright

Scholar Program.