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Penn State Researcher Recognized for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Posted: June 25, 2014

Dr. Troy Ott received the J. Christian Herr award at the 34th annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Immunology.
Dr. Troy Ott and members of the Center for Reproductive Biology and Health, from left: Sreelakshmi Vasudevan, award winner; Dr. Joy Pate, professor of reproductive physiology and director of CRBH; Manasi Kamat; Lindy Steinberger; and Katie Brahnam.

Dr. Troy Ott and members of the Center for Reproductive Biology and Health, from left: Sreelakshmi Vasudevan, award winner; Dr. Joy Pate, professor of reproductive physiology and director of CRBH; Manasi Kamat; Lindy Steinberger; and Katie Brahnam.

Dr. Troy Ott, Professor of Reproductive Physiology in Penn State's Department of Animal Science, received the J. Christian Herr award at the 34th annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Immunology (ASRI) in early June in Long Beach, NY. The prestigious award is given annually to recognize a body of research that is focused on solving problems in health through invention, innovation, technology transfer and entrepreneurship.

Ott has been at Penn State since 2006 and also is a member of the Center for Reproductive Biology and Health.

He said, "This award is especially meaningful to me because I have focused my research program on developing solutions to problems in agriculture and medicine. I have been actively involved in technology transfer to bring scientific discoveries to commercial application since the start of my scientific training."

Dr. Terry Etherton, Head of the Department of Animal Science, said, "This richly-deserved award is a wonderful affirmation of the outstanding research that Troy continues to do. His leadership in the transfer of technology into practical applications and his mentoring of students in their entrepreneurial pursuits is inspiring. We are very proud of his accomplishments, and I offer him my sincere congratulations on this impressive recognition."

Ott has been awarded four patents, two of which are currently licensed and in development with a diagnostic company.  One patent has now been awarded in nine countries and the European Union.

About his work, Ott added, "I am passionate about inspiring entrepreneurship in our students and have mentored undergraduate and graduate students in business plan competitions related to my patents."

Sreelakshmi Vasudevan, a doctoral student in Ott's lab, received an award at the meeting for her poster entitled: " Effects of early pregnancy on endometrial cytokines and other immune related genes in dairy heifers." Her award was presented by Dr. Randy Schekman, 2013 Nobel Prize Laureate in Medicine who also gave a lecture on his Nobel Prize winning research at the ASRI annual meeting.

As part of the recognition, Ott will give the J. Christian Herr Award lecture at the 2015 ASRI meeting to be hosted by Queens University, Canada.

Ott received his B.S. from Penn State University in animal production; his M.S. from Auburn University in reproductive physiology; and his Ph.D. from the University of Florida in reproductive physiology. He was a research scientist from 1992-1998 at the Center for Animal Biotechnology at Texas A&M University. He also was a member of the faculty of the University of Idaho before joining Penn State.

The J. Christian Herr award was established by a past president of the ASRI, Dr. John C. Herr, to acknowledge the dedication of his father to invention, innovation and entrepreneurship through decades of volunteerism in the Service Core of Retired Executives (SCORE), a program of the Small Business Administration. The spirit of the award may be found in the words of Louis Pasteur, "There is no true distinction between fundamental and applied science, there is only science in the cause of humankind."

The American Society for Reproductive Immunology was founded to foster the development of reproductive immunology research, increase intellectual exchange between clinical and basic branches of reproductive immunology, and provide mentoring for new scientists interested in reproductive immunology.