Animal science prof wins national research honor

mcnamara-johnPULLMAN, Wash. – John McNamara, emeritus professor in animal sciences at Washington State University, has been awarded the 2015 Zoetis Physiology Award recognizing outstanding research in dairy cattle physiology from the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA).

His foundational research with Joe Hillers on metabolic control in adipose tissue helped begin the field of nutritional physiology in dairy cattle. The research shows that changes in body fat and protein metabolism can account for a 35-50 percent range in efficiency of dairy cattle producing the same amounts of milk. This has major implications for further genetic improvement in efficiency.

McNamara leads research and travels worldwide to encourage work in the systems biology of the dairy cow, focusing on integrating genetics, nutritional and reproductive control to identify patterns of metabolism in the most efficient dairy cattle.

A fellow of ADSA since 2012, he has been at WSU for 32 years. He has procured over $3 million in research and teaching support, published more than 200 peer-reviewed research papers, proceedings and invited talks and mentored several graduate students and hundreds of undergraduate students.

He has served on several editorial boards and spent four terms as an editor of the Journal of Dairy Science. He was a visiting professor at research institutes in the United States, Australia and New Zealand. He was the first recipient of the WSU College of Agriculture and Home Economics Excellence in Research Award and was honored for Excellence in Advising in 2005.

He won the ADSA Young Scientist Award (1992); Higher Education Teacher of the Year Award (2001) from the Washington Science Teachers Association and the Corbin Excellence in Companion Animal Biology from the American Society of Animal Sciences (2007).