Abasht joins the Department of Animal and Food Sciences

February 6, 2012 under CANR News

The Department of Animal and Food Sciences in the University of Delaware’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) has added Behnam Abasht to its faculty.

Abasht, assistant professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences, received his bachelor’s degree in animal science from Urmia University and his master’s degree in animal science from the University of Tehran in Iran. He received his doctorate in Quantitative and Molecular Genetics in France from the University of Rennes INRA-Agrocampus in 2006. His travels then took him to Iowa State University where he completed his post-doctoral work before working as a Research Geneticist and Genomics Project Leader at Perdue Farms from 2008 until 2011.

Now, Abasht has brought his expertise in chicken genomics to the College of Agricultural and Natural Resources.

Abasht visited the University of Delaware campus, specifically the Delaware Biotechnology Institute (DBI), in 2009 and in 2010. He said that these visits left no doubt in his mind that he wanted to join the faculty at the University of Delaware.

“That was truly one of the most pleasant visits that I have had to an academic institution,” said Abasht. “I felt that people were friendly and welcoming and was impressed from the outstanding research programs of the faculties and the commitment of both Animal and Food Sciences and DBI to cutting-edge technologies for research.”

Now that he has been on campus working, nothing has changed. “I believe CANR has a nice ambiance with its energetic and welcoming staff. I enjoy speaking with people at CANR and receive positive energy from them. You just feel that it is a great place to be and to work.”

Abasht said that his research at UD focuses on using an integrated, multi-disciplinary approach that will include collaboration with an international team of scientists to help identify genes that explain the differences on fatness between two lines of chickens, the French Fat and Lean chicken lines.

His research interests extend into the “implementation of genomics technologies in commercial chicken breeding programs” and he is hoping to continue this research at the University of Delaware by collaborating closely with poultry industry members.

Abasht also said that he is looking forward to “building a dynamic lab group to conduct research on integrative avian biology, using systems-based approaches.”

Abasht added, “I had no idea that one day I would be in one of the world’s leading animal science departments developing my research program on studying the genetic basis of phenotypic variation in chickens.”

Article by Adam Thomas


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