Dr. Luc R. Berghman was presented with the Zoetis Fundamental Science Award at the 2016 Poultry Science Association Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana. This award was given in recognition of his outstanding achievement in basic disciplines (genetics, genomics, immunology, molecular, cellular, developmental biology, physiology, poultry health, proteomics) and his sustained high quality contributions to fundamental science that has advanced the field of poultry science.
Luc Berghman earned his BS/MS degrees in Zoology from the Katholieke Universiteit in Leuven (KULeuven), Belgium. He received his PhD summa cum laude in 1988 from the graduate program in animal physiology at the KULeuven, working on monoclonal antibody-based immunochemistry of chicken poultry pituitary hormones under the guidance of Frans Vandesande and Eduard Kühn. Berghman stayed on in Leuven to complete a six-year postdoctoral program funded by a Belgian National Science Foundation (currently “FWO”) grant. In 1994 he was promoted to FWO senior research associate as well as to associate professor of immunology and neuroscience at the KULeuven. In 1998 he moved to Texas A&M University (College Station, TX) in a joint appointment in the Departments of Poultry Science and Veterinary Pathobiology where he received tenure and was promoted to associate professor in 2005. Berghman currently also serves as adjunct associate professor at the University of Arkansas. At Texas A&M University, Berghman introduced an antibody-guided vaccine technology for use in poultry as part of USDA-funded research projects; other antibody-based technology was supported by the Department of Homeland Security. Current research in Berghman’s lab focuses on antigen-presenting cells (APCs), especially dendritic cells, which his team recently immuno-magnetically isolated by use of anti-CD205 monoclonal antibodies. In the last five years Berghman has co-invented several bacterial-vectored vaccine technologies using APC targeting motifs on recombinant vectors to direct co-expressed antigenic cargo directly to APCs in chickens. This has resulted in a number of patented technologies which are currently licensed from Texas A&M University or jointly licensed from Texas A&M and the University of Arkansas for commercial development. Berghman has authored or coauthored more than 110 research publications and several book chapters. His primary teaching commitments have included lecture and laboratory courses on experimental immunology (at the graduate level) and poultry genetics (at the undergraduate level). In addition, Berghman has mentored five MS and six PhD students, together with four postdoctoral research associates. To date, each of those PhD students has gone on to assume a research or teaching career in academia or a biotechnological company. Congratulations!
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