Collaborative climate draws biochemist to WVU
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. West Virginia University’s commitment to fostering interdisciplinary research is a core component of its strategic plan, and it’s also a draw for new faculty members. Joseph McFadden, an assistant professor of biochemistry at WVU, cited the chance to pursue a collaborative research program as a major factor in his move to Morgantown.
After earning his Ph.D. in dairy science at Virginia Tech, McFadden completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Center for Metabolism and Obesity Research and the Department of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
“During my Ph.D. program at Virginia Tech, I characterized two new molecular targets capable of regulating fatty acid synthesis in bovine mammary epithelial cells,” McFadden said. “At Johns Hopkins I was able to continue studying these targets with the hope of understanding how these genes regulate food intake and body weight gain.”
McFadden, who was named the 2009 outstanding doctoral student in Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, also prepared for his future role as an educator by completing a future professoriate graduate certificate.
“At WVU, I am able to pursue a competitive, collaborative research program while simultaneously teaching, a practice I find truly enjoyable and rewarding,” McFadden said. “I chose WVU because it is a land-grant institution and offers dairy cows and excellent facilities for my research program.”
In WVU’s Division of Animal and Nutritional Sciences, he plans to continue his research focused on energy metabolism in dairy cows experiencing metabolic stress because of the energy requirements for milk production.
“My goal is to contribute discoveries which can prevent this stress and improve animal health and performance,” he said. “Due to my interests in obesity research, my hope is to also continue cross-disciplinary research and study similar mechanisms in obese animal models.”
But while WVU’s academic climate was central to McFadden’s choice, it wasn’t the only factor.
“Morgantown has a community of friendly people, and this is where I want to live my life” he said.
CONTACT: David Welsh, Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design