American Simmental Association hires lead genomicist
Mahdi Saatchi, who holds a B.S. degree in Animal Science, an M.S. degree in Animal Breeding and Genetics, and a Ph.D. in Animal Breeding and Genetics, has agreed to join the American Simmental Association (ASA) staff as Lead Genomicist for the International Genetics Solutions program. IGS is a collaborative effort that focuses on multi-breed genetic evaluation involving 12 different beef breed associations.
Over the last 18 months, Dr. Saatchi has been employed as a genomic research scientist for the Pork Improvement Company (PIC), located at Hendersonville, Tennessee. He will begin his duties with ASA January 1, 2016.
During a three-and-a-half year period spanning 2010 to 2014, he studied and worked as a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at Iowa State University (ISU). While at ISU, he developed and implemented genomic selection technology into genetic evaluations for several US beef cattle breed associations, including Simmental, Hereford, Red Angus, Gelbvieh and Limousin in collaboration with the National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium.
“I am excited about returning to the beef community. I enjoyed my time working with my colleagues at Genus PIC and ABS, but I missed my ties with beef. The National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium originally sponsored me in my post-doctoral research activities at ISU allowing me to work with many breed associations. I cannot wait to serve the ASA/IGS members,” Saatchi explained in an interview.
“Dr. Saatchi’s extensive training and experience in the area of genomics adds a very powerful dimension to the IGS team, further cementing IGS as a leader in the world of genetic evaluation.” says Dr. Wade Shafer, ASA Executive Vice President. Among his many accomplishments are:
Published the third most-viewed article of all time in Genetics Selection Evolution, the highest-impact journal in the field of Agriculture, Dairy and Animal Science.
Developed a methodology to assess the accuracies of genomic predictions, which has been adopted by US GeneSeek – Neogen, a leading commercial agriculture genetic service laboratory in the US.
Delivered multiple presentations at the largest agriculture genomics meeting in the world, the International Plant and animal Genome meeting.
Selected by the government of the European Union to teach his methodology to European farmers.
Invited to present his novel methodology at the 10th World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production.
Founded in 1968, the American Simmental Association is headquartered in Bozeman, MT ASA is committed to leveraging technology, education and collaboration to accelerate genetic profitability for the beef industry. In keeping with its commitment, ASA, along with its partners, formed International Genetic Solutions – the world’s largest genetic evaluation of beef cattle.
–American Simmental Association