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Ruqian Zhao

Zhao Ruqian

Professor, Department of Veterinary Medicine, Nanjing Agricultural University

Summary of my work

I list the four ongoing projects below, all of which are related to my work in Professor Paul Soloway’s Nutritional Sciences lab on epigenetics. The first and the third are basically for academic exchanges and international cooperation. The first is supported by Cornell, and the other by the Ministry of Agriculture of China. These two grants will jointly fund Dr. Soloway’s visit to China. One or two students/young staff from my group will stay at Cornell this year. The aim of the exchange is to learn epigenetic technologies developed in Dr. Soloway’s lab for our studies on domestic animals, i.e. pigs (project 4) and chickens (project 3). 1. 2009-2010. “Where Nature Meets Nurture: Exploring the interplay between genetics and environment in pig—an important agricultural animal and model for human physiology,” supported by the Jeffrey Sean Lehman Fund for Scholarly Exchange with China, Cornell University. 2. 2010-2013. “Protein metabolism in Yellow-feather broiler chickens: Molecular mechanisms and nutritional manipulation,”supported by NSFC-Guangdong Joint Fund. 3. 2010. “Improving meat quality via metabolic programming in domestic animals,” “948” program supported by the Ministry of Agriculture of China, 2010-S14. 4. 2009-2010. “Identification and characterization of breed- and tissue-specific factors (cis- and trans-) involved in the regulation of GR expression in the pig,” supported by Ministry of Agriculture of China, (2009ZX08009-138B).

Impacts in China

Currently the projects I am working on are mostly basic research that have no direct impact on the advancement of agriculture in rural China. However, my research relates closely to the protection and exploitation of Chinese animal genetic resource, for instance, local breeds of chicken and pig. Animal husbandry in China faces great challenges and has a lot of problems, including the extinction of indigenous breeds, poor animal health and welfare, poor product quality, and compromised food safety. The western style of highly industrialized animal production does not seem to be applicable in China, especially rural China. Farmers lack the basic knowledge regarding the production of local breeds to meet the requirements of local consumers while maintaining animal health and welfare.


For details on publications and projects see the scholar's website.