Magazine feature about Casas' research (Dec. 01)
Clay Center Scientist Wins Regional AwardBy David Elstein
January 22, 2004
CLAY CENTER, Neb., Jan. 22Agricultural Research Service geneticist Eduardo Casas was presented with the research agency's "Northern Plains Area Early Career Research Scientist of 2003" award at a ceremony today in New Orleans, La. ARS is the chief scientific research agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Casas is based at the ARS Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) in Clay Center. The research agency's Northern Plains Area includes the states of Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming and Utah.
Acting ARS Administrator Edward Knipling presented a plaque and a check to Casas in recognition of his research in beef cattle genetics. "The work that Dr. Casas has done in identifying genomic regions in cattle will greatly help the beef industry," Knipling said.
Casas has located specific areas in the genetic makeup of beef cattle that control traits that are important to consumers. For example, tenderness of meat can vary greatly from cow to cow, and there currently is no cost-effective method to determine in advance how tender a specific cow's meat will be. Casas found a gene that has an impact on the tenderness of beef. Armed with this genetic information, ranchers in the future may be able to select and breed cows that produce more tender beef. Casa has found other genes that could lead to cattle whose carcasses have more meat and less fat.
Casas joined ARS at MARC in 1996, soon after receiving his doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received a master's degree in Costa Rica and a doctorate of veterinary medicine in Mexico.