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Michel Georges

Studying Livestock Coat Color Reveals a Novel Evolutionary Mechanism Involving Circular Shuttling Intermediates

May 17, 2011

Michel Georges got his doctor of veterinary medicine and doctorate degrees from the University of Liège in Belgium in 1983 and 1991, respectively. He worked for Genmark Inc. in Salt Lake City from 1989 to 1993. He has been professor of genetics at the University of Liège since 1994.

Dr. Georges is known for his research in the field of animal genetics and genomics and in the development of tools and strategies for increasing the efficiency of genome analysis for livestock improvement. He has applied his methods to the identification and mapping of genes affecting economically important single-gene (e.g. polled, double-muscling, callipyge, weaver, congenital muscular distonia) and complex multi-gene traits (e.g. milk and fattening yield and quality, fertility, disease resistance). He has also established working relationships with the major breeding organizations in many countries, helping them to apply the results of his discoveries on a large scale, using marker-assisted selection to accelerate the otherwise slow process of farm animal improvement.

He is considered a giant within the animal genetics and genomics community. In 2007 he was awarded the Wolf Prize in Agriculture together with Ronald Phillips for “for groundbreaking discoveries in genetics and genomics, laying the foundations for improvements in crop and livestock breeding, and sparking important advances in plant and animal sciences.”