College of Agriculture
Donald C. Beitz
Named 2001 ASAS and 2001 ADSA Fellow
Donald C. Beitz, Charles F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture and Professor of Animal Science and Professor of Biochemistry was named a Fellow of the American Society of Animal Science in the Research Category, as well as a Fellow of the American Dairy Society Association at the recent combined annual meetings of ADSA and ASAS, which this year also included the Poultry Science Association, and the Reciprocal Meat Conference of the American Meat Processors Association.
As Dr. Beitz tells it himself, he grew up on a dairy farm in southern Illinois where he developed a lifelong love affair with dairy cattle and the St. Louis Cardinals. He earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in Agricultural Science (1962) and Dairy Science (1963), respectively, from the University of Illinois. Dr. Beitz then earned the Ph.D. degree from Michigan State University in 1967 with majors in dairy nutrition and biochemistry. His thesis was a study of milk fat synthesis, and his dissertation was a study of milk protein synthesis. He began his professional career at Iowa State University in 1967 with an appointment in the Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology (34% time) and the Department of Animal Science (66% time).
Major teaching responsibilities have included a biochemistry course for veterinary students, a graduate-level biochemistry course, a graduate-level class on biochemistry of hormone action, an agricultural biotechnology colloquium, and departmental honors seminars. In his 33 years in the classroom, he has taught over 7,500 students!
Dr. Beitz's research activities have been collaborative, diverse, and related to practical problems of animal agriculture and human nutrition. He has focused on studies of milk fever, lactation ketosis, plasma cholesterol, dietary regulation of milk and carcass composition, beef tenderness, and the role mitochondrial DNA in milk production. These research projects have been described in 178 refereed papers, 210 published abstracts, 24 nonrefereed articles, 19 book chapters, and 8 patents. Dr. Beitz gains much satisfaction with advising undergraduate students (19 at this time) with majors in agricultural biochemistry, graduate students (78 degrees awarded) with majors in biochemistry or nutritional physiology, and post-doctoral associates (5). He has hosted 26 visiting scientists.
By his own admission and attested to by coworkers and former students, Dr. Beitz has had a fulfilling career as a researcher and teacher at Iowa State University.
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