Dr. Persia is an Assistant Professor at Virginia Tech. The overarching focus of Dr. Persia's research program aims to increase the efficiency of poultry (meat and egg) production through the characterization, understanding and manipulation of bird digestive processes. This aim will be accomplished by generating a better understanding of the nutrient requirements and costs of maintaining healthy gastro-intestinal structure and function and by quantifying the effects of various dietary treatments on nutrient utilization and overall bird performance. Diverse tools will be developed and utilized to evaluate progress, including classical nutrition, physiology, histology and molecular techniques.
Increasing dietary efficiency directly translates into the second research goal/interest of nutrient management. Not only does the efficient use of dietary nutrients to generate salable eggs or meat products result in increased profit, it also reduces the amount of nutrients lost in fecal material (a low value by-product of poultry production). The effects of dietary manipulation of poultry diets will be evaluated in collaboration with college colleagues to minimize the environmental impact of poultry production and result in data leading to a more sustainable poultry model.
A third research goal/interest of the Persia research program is related to the direct needs of the poultry and allied industries in the State of Virginia, the Mid-Atlantic region, the Nation and Internationally. This research will be in collaboration with the industry and will be responsive to short-term critical needs and longer-term more strategic needs and discovery type research.