Lunney Inducted into ARS Science Hall of Fame


Source: USDA ARS

Joan K. Lunney has earned a place in the UDSA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Science Hall of Fame for her pioneering and impactful research in swine disease and control. She was inducted Wednesday in a ceremony at the ARS National Agricultural Library in Beltsville, Md., along with Carroll P. Vance and Kelly L. O'Donnell. ARS established the Science Hall of Fame in 1986 to honor senior agency researchers for outstanding, lifelong achievements in agricultural science and technology.

“Our three inductees have made significant contributions through innovation, dedication and hard work in developing strategies to address important issues facing agriculture today,” said ARS Administrator Chavonda Jacobs-Young. “They exemplify the values that have made ARS a premier agency and worldwide leader in agricultural research.”

Lunney, a supervisory research scientist at the ARS Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, is an internationally recognized expert in swine immunology, genomics and the genetics of resistance to infectious diseases. Lunney’s early research uncovered novel immune mechanisms by which swine resist the most important zoonotic foodborne parasites (Trichinella spiralis and Toxoplasma gondii). Recently, she has focused on porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS), the most economically important viral disease of pigs worldwide. She also co-leads the PRRS Host Genetics Consortium, which has identified genes associated with improved growth and resistance to PRRS. Lunney and her team developed molecular reagents that are now essential tools for verifying the efficacy of pig vaccine responses and for probing novel protective immune pathways for future treatments and therapeutics.

The Agricultural Research Service is the USDA's chief scientific in-house research agency. Daily, ARS focuses on solutions to agricultural problems affecting America. Each dollar invested in agricultural research results in $20 of economic impact.

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