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Cobb Appoints Director of Biotechnology

by 5m Editor
17 March 2011, at 10:15am

GLOBAL - Dr Rachel Hawken, who has extensive global experience in genomic research in a range of farm animals, has been appointed director of biotechnology for Cobb.

For the past 10 years Rachel was working for the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization, latterly as principal research scientist, leading a seven-year project exploring the genetics of bovine fertility to develop molecular tools for selecting superior breeding stock in beef cattle adapted to the country’s tropical and subtropical environments.


Dr Rachel Hawken, newly appointed director of biotechnology for Cobb

Dr Hawken obtained an honours science degree at LaTrobe University, Victoria, Australia, and then a PhD in veterinary science at The University of Melbourne in 1997.

For the next four years she worked in research at the University of Minnesota (Department of Veterinary PathoBiology) where she was involved in gene mapping in pigs and identifying genes responsible for growth in commercial pig production systems.

Dr Mitch Abrahamsen, Cobb vice president of research and development, said he was delighted that Dr Hawken had accepted a key leadership position in their team.

“Her vast experiences in state-of-the-art research programs focused on improving genetic performance in a wide variety of food animal species make her uniquely qualified,” he said. “Importantly, Rachel has led several initiatives employing genomic tools to better understand and improve animal breeding programmes, and she will be key in leading our efforts in applying genomic technologies to achieve further advances in our industry-leading poultry breeding program.”