The Evonik Corporation award is an annual award given as an achievement award, i.e., for distinctive contributions to poultry science advancement, covering a period of not more than seven years preceding the annual award.
Lisa R. Bielke
The Ohio State University
After completing her Ph.D. studying poultry microbiology, health, and antibiotic alternatives at the University of Arkansas, Dr. Bielke joined research program at a biotechnology company developing technologies for detection of foodborne pathogens and intervention strategies to reduce microbial load on fresh foods. In 2011 Dr. Bielke moved to the University of Arkansas where she began a research program as a Research Assistant Professor at the Poultry Health Laboratory in the Department of Poultry Science studying vaccines and enteric health assays. In 2015, Lisa began a position at Ohio State University as Assistant Professor in the Department of Animal Sciences and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2020.
Dr. Bielke’s Poultry Enteric Health Research Laboratory (PEHRL) primarily focuses on enteric diseases including coccidiosis and necrotic enteritis, and the influence of pioneer colonizing bacteria on innate immune responses and inflammation with a goal of decreasing disease burden on commercial poultry production. Additional projects at PEHRL include prevention of enterococcal spondylitis and ante mortem control of food pathogens, which includes projects developing recombinant vaccine technologies, probiotics selection, and development of tools and assays for assessment of gastrointestinal inflammation with a goal of providing means of producing poultry in a sustainable manner that promotes health and well-being while increasing profitability. Her laboratory team works with major international companies in the poultry industry to determine effectiveness of feed additives against health threats, understand the mechanisms of action, and develop strategies to prevent disease in broilers and turkeys.
As a result of her research collaborations, advanced recombinant vaccine and adjuvant technologies for control of multiple poultry diseases are currently under international license for commercialization and have resulted in numerous US and international patents. These vaccines promote mucosal immunity for hard-to-treat diseases such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, Eimeria, avian influenza, and necrotic enteritis in which mucosal immunity is of primary importance to prevent infection. In combination with adjuvant technologies, these vaccines can be administered orally, making them more accessible and affordable to broiler and turkey production. Additionally, Dr. Bielke has played a major role in the development of enteric inflammation models in order to better understand the effects of antibiotic growth promoters, probiotics, and other feed additives on the health and performance of poultry. This emerging area of research is an essential component of flock performance as antibiotic growth promoters are phased out of production and producers seek methods of improving feed efficiencies while improving animal well-being. Complimentary to enteric inflammation assays, research from Dr. Bielke’s lab has demonstrated the importance of pioneer colonizing bacteria in shaping the microbiota and immune system in poultry. While managing these major research projects, Lisa has also remained involved in collaborative projects across multiple universities, ones that began during her graduate studies, that focus on selection of functional probiotics to improve health and performance of poultry flocks. These have resulted in multiple successful commercial products that are sold to poultry producers worldwide.
Lisa is also service oriented in her career and is a current member of the PSA Board of Trustees, and section editor for Poultry Science, a member of the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board, a member of the OSU College of Food, Agriculture, and Environmental Sciences Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee, the College Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, and the Animal Sciences Graduate Studies Committee. In the past, she has served as president of the Southern Conference on Avian Diseases and Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Poultry Science Association Foundation. She was awarded the Poultry Science Association Early Achievement Award and the Arkansas Biosciences Institute Early Investigator Award in 2014, the Hy-Line International Research Award in 2016, and the Novus Outstanding Scholar Award in 2018. Service on student committees. Lisa has served on 30 graduate and undergraduate advisory committees, 12 of which are students from her laboratory.
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