Distinguished Researchers - 2007
Professor of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences
The Distinguished Researcher Award recognizes a faculty member's contribution to scholarship through creation, expansion, and critique of knowledge. Dr. Gregg P. Adams, Professor of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine, is the recipient of the Spring 2007 award.
Dr. Adams’ outstanding work has had significant impact in the field of reproductive biology. His groundbreaking research has led to more than 15 scientific “firsts.”
He has worked with a wide variety of mammals, including many endangered species, and has also worked to develop models applicable to humans. His collaborative research with the College of Medicine discovered that women, like some mammals, experience two to three “follicular waves” per menstrual cycle. This finding, with its profound implication for both contraception and assisted reproduction, was identified as one of the Top 100 Science Stories in 2003 by Discover magazine.
Over his distinguished 25-year career as a veterinarian, researcher and educator at the U of S, Dr. Adams has authored or co-authored more than 100 papers in refereed journals as well as writing chapters in books and review articles. Dr. Adams presents his findings at international, national and regional conferences.
Lauded as a world-class researcher by his colleagues, Dr. Adams’ novel research program, leadership and dedication are his signature within the scientific and lay communities.
As the leader of the University’s successful bid for the Biomedical Imaging and Therapy beamline at the Canadian Light Source, he has helped give biological sciences’ researchers across campus the opportunity for great advancements with this powerful new technology.
A hallmark of Dr. Adams’ leadership is never asking others to do anything he would not do himself. His teammates often find him teaching in the field, taking unpopular shifts in large-scale projects and developing new approaches to facilitate research and clinical work.
Dr. Adams’ drive and passion is apparent from his lengthy record of scholarly achievement as well as his devoted mentorship of his students. Over the course of his career he has mentored 25 graduate students and supervised more than 30 summer students.
Dr. Adams earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the U of S in 1982 after completing pre-veterinary classes in biology in 1978. He continued his studies at the University of Wisconsin, earning his Master’s degree in 1987, clinical specialization in 1988, and his PhD in 1991.
Associate Professor of Pharmacy
The Fall 2007 Distinguished Researcher Award recognizes the contributions to scholarship of a faculty member who has received a PhD in the last 10 years. Jane Alcorn, associate professor of pharmacy in the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, is the recipient of this award.
Professor Alcorn is a gifted researcher and teacher in the field of pharmacokinetics which explores how medications and other bioactive materials work in the body. With both a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences (University of Kentucky, 2002) and a Doctor of veterinary medicine (U of S, 1994), her multi-disciplinary education has led her to ask diverse scientific questions—from investigating the nutraceutical advantages of natural products to determining what constitutes safe drug use for lactating mothers.
Her groundbreaking work in collaboration with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada exploring health benefits of flaxseed in lowering blood cholesterol offers evidence of the safety and effectiveness of certain natural remedies.
Serving on a number of academic committees, Prof. Alcorn has been an active member of the university community since she joined the College in 2001. Having co-authored 21 papers and written more than 20 abstracts, she has a publishing and research funding record that is impressive for someone so early in her career.
She reaches out to the community with her research. On several occasions, she has been invited to speak to community groups on issues of medication use during breastfeeding. Currently, she is taking steps towards establishing an infant wellness centre to support research and education which promotes health and wellness in infants.
Prof. Alcorn is actively involved in cultivating the next generation of innovative researchers. She has not only supervised six graduate students, but has also served on advisory committees for an additional 13, often encouraging students to present at scientific meetings and publish their work. She teaches undergraduates and supervises summer students in her lab so pharmacy undergraduates have the opportunity to work in a professional research lab.
She has taken her passion for science beyond the university, judging regional and national high school science fairs. She is a passionate supporter of the High School Academic Placement Program which places promising high school students in university research labs.
She has been called a “true explorer” and her questing mind leaves colleagues in no doubt that she will continue to make great strides in advancing knowledge in her field, one which builds on U of S research strength in animal and human health.