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OVC Biomedical Sciences professor named University Professor Emeritus

PFrom left, U of G President Franco Vaccarino, Prof. Tarek Saleh, Chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Guelph, Prof. Allan King, University Professor Emeritus, and U of G Chancellor Martha Billes.rof. Allan King in the Ontario Veterinary College’s Department of Biomedical Sciences, was named University Professor Emeritus at the fall 2019 University of Guelph Convocation ceremonies.

A world-class researcher, King has helped lead national and international collaborations to improve food animal breeding and genetics.

King was a professor in OVC’s Department of Biomedical Sciences and held Canada’s only Tier 1 Research Chair (CRC) in Animal Reproductive Biotechnology until his retirement in 2018. 

He was recognized in a 2012 study by Higher Education Strategy Associates, he was identified as Canada’s top researcher in the field of Veterinary Medicine.

As well as teaching at the graduate and undergraduate levels in OVC, King co-ordinated a Reproductive Biotechnology stream in the course-based MSc program, and has provided training for 22 PhD, 26 MSc, 20 course-based Master of Science, 13 post-doctoral fellows, and numerous undergraduate project and summer students in a variety of areas of expertise. Graduates illustrate the breadth of this training, pursuing medical, veterinary, research, industry and regulatory careers. He is currently supervising two PhD and one course based MSc students, one post-doctoral fellow and one research associate and currently holds NSERC funding until 2020.

Among his many successes, King was a founding member of a $4.9 million NSERC funded Embryogene strategic network that linked 26 scientists at 6 Canadian Universities, He served two terms as an elected member of the management committee and acted as research theme coordinator for the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Biological Resource Management for Sustainable Agriculture Systems Co-operative Research Program. He has been a member of advisory groups for International Embryo Technology Society, and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and is co-founder and president of Karyotekk Inc. 

He led two international student exchange programs; an interactive curriculum in reproductive biology Canada-European Community Program for Cooperation in Higher Education and Training, and a North-South Consortium on Animal Reproduction and Reproductive Biotechnology, a Canada-Brazil Doctoral Research Exchange. The latter bilateral program allowed OVC students to travel and research in Brazil, a world leader in reproductive biotechnology, and Brazilian students to research at OVC.

King completed his MSc at OVC in the early 1970s with the late University of Guelph professor Pari Basrur, considered a pioneer in the field of animal reproduction, before completing his PhD in the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (Uppsala Sweden) and post-doctoral work at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Université de Montréal. 

He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed papers and his H-Index is 42 due to the 6,050 citations of his work. He has delivered more than 100 invited lectures at universities and meetings in Canada and around the world. 

In photo: From left, U of G President Franco Vaccarino, Prof. Tarek Saleh, Chair of the Department of Biomedical Sciences, Prof. Allan King, University Professor Emeritus, and U of G Chancellor Martha Billes.