Nebraska Scientist Recognized with NSIF Charles Stanislaw Memorial Distinguished Service

Dr. Gary Rohrer, acting research leader at the US Meat Animal Research Center (US MARC) in
Clay Center, Nebraska, was recognized with the Charles Stanislaw Memorial Distinguished
Service Award at the annual meeting of the National Swine Improvement Federation (NSIF).
The meeting was held November 29-30 in Nashville. Purpose of this award is “to recognize
individuals for their record of distinguished service to the pork industry through involvement in
creating, implementing, supervising and/or participating in genetic improvement programs”.
Dr. Rohrer grew up in Illinois and received his BSc in animal science from University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign and his MS and PhD in animal breeding and genetics from Texas A & M.
Since 1991, he has been research scientist at US MARC, where he has become a leader in the
field of swine genetics and genomics. His lab is prominent in generating population and genetic
resources, phenotypic and genomic data for understanding the role of genetics in explaining
phenotypic variation in swine.
Dr. Rohrer’s recent contributions have crucial to the success of the novel field of swine
genomics. Specifically, his major contributions include the development of the very first
comprehensive genetic and physical maps of the pig, both essential in the process of
sequencing the porcine genome. He was actively involved in the complex process of sequencing
the swine genome, and he participated in the winding process of obtaining funds, development
of strategies, scientific and data support, and interpretation and dissemination of the results.
Dr. Rohrer also participated in the development of the first high-density genotyping application
designed for pigs (Porcine SNP60 BeadArray), a platform capable of simultaneously genotyping
over 60,000 DNA markers per pig, with tremendous impact worldwide. In addition, his work has
included discovery of DNA markers used routinely by industry to improve a wide variety of
traits from growth and fertility to behavior and meat quality.
In his acceptance speech, Dr. Rohrer acknowledged his colleagues and mentors from US MARC,
especially Dr. Dan Laster, former director of US MARC who provided support and guidance
during his formative years. Scientists and producers from Nebraska recognized with this
prestigious award in the past have included Dr. Irvin Omtvedt (1982, University of NebraskaLincoln), Dr. Gordon Dickerson (1988, US MARC & University of Nebraska-Lincoln), Dr. Rodger
Johnson (1998, University of Nebraska-Lincoln), Dr. Jim Schneider (2008, US MARC) and Max
Waldo (2009, Waldo Genetics).