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Iowa State graduate student honoured for pig research

The National Swine Improvement Federation (NSIF) has awarded their Graduate Student Award to Dinesh Thekkoot, and Iowa State University animal science graduate student.

"Getting a national level recognition is a great encouragement and this motivates me to work harder," Thekkoot said. "Also, because this is a nominated award, getting that nomination from my major professor and then being selected as the top nomination by the NSIF awards committee, means that my research work is being recognised."

Thekkoot's major professor Jack CM Dekkers nominated the India native for the award based on his research focusing on the genetic basis of lactation and lactation efficiency in swine.

This interest in swine arose from working with a breeding organisation following the completion of Thekkoot's undergraduate (DVM) degree from Kerala Agricultural University, Kerala, India. During this time he became interested in pigs, especially with breeding and genetics, and eventually chose advanced education in that field.

"I received a master's degree is animal breeding and genetics through the Eramus mundus dual degree program from Christian Albrechts University in Kiel, Germany, and the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, Austria," he said.

Thekkoot is the 12th Iowa State graduate student to receive the award since the award was first offered in 1993. The award is named after Lauren L. Christian, the first director of the Iowa Pork Industry Center at Iowa State.

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