Dr. Janet Fulton, molecular biologist with Hy-Line International, was recently recognized with the 2016 Poultry Science Association Distinguished Poultry Industry Career Award, sponsored by U.S. Poultry & Egg Association (USPOULTRY). The award was presented during the annual Poultry Science Association meeting in New Orleans by Larry Brown, retired USPOULTRY vice president of education.

The Distinguished Career Award recognizes distinctive, outstanding contributions by an industry leader. In addition to sponsoring the award, USPOULTRY makes an annual contribution to the Poultry Science Association Foundation on behalf of the award recipient.

“U.S. Poultry & Egg Association is delighted to honor industry leaders epitomized by Dr. Fulton. She is widely recognized for her many years of work and contributions in molecular genetics within the primary poultry breeding industry. It is this kind of service and dedication that has helped make the poultry industry the most efficient and productive segment of modern animal agriculture,” said John Starkey, president of USPOULTRY.

Fulton received her BS from the Department of Poultry Science at the University of British Columbia, her MS from the Department of Animal and Poultry Science at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, and her PhD in immunobiology with a minor in genetics from Iowa State University, directed by Susan Lamont. Fulton joined Hy-Line International in 1996 and established the first in-house molecular genetics laboratory within the primary poultry breeding industry, with the goal of bringing the tools and technologies of molecular genetics into the Hy-Line breeding program.

In the last two decades, under Fulton’s direction, Hy-Line has defined their genetic stocks at the DNA level, identified unique genetic variation within the stocks, initiated marker-assisted selection and developed SNP chips for application of genomic selection in elite breeding stocks. These technologies have had a direct impact on the improved performance of commercial egg laying varieties. Fulton’s goals have been to understand the genetic variation present in elite stocks, develop rapid and inexpensive methods to define this variation and subsequently develop practical application of this information.