Cobb-Vantress has appointed Mitchell Abrahamsen as vice president of research and development. His predecessor, John Hardiman, will move into a new position as chief scientific officer.

Abrahamsen has a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Washington, Seattle. He has held faculty positions at Montana State University and in the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Minnesota, where he was a recognized international authority on animal genomics, animal health and the molecular basis of host-pathogen interactions. Abrahamsen has worked for Hills Pet Nutrition as vice president of research and for Pyxis Genomics as chief scientific officer and vice president of research and development.

Hardiman guided all phases of the Cobb500 development. He led Cobb’s research efforts associated with the change from a single-product to a multiple-product strategy, including the development of Cobb700, the CobbAvian48 and Cobb male products. In 2000, he was involved in acquiring Avian Breeding Company’s product lines. He was instrumental in creating a joint research committee with Hendrix Genetics in 2007, before Cobb-Vantress acquired the Hendrix product lines and facilities in the Netherlands in January 2008.