Veterinary Medicine's West Named to Armbrust Professorship at Iowa State

AMES, Iowa -- Dr. James K. West, whose work in bovine reproduction and embryo transplant has significantly improved the productivity and quality of dairy herds worldwide, has been named the first Scott and Nancy Armbrust Professor of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State University. West will officially receive his appointment during a private ceremony in May.

After establishing and operating Westwood Embryo Services in Waverly, Iowa, West achieved international recognition for his innovation and expertise in bovine embryo transfer. He joined the College of Veterinary Medicine in 2005 as a clinician in veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine and established an embryo transfer service that provides students and practicing veterinarians with training in reproductive diagnosis, surgical procedures, and embryo transfer, areas of high value to purebred beef and dairy industries.

"This endowed professorship will afford the college and Iowa State an outstanding opportunity to more fully develop and evolve this important facet of today's beef and dairy industries," West said. "Scott Armbrust is an internationally recognized leader in the field of embryo transfer, so I am deeply honored to have my name linked with his as the first recipient of the professorship he and his wife, Nancy, have provided to the College of Veterinary Medicine."

Early in his career as a large animal veterinarian in Wisconsin, Dr. Scott Armbrust developed an interest in bovine reproduction and became one of the first veterinarians to exclusively practice embryo transfer in that state. He expanded his practice globally and pioneered the bovine embryo transfer market in Europe. Today, Armbrust is internationally recognized for his expertise in embryo transfer and bovine genetics.

Scott Armbrust graduated from Iowa State in 1975 with a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine. He is a veterinarian at Paradocs Embryo Transfer in Green Bay, Wis. Nancy Armbrust graduated from ISU in 1973 with a bachelor's degree in family and consumer sciences. She is vice president of Schreiber Foods, Green Bay.

"The endless support and encouragement of the veterinary medicine faculty at Iowa State have been instrumental in leading me to a unique career path," Dr. Armbrust said. "Providing this endowed professorship is small repayment for the impact Iowa State University and the College of Veterinary Medicine have had on our lives."

"The field of embryo transfer and genetics is increasingly important to cattle breeders and dairy producers. We are very appreciative of the Armbrust's generosity in endowing this professorship," said John U. Thomson, dean of veterinary medicine. "Just as Dr. Ambrust's education has helped him become a leader in bovine genetics, this endowment will deeply enrich our research efforts and enable a deserving faculty member to excel in this field."

The Armbrust's professorship brings the total of active endowed faculty positions in the College of Veterinary Medicine to six.

The college was established in 1879 as the nation's first public veterinary college. It is currently the sixth largest college of veterinary medicine in the country, serving as a major teaching, research and service center through five educational departments and four hospital and laboratory units.

The Armbrusts commitment was made through the Iowa State University Foundation, a private, non-profit organization dedicated to securing and managing private gift support for Iowa State University.

Endowed faculty positions allow Iowa State and the College of Veterinary Medicine to recruit and retain world-class leaders by providing the highest level of faculty recognition. Endowed positions help support course development, graduate assistants, laboratory equipment, salary enhancements, professional development and research projects. These opportunities ultimately enhance course and curriculum development, which improves the educational experience for students.