July 3, 2019

Alltech appoints new chief scientific officer


Alltech has appointed a new chief scientific officer to advance innovative research to improve the health and nutrition of animals, plants and people. Dr. Ronan Power has assumed the role following the retirement of Dr. Karl Dawson on June 28.

(From left) Dr. Ronan Power, Dr. Richard Murphy, Dr. Karl Dawson and Dr. Mark Lyons.

Dr. Power joined the Alltech team in 1991 as the European director of research and has been closely involved in the development of Alltech's product portfolio, including its organic selenium, Sel-Plex®. He most recently served as the vice president of Alltech Life Sciences, a division dedicated to researching gut and brain health in humans. As chief scientific officer, Dr. Power will oversee more than 100 researchers worldwide, more than 20 research alliances spread over 12 countries, and four bioscience centres, located in the United States, China, the Netherlands and Ireland, where Dr. Richard Murphy leads the centre's activities.

"Recent acquisitions have broadened our ability to apply solutions to any point along the food supply chain and provide transformative innovation to customers," said Dr. Mark Lyons, president and CEO of Alltech. "With Dr. Power at the helm of our research team, Alltech will advance into the next frontier, supporting producers as they overcome today's challenges and work toward a Planet of Plenty™.

Alltech's key areas of scientific exploration include five divisions: Biological sciences research, led by Dr. Karina Horgan; Chemistry and toxicology research, led by Dr. Alexandros Yiannikouris; Life sciences research, which Dr. Ronan Power will continue to lead; Monogastric research, led by Dr. Daniel Graugnard; Ruminant research, led by Dr. Vaughn Holder.

Dr. Power will focus on innovation, furthering the development of nutrition technology that supports the agriculture industry in sustainably feeding a rising global population.  

"Never before has the efficient use of our planet's resources been more critical," said Dr. Power. "Just as Alltech was founded on the ACE principle, which commits us to the benefit of animals, consumers and the environment, those elements will continue to guide our research. We will build upon the legacy of groundbreaking scientific discovery in the lab and in the field as we work toward a more sustainable future."

Dr. Power says the speed at which technological advancements are occurring makes it difficult to determine the "next big thing", but his team will prioritise the exploration of the biome and products that enhance energy metabolism in production animals.

"At this point in time, my feeling is that exploring the functions of the gut microbiome - and other biomes, including the reproductive tract - and developing products to modulate biome activity will be an active research mine for many years to come," said Dr. Power.

Dr. Dawson's partnership with Alltech will continue into his retirement, as he will chair the company's scientific advisory board and help guide its core research areas.