Dr. Sandy Velleman is the Faculty Lead for the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences
Dr. Velleman obtained her BA degree from Boston University with distinction in Biology in 1981. During her undergraduate training, she did research with Dr. Robert E. Hausman on the role of prostaglandin E1 during embryonic muscle development. This research resulted in her lifelong interest in cellular communication mechanisms leading to tissue and organ formation. Following her undergraduate research, Dr. Velleman was interested in how the environment outside the cell, the extracellular matrix, affected cellular behavior. She pursued her doctoral studies with Paul F. Goetinck at the University of Connecticut on the role of the extracellular matrix environment on avian limb development. After completing her doctoral studies in 1986, Dr. Velleman was desirous of learning new emerging molecular biology techniques to study human diseases involving the extracellular matrix. To reach this goal Dr. Velleman was a National Institute of Health postdoctoral trainee at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School Connective Tissue Research Institute and subsequently a postdoctoral fellow at the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology located in Shrewsbury, MA.
Following these postdoctoral positions, she accepted a non-tenure track faculty position at the University of Connecticut in 1988. During this time, Dr. Velleman learned the state of knowledge of the extracellular matrix or connective tissue in the meat science and muscle areas. She realized that her unique training would permit new approaches and information to emerge in terms ofhow the extracellular matrix impacted muscle formation and ultimately meat quality.
In 1995, Dr. Velleman accepted an assistant professor position with The Ohio State University Animal Sciences Department to study the role of the extracellular matrix in muscle development in poultry. Her research at Ohio State has focused on the molecular and cellular mechanisms regulating muscle growth in chickens and turkeys with an emphasis on extracellular matrix gene expression. Dr. Velleman’s research in poultry muscle biology has been recognized by her receiving the Poultry Science Association Inc., Research Award in 1998, 2006 the National Turkey Federation Research Award, 2008 the Embrex Fundamental Science Award, 2009 the Evonik Degussa Achievement Award, 2009 The Ohio State University Gamma Sigma Delta Research Award, 2009 the Ohio Poultry Association Service Award, and in 2014 The OARDC Distinguished Senior Faculty Research Award.