Eric Wong, professor of animal and poultry sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, was recently reappointed as the John W. Hancock Professor of Animal and Poultry Sciences by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The John W. Hancock Jr. Professorship in Animal Science was created by and is named for an alumnus who earned his bachelor’s degree in mining engineering from Virginia Tech in 1925 and founded the Roanoke Electric Steel Corporation. Hancock, who died in 1994, served on the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors, chaired the Virginia Tech Foundation Board, and is the namesake of Hancock Hall on Virginia Tech’s Blacksburg campus.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1990, Wong's research interests include a molecular analysis of genes that play an important role in regulating growth of farm animals.

One of his major research projects involves an analysis of the development-specific expression of nutrient (amino acids, peptides, sugars) transporter genes in the small intestine of chickens under normal and diseased conditions. He has an international reputation and is widely recognized as a leader in regulating growth of farm animals.

He is often an invited speaker and has published his research results in numerous highly regarded professional journals. Wong has secured significant amounts of external funds in support of his research program, and has consistently demonstrated outstanding achievements in undergraduate teaching, graduate student training, and outreach.

Wong is the program director for the Virginia Tech Post-baccalaureate Research and Education Program (PREP), which is an NIH-funded diversity program. PREP provides post-baccalaureate students that are underrepresented in the behavioral and biomedical sciences a one-year program to strengthen their academic background and research skills to improve their competitiveness for graduate schools.   

Wong received his bachelor’s degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. from the University of California at San Diego. He also completed postdoctoral work at the University of Utah with Mario Capecchi, professor of human genetics and recipient of the 2007 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.