Eric Wong, professor of animal and poultry sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, was reappointed as the John W. Hancock Professor of Animal and Poultry Sciences by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands and Interim Executive Vice President and Provost Cyril Clarke.

The John W. Hancock 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. Recipients hold the professorship for a period of five years.

Wong has held the title of Hancock Professor of Animal and Poultry Sciences since 2008.

A member of the Virginia Tech community since 1990, Wong has an international reputation as a leader in molecular nutrition in poultry. 

His research interests include a molecular analysis of genes that play an important role in regulating growth of farm animals, with an emphasis on poultry. One major project involves an analysis of the development-specific expression of nutrient (amino acids, peptides, sugars) transporters and host defense genes in the yolk sac and small intestine of chickens during the transition from the embryonic to post-hatch stages. 

Wong has published his research in several highly regarded journals. He has consistently secured significant external funds in support of his research program and has frequently demonstrated outstanding achievements in undergraduate teaching, graduate student training, and outreach. 

Wong received his bachelor’s degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. from the University of California at San Diego.