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Emma Helm

Professional photo of Dr. Emma Helm.
3170 Litton Reaves Hall
Virginia Tech

The goal of my research program is to better understand the biological mechanisms that define animal physiology and nutrient utilization in pigs. This primarily includes investigating how epithelial barrier integrity, mucus production, and intestinal nutrient transport are altered during early life development or during stress challenges and the molecular signaling factors underlying these events. This involves using animal challenge models to contextualize the impact of disease on indices of production, ex vivo approaches to evaluate modifications to intestinal physiology, and molecular approaches to determine the impact of disease on structural components and signaling pathways. This work also aims to understand the ability of nutritional factors to restore these physiologies to that of a healthy animal. Additionally, I am interested in understanding the mechanisms underlying reductions in feed intake in health challenged or stressed animals, and how we can best optimize feed intake to balance growth and survivability from these events. Broadly, outcomes from my experimental approaches are designed to develop targeted nutritional or pharmacological prevention and mitigation strategies aimed at improving growth and well-being of poor health animals.

  • APSC 1454 Introduction to Animal and Poultry Sciences
  • APSC 1464 Introduction to Animal and Poultry Science Laboratory
  • APSC 4444 Swine Production
  • Ph.D., Animal Science, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, 2020
  • M.S., Animal Science, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, 2018
  • B.S. Animal and Poultry Sciences, Blacksburg, VA, 2016

 

Year

 

Award

2021   Iowa State University COVID-19 Graduate Student Research Excellence Award

2020

 

Harold L. and Esther G. Wilcke Scholarship

2020

 

Iowa Farm Bureau Graduate Fellow

2019

 

Iowa State University Graduate Research Excellence Award

2019

 

Targeting Excellence Scholarship

2019

 

Iowa Farm Bureau Graduate Fellow

2019

 

Arthur and Muriel Anderson Graduate Scholarship

2018

 

1st place ASAS Midwest Oral Presentation - M.S. division

2018

 

Digestive Physiology of Pigs International Travel Grant Award

2018

 

Vaughn and Meg Speer Graduate Travel Scholarship

2018

 

Iowa Farm Bureau Graduate Fellow

2018

 

Harold L. and Esther G. Wilcke Scholarship

2016

 

Iowa State Association of Graduate Animal Scientists (2016 - present)

 

 

Fundraising chair (2017-2019)

2016

 

Iowa Pork Producers Association Graduate Recruitment Fellow

2016

 

Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Outstanding Senior

2016

 

Virginia Tech Animal and Poultry Sciences Outstanding Senior

2016

 

Virginia Tech Phi Kappa Phi (PKP) Medallion Award

2014

 

Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society

 

 

Outstanding Junior Award (2014)

2013

 

Virginia Tech Block and Bridle Club (2013-2016)

 

 

Outstanding Senior Award Recipient (2016)

 

 

Outstanding Junior Award Recipient (2015)

 

 

Committee Chair - Little International livestock show (2015)

Assistant Professor, Animal Biosciences Research, School of Animal Sciences, Virginia Tech, 2021- present

Postdoctoral Researcher, Iowa State Department of Animal Science, Ames, IA, 2020 - 2021

Graduate Research Assistant, Iowa State Department of Animal Science, Ames, IA, 2016 - 2020

Fralin Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, Summer 2015

Undergraduate Research, Virginia Tech Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences, Blacksburg, VA, 2014-2016

Youth Livestock Extension Assistant, Virginia Tech Department of Animal and Poultry Sciences, Blacksburg, VA, 2014-2016

Extension Intern, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Blacksburg, VA, Summer 2014