Peter Sutovsky, associate professor of reproductive physiology and animal science in the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources with an appointment in the MU School of Medicine’s Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, was awarded the 2010 University of Missouri Faculty Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Since the early nineties, Sutovsky has studied mammalian cell division, fertilization and pre-implantation embryonic development, with special emphasis on proteins and enzymes associated with reproduction.
He holds five US patents, reflecting his involvement in technology development and commercialization. He was recently recognized as the inaugural recipient of the USDA-NRI Discovery Award, the Big 12 Raising Star Award and CAFNR Distinguished Researcher Award.
The Entrepreneur of the Year award is an intercampus award given by the President of University of Missouri System and the Office of the Provost and designed to honor a University of Missouri faculty member for outstanding innovation that demonstrates commercial utility, contributes to the public welfare and brings visibility to the University of Missouri.
Examples of this may include the receipt of a patent that represents an important scientific breakthrough, a significant contribution to the public good or significant economic value, involvement in the launch of a start-up company, or significant contributions to student entrepreneurship.
The award recognizes several of Sutovsky’s works including the development of several tests that can be used to identify reproductive disorders such as infertility in men and low reproductive performance in male farm animals, and a sperm detection device to gather criminal evidence from bodily fluid samples.
Sutovsky’s colleague Randall Prather, distinguished professor of reproductive biotechnology, earned the Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2003.
Sutovsky’s work on fertilization and infertility has been funded by USDA, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Justice, Missouri Life Sciences Trust Fund and various other public and private entities. He has been serving as Section Editor, Associate Editor and Editorial Board Member for a number of distinguished journals in cell and reproductive biology. In high demand as a presenter, Sutovsky has been the invited plenary speaker at numerous international symposia in North and South America, Europe and Asia.
His laboratory maintains active collaborations with scientists in Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, France, India, Japan, Peru, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain and the United Kingdom.
Sutovsky earned his PhD in physiology of reproduction in 1994 from the Institute of Animal Physiology and Genetics, Czech Academy of Sciences, Libechov, Czech Republic.
“Peter has always strived for excellence,” said Prather. “He is an excellent instructor and an effective team player. He is a person who establishes effective collaborations. He already has two licensing deals and has initiated a start-up company.”
“Peter has made a number of remarkable and original studies in his short career at MU,” said Rod Geisert, director of the division of animal sciences. “He has published 115 refereed journal articles, including 14 review articles and 13 book chapters. His journal articles have been cited more than 400 times by other researchers. Peter had a paper selected for the Paper of the Week by the Journal of Biological Chemistry – the top one percent of 6,600 papers published that year.”
Geisert noted Sutovsky’s artistic talents: “His cell images are displayed at the Miami Museum of Science and Planetarium. We know that science is beautiful, but few of us have been able to capture that beauty as well as Dr. Sutovsky.”