Thomas Spencer, Curators’ Distinguished Professor of Animal Sciences, received the 2020 President’s Award for Sustained Career Excellence from the UM System. This award recognizes faculty for distinguished career-long, sustained excellence in scholarship, research or creativity, for a period of 15 or more years.
Spencer, who is also associate vice chancellor for research (emphasis in STEM disciplines), joined the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR) in 2015, and was a signature hire as part of the Mizzou Advantage program. He is an internationally recognized and respected leader in the fields of reproductive and developmental biology. The long-term goal of his work is to improve fertility and pregnancy outcomes in domestic animals and women. Spencer has a joint appointment in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Women’s Health in the MU School of Medicine and is a faculty research leader in the Precision Health Initiative. He is also the program director of the Interdisciplinary Reproduction and Health Group (IRHG), one of CAFNR’s Programs of Distinction.
According to UM System, in his 23-year career, Spencer has originated widely accepted concepts and paradigm shifts, presented over 120 invited talks, and authored or coauthored over 330 scientific publications with a h-index of 100. In recognition of his significant contributions, he was inducted as a member of the highly prestigious National Academy of Sciences, selected as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and received a Curators’ Professorship from the University of Missouri System. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) have funded Dr. Spencer without interruption since 1996, and his current active funding is more than $14 million. In 2018 he received the CAFNR Distinguished Research Award.