University of Missouri
Animal Reproductive Biology Group

About Animal Reproductive Biology Group

A Brief History of the F21C Program

The F21C clusters were initially created to promote excellence in core scientific areas where there was a recognized strength at the University of Missouri. The Animal Reproductive Biology (ARB) Cluster was established in 1984 with the intention of clarifying critical cellular and metabolic mechanisms that regulate the biological processes so that costly reproductive problems in livestock could be solved. The original focus was female reproduction and Dr. Mike Roberts was hired in 1985 as cluster leader and senior scientist. The Roberts’ hire was followed by several additional hires in Reproductive Biology (r21C Reproductive Biology Cluster faculty). We added a focus in male reproduction when Peter Sutovsky was hired but cluster members continue to focus primarily on female farm animals. The emphasis on basic biological processes that are involved in large animal reproduction continues to this day.

The goal of the cluster is to promote and maintain a nationally and internationally recognized research program in Animal Reproductive Biology. This is done through $1.4 million of funding for a core group of eight F21C-funded faculty (“cluster members”) whose academic appointments are primarily in research. These funds are used to provide the faculty member with his or her salary, part of a technician salary, a graduate student assistantship, and a modest amount of operating (approximately $13,000 annually at this time). Packages may evolve over time (more or less clusterfunding) and the cluster has grown through a variety of strategic moves made by the cluster leadership. In addition to the funding to individual faculty, the F21C funding also supports cluster activities (the “cluster budget” that is separate from faculty budgets and under the control of the cluster leader).