Max F. Rothschild


Date of Birth: 1952 in Highland Park, Michigan.

Married: Wife, Denise, and daughter, Louise, and son, Daniel.

1974, BSc degree in Animal Science with a certification in genetics from University of California at Davis.

1975, MSc degree from University of Wisconsin advised by Dr. A. B. Chapman.

1978, PhD degree from Cornell University advised by Dr. C. R. Henderson.

The following is from the citation for his 1995 receipt of the American Society of Animal Science Rockefeller Prentice Award in Animal Breeding and Genetics.

Max was an assistant professor in the Department of Dairy Science at the University of Maryland and conducted collaborative dairy cattle research at the USDA research center in Beltsville from 1978 to 1980.  He then moved to Iowa State University and was promoted to associate professor in 1983, and to full professor in 1987.  He served, on a part-time basis, as assistant director in the Experiment Station from 1990 to 1994.  In 1993 Max was named by USDA/CSRS to serve as the pig genome coordinator.

Max has an innovative and unique research program that blends quantitative genetics with immunogenetics and molecular genetics.  Although he has worked primarily with pigs he has collaborated on research with several other species.  His research has included parameter and breeding value estimation, genetic control of health and immune response traits, and gene identification and mapping in pigs.  He investigated the genetic control of structural soundness in Duroc pigs, determining the underlying anatomical and disease causes of front leg weakness.  He and his students intiated some of the first research that demonstrated genetic control of immune response to several commercial swine vaccines.  Rothschild's research has also demonstrated that the swine major histocompatibility complex controls not only immune response and disease resistance but also growth, carcass, and reproductive traits.  He continues to study disease resistance to E. coli and several viruses.

Max has been a leader in gene identification and gene mapping research.  He and colleagues elucidated some of the fine structure of pig chromosome 7.  They have identified, cloned, and mapped several immune response, muscle and reproduction genes.  Most recently, he and his colleagues have discovered a major gene for litter size that increases litter size by nearly 20%.

Max has taught graduate and undergraduate animal genetics courses.  He advises undergraduate students and has served as Block and Bridle advisor.  He has trained 13 MSc, 7 PhD, and 7 postdoctoral students and served on 48 graduate student committees.  He has been a member of several editorial boards including the Journal of Animal Science and is a frequent reviewer for many journals and federal grants.  He has served as administrative advisor for several regional research projects.  Max has been a frequent invited speaker throughout the United States and in over 20 foreign countries and has been a consultant for many industry groups.  He was a leader in the effort to import Chinese pigs to the United States.  In 1985, Max received the ISU Livestock Service Award presented by the Walnut Grove Feed Company, and in 1990 he received the Young Researcher Award of the ASAS Midwestern section.