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Sean Chen Brings Research Expertise and More to PDPS

Sean Chen using a pipette to add material to a test tube

In mid-August, the Prestage Department of Poultry Science (PDPS) welcomed a new researcher to its team of faculty. Sean Chen joined the department from a postdoctoral position at the University of Georgia.

While Chen has experience in a wide range of poultry research topics, that’s not all he brought with him to Raleigh. He’s a veterinarian and has a wide range of hobbies and interests. He’s keen to collaborate and is excited by the diverse research subjects pursued by his new PDPS and CALS colleagues.

Get to know Sean (and take a peek at him in the lab).

What’s your favorite thing about NC (so far)?

The best part, for me, of living in Raleigh is that I will be living in a city while having a lifestyle of a small town. Life is so convenient in Raleigh. I have not yet explored the city quite well, but I have noticed that many lakes and golf courses are around.

I like the fact that Raleigh is closer to the mountains as well as the sea. It is at a sweet spot that has everything I expected. I am very excited to spend my time in Raleigh.

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learned about NC State?

NC State is known for its agricultural science program.

The research directions in the department [PDPS] are quite diverse. Also, PDPS has very close relationships with poultry producers and the allied industry. I am always interested in understanding the issues in the production and drive my research towards tackling the problems faced by the poultry industry.

I can see lots of opportunities here, and many collaborations could happen.

Tell us about your position and focus.

A man, Sean Chen, in a lab, wearing a lab coat and blue gloves

I’m a research assistant professor in animal health and welfare with 100% research responsibility.

I was trained as a poultry nutritionist. At the same time, I was also involved in animal health and welfare research projects before I started in this position.

I am interested in applying my nutrition background to animal health and welfare, and to bridging these two research fields, and facilitating collaborations between different groups within and outside the department.

What’s the most important thing for people to understand about what you do?

It is important to treat a bird as a whole: a disease can destroy all the efforts that were put in the nutrition; poor quality diets may leave birds susceptible to diseases and infections; environmental factors could impact health, behavior and the utilization of nutrients.

“It is important to treat a bird as a whole…Everything is connected.

Everything is connected. In order to produce a healthy and productive bird, or solve existing issues, it is crucial to take into account all aspects so that a more effective strategy could be developed and implemented to improve animal health, performance and welfare.

What else should everyone know about you?

I am very open to collaboration and love to discuss research ideas.

I am also very interested in electronics. Please feel free to reach me out if you want to discuss potential collaborative projects or are just hesitating which iPad you want to get.

What are you reading/watching/listening to right now?

It has taken a while to get back to reading. I am planning to read some history books and pick up the book I had started but not finished: Roasting in Hell’s Kitchen.

Any interesting or odd hobbies?

I love photography, which is part of my life. This hobby allows me to know many people of different backgrounds. And I also apply some of my knowledge to the research. If you want to discuss questions related to pictures, photography and videos, please feel free to reach me out.

I am learning and playing golf, and I am also very interested in fishing. I feel lucky to move to Raleigh because this is probably one of the best places to do golfing and fishing.

I started these hobbies two years ago; I’m not very experienced but you’re welcome to grab me for a golf game or fishing trip.

photos by University of Georgia, used with permission