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The AFNC’s Next Phase: Vivien Lettry Takes Over Project Coordination

Portrait of Vivien Lettry outside

The Prestage Department of Poultry Science (PDPS) recently welcomed Vivien Lettry to the department as the Research Project Coordinator/Manager for the Animal Food and Nutrition Consortium (AFNC). She’ll coordinate the research projects funded by the AFNC and help guide the consortium into its next phase of development.

What’s on the AFNC’s horizon? Expanding its scope to grow membership, with a focus on precision animal health and nutrition.

Dr. Lettry earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (1999) from Paulista University, Brazil and her Ph.D. in Veterinary Medicine (2010) from Hokkaido University, Japan.

During the last 10 years, she has held research associate positions at Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Sweden and the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, and served as a Technical Business Analyst at the NC Biotechnology Center and the NC State Office of Research Commercialization.

We asked Dr. Lettry a few questions to introduce her as she gets settled.

What is your favorite thing about N.C.?

The easy access to beautiful mountains and the gorgeous seaside.

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

This is not a surprising point, but something I really like about NC State, is that this is the first time I’ve found a university mascot that is not a single character, but a group of them.

I just love the Wolfpack. That not only comes as the combined strength of individual skills, but it also nourishes alliances, empathy, friendships and social intelligence.

Tell us about your position and focus.

I will be the manager of a consortium that started in 2018 to promote research collaboration, in a pre-competitive environment, between companies in the animal food and nutrition space and our faculty.

I communicate the academic expertise and research assets we have at NC State to the relevant companies and once they become members of the consortium, they bring along questions from the real world to be studied and later translated into applications.

My focus is to expand the scope of the consortium, attending to the most current needs of the animal industry, livestock producers and pet owners.

Our consortium now comprises animal health, animal nutrition and a diverse set of specialties required to develop sensors, robots and data analytics for this industry, which we call precision animal agriculture.

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

I am the liaison creating and facilitating collaborations between industry and university, in the particular animal health, nutrition and precision agriculture sphere.

I will be in tune with the trends in the field, in order to identify opportunities for partnerships and in this manner promoting and accelerating innovations.

What else should everyone know about you?

I always want to know new people and find out what they do. If anyone is interested in my work, or if I could help someone in any way, I would be thrilled to meet up.

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

I read online news every morning.

I like reading non-fiction books or stories based in actual events. The last one I read, before the pandemic, was The Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela.

I used to listen to NPR on my commute to work, but during these days of lockdown, I listen to it during breakfast (and make all my family listen to NPR as well, by default).

I am from Brazil, so I obviously listen to Bossa Nova and Brazilian popular music. I also listen to others genres; among my favorites are: Fleetwood Mac, Lynard Skynard, Dire Straits, Depeche Mode, Glen Hansard and Sahara Hot Nights.

I have two small children, and, these days, the only time we spend in front of a screen is to watch cartoons with them.

Any interesting or odd hobbies?

Nothing odd. I like to hike, camp, kayak and take pictures.

I have tried several times to snowboard. I lived in Japan for five years, in the coldest region of the country, and there were mountains surrounding the city I lived in, with awesome snow five months a year.

I really liked it but I am a disaster at snowboarding. Still, I kept on doing it until the end of those five years, happily coming down from the mountain black and blue every time.