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Uconn road to honor Yang’s legacy

By CLAIRE GALVIN

Chronicle Staff Writer

STORRS — Visitors on their way to the University of Connecticut Dairy Bar will be traveling on a road named for the university researcher integral in cloning the first cow in the United States.

The Board of Trustees approved naming the street leading to the Dairy Bar “Jerry Yang Road” at a meeting on Nov. 1.

Xiangzhong “Jerry” Yang was a professor in the department of animal science and the founding director of the Center for Regenerative Biology at UConn.

The center cloned the first bovine calf, Amy, in 1999.

The short access road to the Dairy Bar is right in front of the building where Yang worked on his research.

Yang died of cancer at age 49 in 2009.

At the board meeting, his widow, Xiuchun “Cindy” Tian, a professor in the animal science department, thanked the board for honoring Yang.

“I would like to thank the board of trustees and the university for giving Jerry such an everlasting honor,” she said.

Tian said she continues to honor Yang’s legacy with her day-to-day work, which they developed years ago together.

Yang’s pioneering work in nuclear reprogramming and stem cell research positioned UConn’s agricultural biotechnology program as a worldwide leader, according to Cameron Faustman, dean of UConn’s College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources.

Besides being a researcher, Yang was a humanitarian, Faustman said.

Yang, who came from China, established many programs for Chinese students to learn and research in the United States and vice versa.

Yang was first educated in a one-room schoolhouse in rural China.

“Teachers were paid almost nothing for their duties as teachers and had to make their money by farming,” Faustman said. “Yang was instrumental in working with the premier of China to institute salaries for rural teachers.”

Yang also helped arrange for the importation of dairy cows from the United States so children could have free milk.

 

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