Professional of the Year - Nature Photography

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Jerome C. Pekas

Title: Owner, Freelance Photographer
Industry: Photography
Type of Organization: Photography Studio
Major Product/Service: Photography services
Expertise: Since retiring, Dr. Pekas has pursued photography. He currently owns the Heritage Photography business, where he provides photography services focused on nature, landscapes, wild flowers and wild animals.
Geographic Area of Distribution: National
Affiliations: American Society of Animal Science; American Physiological Society; Sigma Xi; American Gastroenterological Association; Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology; Society for Experimental Pharmacology and Toxicology; American Nutrition Society; American Society for Clinical Nutrition; Chairman, Editorial Board, North Dakota Academy of Science; American Association for the Advancement of Science
University/Degree: B.S., Animal Science, North Dakota State University, 1957; M.S., Animal Nutrition, University of Florida, 1958; Ph.D., Animal Physiology and Nutrition, Iowa State University, 1961
Hobbies/Sports: Hiking, walking, bicycling, camping, Rving
Children: Gregory, Michelle (deceased), Thomas, Dannelle, Carolyn, Justin, Trevor
Work History: Previously, Dr. Pekas served with the University of Tennessee – Atomic Energy Commission Agriculture Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Battelle Memorial Institute – Northwest Laboratory in Richland, Washington; the United States Department of Agriculture- Radiation and Metabolism Laboratory in Fargo, North Dakota and with the United States Department of Agriculture – Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, Nebraska.
Honors & Awards: Awarded travel grants to participate in International Science Conventions and Symposia: International Congress of Physiology, Tokyo Japan, Kyoto Japan, Munich Germany, Arhus Denmark, Honolulu Hawaii, Sydney Australia; Selected by four candidates pursuing Doctoral Ph.D. degrees to guide their course work and research projects as ‘Major Professor’ and to conduct the final examinations at North Dakota State University, University of Nebraska, and Michigan State University; Invited to consult with university staff and graduate students and teach surgical procedures developed and applied successfully to investigate pancreatic secretion and digestion in swine
Published Works: 200+ publications in major life science and medical journals; Chapters in books; Invited monographs
Career Accomplishments: Dr. Pekas’ specialty areas of medical research included the development of digestion of complex proteins in neonatal monogastric animals; Absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of ingested toxicants, including radioactive fallout products from development and testing of atomic weapons and of agricultural and residential pesticidal chemicals. His research emphasized investigations to explore methods for detoxication or decontamination of radioactive and pesticidal contaminants on ingested foodstuffs or from exposure to environmental fallout from nuclear tests or farm spray applications. He explored the potential use of nuclear energy to power an artificial heart. Dr. Pekas demonstrated the limitations of the quantity of food intake, most notable, the role of appetite on ingestion of limiting nutrients, protein and energy, and on digestion, absorption, and muscle synthesis to support efficient growth of meat (animal protein) for the expanding world populations. He conducted biotechnical research on appetite regulation and demonstration of appetite modulation by the development and application of a unique endocrine immunogen, acknowledged and reported as a ‘breakthrough discovery’ in Science (AAAS) and major newspapers including the Wall Street Journal.