Hyun Soon Lillehoj ’74
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Hyun Soon Lillehoj ’74

Hyun Soon Lillehoj ’74

For Hyun Soon Lillehoj, receiving her BS in biology at the University of Hartford was just the beginning. She went on to earn an MS in microbiology from the University of Connecticut, and then a PhD from Wayne State University, School of Medicine. She is an international leader in animal immunology and genomics.  As a senior research molecular biologist in the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS), she has made pioneering scientific discoveries that have helped prevent and treat diseases in commercial poultry, protecting the health of consumers and saving the industry billions of dollars.

During her 30-plus years at ARS, Lillehoj has helped mitigate the use of antibiotics in poultry, finding that certain food supplements, probiotics, nutrients, and vaccines can replace antibiotics as an effective means of enhancing the immune system and fighting common parasitic diseases and bacterial infections.

Lillehoj’s scientific breakthroughs have resulted in 10 U.S. and international patents, more than 390 peer-reviewed scientific papers, 14 book chapters, and 230 worldwide collaborations with academia, foreign governments, and private industry. She received the Career Achievement Medal at the 2015 Heyman Service to America Medals ceremony, the “Oscars” of government service.

This October, Lillehoj was awarded the most prestigious award presented by the University of Hartford Alumni Association, the Anchor Award. The awards were established to recognize alumni who have distinguished themselves by achieving the highest level of professional and community accomplishments and who possess absolute standards of integrity and character to positively reflect and enhance the prestige of the University of Hartford.