COLUMBUS, Ohio — Three Ohio State University scientists and one graduate student were honored April 20 at the 2017 research conference of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC).
OARDC is the research arm of Ohio State’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.
Distinguished Junior Faculty Research Award
Jiyoung Lee, an associate professor of environmental microbiology, works in the Department of Food Science and Technology and in the College of Public Health, Division of Environmental Health Sciences, based on the Columbus campus. She was recognized for her distinctive research that integrates water contamination issues with the One Health approach to human, animal and ecological health.
Lee (photo: Ken Chamberlain, CFAES)
Lee’s main research areas are the dynamics of cyanobacterial blooms and cyanotoxin ecology, emerging health risks from cyanotoxins, microbial source tracking, the water-food-climate nexus, microbiomes in environments and hosts, environmental transmission of antibiotic resistance and reservoirs, and transmission pathways and impacts on human health of zoonotic pathogens.
Freshwater lakes are sometimes subject to harmful algal blooms, which in turn may produce cyanotoxins. Working with collaborators, Lee helped develop an early detection system for the blooms and toxins. This new method is 10 times cheaper than the conventional method and has a much broader range of detection.
“It’s not just for me,” Lee said of the award. “It’s for all of the teams who have been involved in this.”
She credited OARDC, the Department of Food Science and Technology, and the graduate students who have worked in her lab.
Distinguished Senior Faculty Research Award
Ahmed Yousef is a professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology, based on the Columbus campus. He was recognized for his career spanning more than 25 years as one of OARDC’s leading food safety experts. He has dedicated his career to developing novel methods that improve the safety of our food supply. Previously, he has received one of the Institute of Food Technologists’ highest awards, the Research and Development Award.
Yousef (photo: Ken Chamberlain, CFAES)
Yousef’s current research emphasizes the applications of ozone as a potent sanitizer and the discovery of natural antimicrobial peptides as potential alternatives to currently used synthetic preservatives. He has also made significant scientific contributions that have helped the food industry implement emerging technologies such as high-pressure processing and pulsed electric field and ohmic heating.
Receiving the award “emphasizes that we are making progress in what we are trying to achieve, and it is definitely a morale boost for the lab and for everyone who is working in this area,” Yousef said.
Director’s Innovator of the Year Award
Melvin Pascall is a professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology, based in Columbus. Over the past six years, Pascall and his research team have made innovative advancements with edible films for food decoration and as carriers of antimicrobial compounds.
Pascall (photo: Ken Chamberlain, CFAES)
Pascall was recognized for the development and use of an edible film for food packaging applications. The film is made from a material called chitosan for use in decorating pizzas. The film incorporates an edible ink, can display any type of printed image, and is designed to melt and fuse into the hot cheese of the pizza without distorting the image. The pizza also can still be sliced normally. A patent for this invention was filed and licensed to Action Imaging Inc., a Chicago-based logo printing company. Aquatech Inc., a pharmaceutical manufacturing company in Tampa, Florida, decided to produce the film on its commercial-scale tape-casting machine for Action Imaging.
“Without the students, without the postdocs, it probably could not have been possible,” Pascall said of the award. “I share this with them.”
William E. Krauss Director’s Award for Excellence in Graduate Research
Lin Jin is a doctoral student in the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science. Her dissertation was titled “Direct and Indirect Targeting of PP2A by Conserved Bacterial Type-III Effector Proteins.” Her adviser was David Mackey, also of the department.
The Krauss award honors the best published paper by an OARDC-supported PhD student.
The conference featured three main speakers on a theme of “Biological Resistance: Opportunities and Challenges for Agriculture and Society.” It took place on Ohio State’s campus in Columbus.
OARDC Director’s Office