The spark to take science success even higher

The spark to take science success even higher
CFAES’ Jessica Cooperstone, with donor support, aims to grow the good you get from eating fruits and veggies ...
“These philanthropic gifts have been really important for us to move our research forward.”Jessica Cooperstone

Eating fruits and vegetables might eventually be even better for you. When that happens, it will be thanks in part to Jessica Cooperstone and the support she’s received for her research.

Cooperstone, an assistant professor in The Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES), is working to learn exactly why some produce is good for your health, starting with tomatoes. Is it due to their phytochemicals? If so, which ones? From there, she hopes to develop new tomatoes with more of these good-for-you compounds. 

It’s complex work that taps into Cooperstone’s unique suite of expertise: nutrition, plant breeding and genetics, analytical chemistry, and bioinformatics. And support from CFAES donors has played a big part in her success.

“I’ve been really fortunate to be the beneficiary of the generosity of Lisa and Dan Wampler,” says Cooperstone, who in 2012 was named the first Wampler Fellow in Food and Health Research.

A $1.2 million gift from the Wampler family to Ohio State established the Lisa and Dan Wampler Vice President’s Excellence Fund Endowment and the Lisa and Dan Wampler Endowed Fellowship for Food and Health Research for CFAES.

That support has now come full circle, says Cooperstone, who notes that some of her team’s graduate students have also now been Wampler Fellows. “They’ve also been beneficiaries of Lisa and Dan’s generosity,” she says.

“These philanthropic gifts have been really important for us to move our research forward, especially in the area of food and health.”

Cooperstone has faculty appointments in two of CFAES’ departments, Horticulture and Crop Science and Food Science and Technology. She talks about her research in the video above.

Donors support research that helps sustain life 

Support from CFAES donors serves to propel vital research like Cooperstone’s forward—provides the spark that allows it to reach even greater heights than were possible. Please consider supporting such efforts—this work to sustain life and improve people’s lives—by donating to the CFAES Undergraduate Scholarship Fund.

To learn more about supporting CFAES student success and research, please contact Emily Kruse at 614-247-7606 or