OARDC announces award winners at annual conference

OARDC's 2014 Annual Research Conference, held April 24 in Wooster, focused on the theme "From Biology to Business -- The Transformational Power of Big Data." The program featured speakers from CFAES, Purdue University, and Ohio State's colleges of Public Health and Arts and Sciences. It also included the presentation of the following annual awards.

Distinguished Senior Faculty Research Award

Sandra Velleman helps turkeys and the industry around them get stronger. A scientist in the Department of Animal Sciences, Velleman studies the genetic and cellular mechanisms governing how turkey muscles grow and develop -- key to improving the birds' growth rate, keeping them lean and raising them efficiently for food.

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Distinguished Junior Faculty Research Award

Luis Rodríguez-Saona, Department of Food Science and Technology, is a national and international expert on using infrared spectroscopy to analyze the safety and quality of foods. "His research accomplishments have produced significant improvements in rapid detection of quality traits and safety of agricultural products, as well as in disease detection," a nominator wrote.

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Director's Innovator of the Year Award

Ahmed Yousef, Department of Food Science and Technology, developed a new process to pasteurize eggs in the shell and discovered two new antimicrobial agents for fighting foodborne pathogens. The new process uses mild heat and pressurized ozone. It can eliminate Salmonella and other pathogens in egg contents and on egg surfaces.

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William E. Krauss Director's Award for Excellence in Graduate Research

Timothy J. Hackmann was honored for his paper "Quantifying the Responses of Mixed Rumen Microbes to Excess Carbohydrate," which appeared in April 2013 in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, published by the American Society for Microbiology. Now an assistant professor at the University of Florida, he received his Ph.D. last year through Ohio State's Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Nutrition.

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Research Poster Competition

The competition (pictured) recognized outstanding posters -- displays detailing research projects -- by OARDC-supported Ph.D. and master's degree students, postdoctoral researchers, and research assistants and associates. The winners were:

  • Cindy Barrera Martínez (first), Patrick Sherwood (second) and Neda Ahmadiani (third) in the Ph.D. student category;
  • Kayla Perry (first), Carlos Esquivel Palma (second) and Xinjie Tong (third) in the M.S. student category;
  • Victor Ujor (first), Rumana Yasmeen (second) and Shirin Mohammad Ali Monadjemi (third) in the postdoctoral researcher category; and
  • Sarah McNulty (first), Wenshuang Xie (second) and Nuris Acosta (third) in the research assistant and associate category.

Get details here on the winners' topics, departments and advisors.