DuPont Nutrition & Health honours 2017 science excellence medalists

Research into the role of human health and nutrition a key focus for three remarkable scientists selected for the prestigious award

The Danisco Foundation has awarded three Science Excellence Medals for 2017.

The medalists are senior scientists broadly recognised by DuPont Nutrition & Health for scientific excellence with a remarkable record of accomplishment relevant to the food and nutrition industry.

This year’s medalists are

Sylvain Moineau, PhD, Professor of Microbiology and Canada Research Chair in Bacteriophages, Université Laval, Canada: A focus of Moineau’s research on bacteriophages has been toward host-phage interactions in lactic acid bacteria; notably dairy starter bacteria.

This includes the characterisation of phages, their evolution in the industrial dairy environment and detailed mechanisms involved in the infection process.

Complementary to the phage biology, his lab researches bacterial host-phage resistance mechanisms that counter virulent phages, which has direct application toward our dairy starter strain development.

Raivo Vilu, PhD, Head of Chair – Faculty of Biotechnology, Technical University of Tallinn, Estonia. R&D Director – Competency Center of Food and Fermentation Technology, Tallinn, Estonia: Vilu conducts research combining high-level expertise on microbial physiology, fermentation, advanced analytics and ‘omics technologies (comparative genomics, proteome and metabolomics) is a unique and very powerful skill set.

Furthermore, the research of Raivo Vilu is focused on developing sophisticated software to control and online monitor fermentation processes as well as high-level modelling of the cells.

Kathrin Ohla, PhD, Leader of the Psychophysiology of Food Perception group, German Institute of Human Nutrition, Potsdam-Rehbruecke Germany: Ohla’s overall scientific aim is to unravel the psychophysiological mechanisms underlying the perception and preference of food objects with a focus on the brain mechanisms of (1) the sensory processes involved, particularly gustation, olfaction and vision, (2) cross-modal and multisensory interactions, and (3) modulations by attention and prior experience as well as physiological states.

The medalists received their awards during a special ceremony held at the DuPont Global Food Research Center in Brabrand.

In addition, each recipient addressed the global DuPont Nutrition & Health Technology & Innovation organisation to further the dialogue about their scientific breakthroughs and applications in the food and nutrition industry.

“Science-based innovation ultimately depends on fundamental research,” said Angela Naef, PhD, DuPont Nutrition & Health’s global leader for technology and innovation and Danisco Foundation board member.

“Therefore, it is a great honour to be able to award the Science Excellence Medal to these three scientists in recognition of their significant accomplishments and the contribution each of them has made to the field of food and nutrition.”

The award, formerly known as the Danisco Prize, was founded in 2002 by the Danisco Foundation to help improve food products, notably industrially produced foods. It was last awarded in 2016.

The Danisco Foundation was established in 1981 and provides funding and grants to support predominantly food science and research.