IFF, an industry leader in food, beverage, health, biosciences and scent, has announced that this week it will celebrate groundbreaking achievements in science excellence. Dr Filip Van Immerseel and Dr Jack A. Gilbert will receive the IFF Science and Microbiome Science Awards, for their research advancements in the fields of animal nutrition & health and microbiome.
Additionally, IFF scientist Dr Philippe Horvath is being inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) on 26th October for his seminal research on CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) that helped revolutionise the gene editing field.
“At IFF, we believe honouring scientific excellence from our scientists and academics is a great tribute to our heritage of innovation,” said Dr Casper Vroemen, Executive VP, Chief R&D and Sustainability Officer for IFF. “On behalf of the IFF scientific community, I’m proud to celebrate three renowned scientists who are pushing the limits of science to create a better world.”
IFF Science Award: Filip Van Immerseel of Ghent University, Belgium, was selected for his groundbreaking work in animal nutrition & health. Van Immerseel has dedicated his scientific career to advancing knowledge of host-microbe interactions and investigating how different livestock production practices lead to microbial infections including Salmonella, Clostridium perfringens, Enterococcus and E. coli which are a major burden on the animal agriculture industry. His research has fundamentally advanced our understanding of these infections and how to prevent them.
IFF Microbiome Science Award: Jack Gilbert of the University of California San Diego was chosen for his influential microbiome research elucidating microbial ecologies. His pioneering studies have unlocked new insights into the microbiome's role in human health and environmental sustainability. Gilbert’s groundbreaking contributions propel the evolving microbiome field forward to address today's greatest challenges.
National Inventors Hall of Fame (NIHF) Class of 2023: IFF’s Philippe Horvath was formally honoured for his foundational work on CRISPR sequences and associated Cas proteins related to bacterial immune systems, which when applied to enhance dairy starter cultures, improved global food production and pioneered gene editing technology alongside research partner Rodolphe Barrangou. Their work at Danisco, acquired by IFF, focused on understanding how bacteria could withstand bacteriophage attacks.
“I believe that our work on CRISPR represents our (IFF’s) most significant discovery,” said Horvath. “While I'm engaged in various patents and inventions, the CRISPR portfolio stands out as the most valuable, in my opinion, in terms of how biotechnology can change the world."
IFF’s purpose is applying science and creativity for a better world, and it employs more than 3,000 scientists across more than 50 research centers and holds nearly 9,000 active patents.