Students and faculty also gave 26 poster and oral presentations.
Department chair Nikhil Dhurandhar received the 2017 joint award from the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) and the Korean Nutrition Society (KNS), in recognition of outstanding research in nutrition science and practice.
"Texas Tech was so well represented at the Experimental Biology 2017 meeting," Dhurandhar said. "A colleague from another university commented that it was hard for him to not run into someone from Texas Tech Nutritional Sciences during the conference. It was a wonderful opportunity for our students and postdoctoral fellows to educate themselves and others and to network with so many great researchers from all over the country."
Associate professor Shu Wang received the ASN's 2017 Mary Swartz Rose Young Investigator Award. Supported by the Council for Responsible Nutrition, the prize goes to an investigator within 10 years of postgraduate training for outstanding research on the safety and efficacy of bioactive compounds for human health. Wang's research focuses on using biocompatible and biodegradable nanoparticles to enhance bioactivities of phytochemicals for the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases, especially cardiovascular disease and obesity.
"It is a great honor to be a winner of such prestigious award," said Wang, who also served as chair for the ASN's China International Forum. "I have been working on using bioactive compounds to prevent and treat chronic diseases, which account for more than 80 percent of health care costs and seven of 10 deaths each year in the United States. Scientific papers have demonstrated that many natural compounds show promise to remedy chronic diseases, but their low level of bioavailability and target specificity in the body makes administering them in therapeutic doses unrealistic.
"We use biodegradable and biocompatible nanoparticles to increase bioavailability, solubility, stability and payload of those compounds, lower their toxicity, prolong their circulation time and target them to specific cells or tissues for the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. I have a huge enthusiasm in this research area and will continue to work in it."
Samantha Gonzalez, a Terry Scholar and Honors College senior in Naima Moustaid-Moussa's Nutrigenomics, Inflammation and Obesity Research Lab, won First Place Undergraduate Presenter after being named a finalist in the ASN Emerging Leader Poster Competition, which recognizes the highest scoring research presented by students and young investigators. Gonzalez also was one of six national finalists in the Young Minority Investigator Oral Competition.
In addition to these recognitions, students and faculty in the department gave 26 poster and oral presentations:
- Anu Shastri (oral)
- Brenda Abu (poster)
- Chanaka Kahathuduwa (three posters)
- Dylan Bailey (poster)
- Haley Overby, Yujiao Zu, Shu Wang, Ling Zhao (oral)
- Jie Liu, Chuan Li, Shu Wang (poster)
- Kalhara Menikdiwela (poster)
- Latha Ramalingam (poster)
- Lei Hao, Jamie Kearns, Ling Zhao, Shu Wang (poster)
- Leslie Shen (two posters and oral)
- Md Shahjalal Hossain Khan, Lei Hao, Chwan-Li Shen, Shu Wang (poster)
- Naima Moustaid-Moussa (oral)
- Samantha Gonzalez (two posters and oral)
- Seth Selorm Klobodu (poster)
- Shasika Jayaratne (poster)
- William Quarles (two posters)
- Wilna Oldewage-Theron (poster)
- Yujiao Zu and Shu Wang (poster)
- Yuting Chen (poster)