September 14, 2020

Recognizing the outstanding scientists building the future of analytical science

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Rockville, Maryland, September 14, 2020—Two New Zealanders whose collaboration has produced 38 food safety scientific papers and three AOAC Official MethodsSM, five student researchers developing a diversity of testing innovations, and a group of more than 100 scientists identifying ways to detect veterinary drug residues in food were among the hundreds of scientists honored by AOAC today for exceptional contributions.

The leaders were recognized in an awards ceremony shared with more than 700 analytical science colleagues registered for the AOAC INTERNATIONAL 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting. Fifteen awards recognized scientific excellence across the spectrum of AOAC activities, including method development, expert review panels, editorial contributions to the Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL, and technical service.

“Keeping food safe and wholesome is an ongoing effort that requires analytical tools that meet the challenges of a dynamic food supply chain and rapidly evolving technologies,” said Dr. Henry Chin, AOAC President. “Recognizing the outstanding scientists who are meeting those challenges is a concrete way to build the future of analytical science.”

Harvey Indyk and David Woollard

The Harvey W. Wiley Award, presented each year for outstanding contribution to analytical method development in an area of interest to AOAC INTERNATIONAL, went jointly to David C.Woollard, Ph.D., Independent Consultant and Harvey E. Indyk, Ph.D of Fonterra Co-Operative Group, both of New Zealand. The two scientists have collaborated extensively to develop advanced methods for analyzing vitamin micronutrients and proteins in infant formula and other dairy-based foods. Many of the validated methods they have developed are widely used internationally and are reference methods within international standards organizations, including AOAC INTERNATIONAL, ISO, and Codex. Their collaboration has produced three AOAC Official Methods, 38 peer-reviewed articles, and nine book chapters. Indyk and Woollard have also separately published an additional 43 and 32 papers, respectively.

Nyssa Hewitt

In a related event, the Harvey W. Wiley Scholarship Award was awarded to Nyssa Hewitt of the University of Waikato in New Zealand. Hewitt was selected based on her passion for analytical science, as demonstrated by her educational trajectory and her current master’s degree research project on the structural determination of an unknown novel natural compound.

The Fellow of AOAC INTERNATIONAL Award, which recognizes the dedication of the volunteers who serve the Association, was awarded to six highly active members of the food safety community: Ronald Johnson of bioMérieux, Inc.; Lawrence Pacquette, Karen Schimpf, and Joseph Thompson of Abbott Nutrition; Sidney Sudberg of Alkemist Labs; and Jupiter Yeung of Nestlé Nutrition (Retired).

Fellows, left to right: Ronald Johnson, Lawrence Pacquette, Sidney Sudberg, Karen Schimpf, Joseph Thompson, and Jupiter Yeung
Lawrence Pacquette and Joseph Thompson

AOAC’s Official Methods Board presented Joseph Thompson and Lawrence Pacquette of Abbott Laboratories with the Method of the Year Award for “Minerals and Trace Elements in Milk, Milk Products, Infant Formula, and Adult/Pediatric Nutritional Formula, ICP-MS Method:  AOAC 2015.06, Final Action.” This method addresses a critical analytical need that impacts global trade of infant formula. 

Susan Audino and Bert Pöpping

The Technical Service of the Year Award went to Bert Pöpping of FOCOS – Food Consulting Strategically and to Susan Audino of S.A. Audino & Associates, for their dedication, excellence and accomplishments to AOAC analytical and technical communities for their areas of expertise. Pöpping serves as scientific advisor to the AOAC INTERNATIONAL Food Authenticity community and is a member of several editorial boards. Audino was selected due to her outstanding contributions to the AOAC Cannabis Analytical Science Program community.

Joe Boison

The Official Methods Board award for Achievement in Technical and Scientific Excellence went to the Veterinary Drug Residues Working Group, chaired by Dr. Joe Boison of EJ Consultancy, professor at the University of Saskatoon in Canada. Presented by the AOAC Official Methods Board, the award recognized outstanding volunteer commitment and leadership by the more than one hundred volunteers in this highly effective group.

George Joseph

The eleven-member Review Panel for Sugars and Fructans won the Expert Review Panel of the Year award for review and adoption of methods to address the need for reliable methods to support carbohydrate labeling of foods for pets and animals. The panel was chaired by George Joseph of AsureQuality NZ and included members Philip Haselberger, Abbott Nutrition; Ankur Kumar, Government of India; Sookwang Lee, US FDA; Roberto Molteni, Italian Ministry of Agriculture; Andrew Rousch, Eurofins US; Jack Stevens, General Mills; John Szpylka, FSNS; Nancy Thiex, Consultant; Martine van Gool, FrieslandCampina; and Tom Vennard, Mead Johnson/Reckitt Benckiser.

George C. Fahey

The Best Manuscript Award,recognizing the most outstanding article in the Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL, went to “Critical Factors in Determining Fiber Content of Feeds and Foods and Their Ingredients” by George C. Fahey of the University of Illinois and co-authors Lawrence Novotny of South Dakota State University; Brian Layton of ANKOM Technology Corporation; and David R. Mertens of Mertens Innovation and Research LLC. This manuscript was selected for its overall scientific merit; study design, writing quality; technical quality; and potential impact of the work in advancing the field of analytical science, especially human health, and the mission of AOAC.

Samir Wahab

AOAC is pleased to present Samir Wahab with a Special Recognition Award for 15 years of service as a section editor for the “Drug Formulations” section of the Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL, overseeing the peer-review process for manuscripts submitted for publication. Over the years, Wahab has given outstanding guidance and support to all aspects of the Journal process and has significantly contributed to the AOAC mission.

Anthony Hitchins

AOAC also presented Anthony Hitchins with a Special Recognition Award for 22 years of volunteer service as a Section Editor for the “Microbiological Methods” section of the Journal of AOAC INTERNATIONAL, overseeing the peer-review process for manuscripts submitted for publication. Hitchins has given outstanding guidance and support to all aspects of the Journal.

A new award, the AOAC/Eurofins Foundation “Testing for Life” Student Award, was presented to five student innovators whose diverse activities range from measuring cyanobacteria in traditional foods in Peru to portable near infrared spectrometers in developing countries and using immunoassays to fight food fraud. The winners were Stephanie Bishop of the University of British Columbia; Shimin Chen of the University of Nebraska; Xingyi Jiang of Florida State University; Isaac Rukundo, also of the University of Nebraska; and Aristeidis Tsagkaris of UCT Prague. The five young scientists received a cash award, an opportunity to showcase their work to the scientific leaders at the Annual Meeting, and an article in AOAC’s Inside Laboratory Management magazine.

Winners, left to right: Stephanie Bishop, Shimin chen, Xingyi Jiang, Isaac Rukundo, Aristeidis Tsagkaris

In addition, 217 AOAC INTERNATIONAL members were recognized for their years of service, including eight individuals who have contributed their expertise to the organization for 25 years, 51 ten-year members, and 157 five-year members.

To view the full list of leaders profiled in these awards, please view the 2020 Awards Booklet.