Stewart Receives 2016 Regents Award for Staff Excellence


Jeanne Stewart, Assistant Scientist II in the department of Food Science and Human Nutrition (FSHN), and Laboratory Safety Coordinator for FSHN and the Nutrition and Wellness Research Center (NWRC), was named as one of only four recipients of the 2016 Regents Award for Staff Excellence by the Board of Regents. She dedicates her time running key research projects, developing and standardizing assays, recruiting and managing human subjects, and training faculty and hundreds of students on proper laboratory safety. Jeanne has been the research support on numerous NIH and industry-funded grants awarded to FSHN faculty that have investigated nutrients and foods that impact human health. Over the past 37 years, she has contributed significantly to the research mission of the department and college, making her a rightful recipient of the 2016 Regents Award for Staff Excellence at Iowa State University.

As Assistant Scientist II for FSHN, Jeanne’s responsibilities include managing the NWRC clinical laboratory, phlebotomy facility, kitchen and dining rooms, exercise facility, body composition assessment equipment, and serving as the Clinical Coordinator and Safety Officer. In addition of her wide-ranging responsibilities, Jeanne completed the requirements to become a Certified Clinical Research Professional (CCRP). She has established protocols and standard operation procedures to enable the NWRC to become a certified center that follows guidelines for Good Clinical Practice (GCP) and Good Laboratory Practice (GLP). The safety standards that she established have been emulated by the Iowa State University Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S). Jeanne’s diligence and outstanding commitment to laboratory safety has undoubtedly prevented injuries and other mishaps.

“I am honored to receive this award and look forward to more research projects with our faculty, staff and graduate students,” shared Jeanne.  “We will be performing further testing on the interactions between food and exercise on metabolic health indicators in humans at the Nutrition and Wellness Research Center sites. It is exciting to work with all of my collaborators as we strive to improve human health.”

Jeanne’s colleagues often use her as a model for others to follow, and describe her as the essential component that takes a project from an idea to a successful conclusion and publication. These projects are primarily in the area of Clinical Nutrition research studies within the department and as part of her role at the NWRC. The NWRC is a significant resource for conducting clinical studies and is used by faculty in both the FSHN and Kinesiology departments.   

All view Jeanne as caring, dedicated, accomplished, invaluable, and the ultimate team leader whose efforts have benefited the university and broader community in tangible ways over the entire course of her lengthy career. Her efforts directly translate into successful research and dissemination of the results, benefitting the faculty, students, and staff involved in the science, as well as the entire university community.   

Key Contacts:
Megan Pulse, marketing and communications, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, mjpulse@iastate.edu
Jeanne Stewart, assistant scientist II, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Nutrition & Wellness Research Center, jws1@iastate.edu

Shaw Provides FSPCA Preventive Controls for Human Foods Course

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition will begin providing FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Preventive Controls for Human Food training in summer of 2016. This three day Basic Preventive Controls training is designed for people in the food industry desiring to understand and be trained in the food safety system for manufacturing safe food. This course will meet the FDA FSMA regulations as an approved course under Food Safety Preventive Control Alliance (FSPCA). 

This is a standardized, industry-oriented training curriculum that will provide participants with the knowledge that is needed to create a food safety plan to comply with the Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Foods rule. The course content is focused on the food safety activities and documentation that support the creation and implementation of a preventive controls food safety plan. This course will be presented in a manner that will serve participants from all foods under FDA regulations. The FSPCA training materials are designed to meet the requirements for training under Title 21 Code of Federal Regulations Part 117.155 for the “qualified individual” who conducts certain Food Safety Plan activities and is recognized by the FDA.

This course will be offered June 13-15, 2016 at Iowa State University campus in Ames, Iowa.  Class size is limited to 30 people and the cost is $750.00 per person. Sign up today at http://www.fshn.hs.iastate.edu/angela-shaw-food-safety/haccp-short-course/.


Key Contacts:

Angela Shaw, assistant professor, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, angelaml@iastate.edu
Megan Pulse, marketing and communications, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, mjpulse@iastate.edu

Jay-Lin Jane-Topel and David Topel Receive 2016 Order of the Knoll Faculty and Staff Award

Congratulations to Jay-Lin Jane-Topel and David G. Topel on receiving the 2016 Order of the Knoll Faculty and Staff Award. While faculty members, the couple spent as much time serving the university as they did in the classroom. This award recognizes individuals or couples who are current or retired Iowa State University faculty or staff members for their substantial commitment to promoting and expanding philanthropy at Iowa State through both personal philanthropy and significant professional and volunteer service.

“Iowa State University provided me with the professional experiences and support to work with many people. This allowed me to help develop the agricultural industry in Iowa and for Iowa to become a world leader in production agriculture,” said David Topel. “I was fortunate to work in this special and stimulating environment in the 1990s. Iowa State provides the foundation for students, faculty and staff to achieve their goals.”

David had always been heavily involved with the university - his time as a faculty member was spent serving Iowa State as much as he spent within the classroom. He served on the Iowa State University Alumni Association board of directors, the Academic Council, the Committee for Agricultural Development, the Council of Deans, the President’s Council, the selection committee for both the athletic director and the vice provost for extension, the University Student Services Committee, and the Governor of Iowa Science Advisory Council, where he represented Iowa State.

No stranger to service, Jay-Lin Jane-Topel has given her time as the president of the Starch Roundtable, a member of the American Association of Cereal Chemists Nomination Committee, the Starch Update Conference Scientific Committee, and the European Polysaccharide Network of Excellence Scientific Committee, and has been on the editorial board for six leading scientific journals.

“I have received tremendous philanthropic support throughout my life and career, which enabled me to achieve all that I have,” shared Jay-Lin.

This award is one of many the Topels can add to their list of accomplishments, but that doesn’t make it any less special. “It is always good to know what individuals appreciate professional and personal contributions made to our society to better the way of life for current and future generations,” said David.


Key Contacts:
Karen Simon, AVP Communications, ISU Foundation, kasimon@iastate.edu
Jay-Lin Jane, Distinguished Professor, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, jjane@iastate.edu


Brehm-Stecher Receives 2016 Mid-Career Achievement in Research Award

Photo By Blake Lanser

Byron Brehm-Stecher, Associate Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition, focuses on developing methods to improve food safety and quality, such as a cutting-edge effort to develop applications for functional food ingredients that will provide food scientists with new tools in the fight against harmful bacteria.

Mellata Receives Patent for Methods of Inhibiting Tumors

By Megan Pulse, FSHN Marketing and Communications
Melha Mellata_CHS_Blake Lanser
Melha Mellata, an assistant professor in food science and human nutrition, now has a patent that covers new methodology for safer and effective cancer treatments.

Melha Mellata, Assistant Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition, researches the development of effective intervention strategies against diseases. Mellata focuses primarily on understanding the molecular pathogenesis of bacteria, host response to infections, and developing vaccines to control infections in humans and food-producing animals, such as chickens. Her research has significantly advanced the field, resulting in high-impact publications, federal funding, and patents such as the recently awarded U.S. patent 9198950, Recombinant bacterium comprising a toxin/antitoxin system, for the invention of new methods for inhibiting tumors and improving safety of live vaccines.

 “I am honored to have this patent awarded as only approximately 20% of all inventors are female. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the US, and I hope my invention will lead to a cure that will play an important role in lowering that statistic, as well as lowering the impact of infectious diseases,” said Mellata.  

Mellata’s invention consists of genetically modifying a bacterial toxin-antitoxin system and utilizing it in a live vaccine, such as Salmonella, to selectively deliver the toxins into the tumor cells and destroy them. This system can also be used to make live vaccines safer. Current cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation, can be harmful to normal cells, while Mellata’s system will be successful in terminating cancerous tumor cells, leaving normal cells healthy. The recombinant bacterium comprising a toxin/antitoxin system works by activating the promoter of the toxins that naturally target tumor cells.

“By studying living cells, such as bacteria at the molecular level, researchers have elucidated many systems used by these cells to survive and cause diseases. These bacterial systems can be modified to be used for purposes that will benefit us. Lastly, bacteria can teach us new ways to improve human, and animal health,” shared Mellata.

Live attenuated vaccines are considered among the most influential tools for disease control and potential disease elimination. Weakened bacteria that are unable to cause clinical diseases, but trigger a self-limiting infection leading to the stimulation of protective immunity, represent an attractive method to prevent and/or treat infections. Overall, Mellata’s research will benefit both human health and agricultural animal production.


Key Contacts:
Megan Pulse, mjpulse@iastate.edu, Marketing and Communications
Melha Mellata, mmellata@iastate.edu, Assistant Professor

Shaw Receives 2016 Creativity in Service to All Iowans Award

By Megan Pulse, FSHN Marketing and Communications

Angela Shaw, Assistant Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition, and Extension and Outreach Food Safety Specialist, is determined to educate farmers, retailers, industries, and food manufacturers across Iowa to use good agricultural practices.

Litchfield Receives 2016 Excellence in Research-Based Programming Award

By Megan Pulse, FSHN Marketing and Communications

Ruth Litchfield, Associate Professor and Associate Department Chair of Food Science and Human Nutrition, and Human Sciences Extension and Outreach Nutrition Specialist focuses on youth, school and community nutrition programs using the socio-ecological model of behavior change. Litchfield dedicates her time to connecting the needs of Iowans with Iowa State University research and resources, which makes her deserving of the 2016 Iowa State University Extension - Excellence in Research-Based Programming award.

“Extending the resources of Iowa State University through Extension and Outreach to improve the quality of life for all Iowans is very rewarding,” shared Litchfield.

As an Extension educator, Litchfield provides training on school meal program regulations, school nutrition education, competitive foods, school gardens and overall improvement of the school food environment in her work with the Team Nutrition Training Grants. She has also been engaged in providing food safety messaging for families with young children, and training programs for child care providers, which reaches approximately 1,700 childcare providers annually.

Litchfield engaged with the Healthiest State Initiative to develop and/or coordinate the State Fair Food Finder app (over 2 million app/website views), Master Gardener trainings for HyVee staff, Preserve the Taste of Summer (PTTS) training for HyVee Registered Dietitians, and 8 nutrition education lessons for consumers featuring Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommendations. Each lesson included 8 videos and 7 recipes, which engaged 1,302 consumers.

Litchfield engages citizens by using research and evidence-based educational programs, leading the world in advancing the land-grant ideals of putting science, technology, and human creativity to work. A collaboration with the Department of Education to provide training and technical assistance to schools relative to federally mandated school wellness policy development/implementation and school meal regulations, resulted in 100% of school districts in the state being in compliant, 98% receiving additional federal reimbursement, and the number of schools receiving the Healthier US School Challenge award has increased from 15 to 70 over six years.

In all of her work in Extension and Outreach, Ruth Litchfield incorporates research and student training, resulting in an impressive research output. She has generated over $3 million in grant funding and produced 100 Extension publications.


Key Contacts:

Megan Pulse, mjpulse@iastate.edu, Marketing and Communications
Clark Ford, cfford@iastate.edu, Associate Professor, Chair - FSHN Awards Committee
Ruth Litchfield, litch@iastate.edu, Associate Professor and Associate Department Chair

March 2016 Student Spotlight

Justin Banach, Graduate Assistant-Research, Food Science Club, Food Product Development Team

Justin Banach - Photograph

Why did you choose to attend Iowa State?
I came to ISU to work on an interesting research project involving the modification of an underutilized dairy protein ingredient. At that time, I had just learned about the proposed modification techniques in one of my classes and I felt confident to carry them out.

What factors influenced your choice of major?
It was an easy switch from studying Biological Systems Engineering as an undergrad to Food Science as a graduate student.

What do you enjoy most about your student club or organization experience?
I enjoy being involved with our Food Science Club. I co-planned a multi-state club trip during Spring 2014 that was attended by 17 students. I have also enjoyed helping students get involved with our Food Product Development Team and providing them with an opportunity to highlight their skills on a national stage.

Please describe your most rewarding experience for you being a part of and working with the department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at ISU?
The people in our department are awesome. My lab group is diverse, both in our backgrounds and our research, and we continually learn from each other.

What do you see yourself doing in three to five years?
I won’t be a student anymore, but will hopefully be working in an industry job helping a company produce goods that consumers want to buy. I certainly plan to have more hobbies in the future, as well.

What is something that faculty/staff members wouldn’t know about you?
I try to make things happen. No excuses!

Would you like to recognize a faculty member for their hard work and/or inspiration?
My adviser, Buddhi Lamsal, has always given me full ownership of my work such that successes and opportunities for improvement are on me. This approach has allowed me to learn exponentially.

Iowa State University to Host Regional Center for Food Safety, Receives FDA Grant

Angela Shaw

February 29, 2016
By: Fred Love, ISU News Service

AMES, Iowa – Iowa State University will become a regional center for food safety in an effort to help businesses that grow and process food comply with new federal regulations in the coming years.

The federal Food and Drug Administration awarded Iowa State a three-year, $950,000 grant to establish the new North Central Regional Center for Food Safety Training, which will provide guidance to food processors and growers in 12 Midwestern states.

Angela Shaw, an assistant professor of food science and human nutrition, will lead the effort to get the regional center off the ground. Shaw said food safety has grown as a topic of concern for the American public, and the food safety regulations needed to be modernized.

“We’re able to document more foodborne outbreaks now as detection and health care technology have improved,” Shaw said. “And social media and news media have helped food safety grow in stature as an important issue to people. Food safety rules should reflect those changes.”

The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), signed into law in 2011, aims to strengthen the U.S. food safety system by preventing foodborne outbreaks before they occur. The produce safety rule, one of seven major rules under FSMA, requires fruit and vegetable growers to meet science-based minimum standards for safe growing, harvesting, packing and holding of fruits and vegetables grown for human consumption. FSMA also establishes a national center and four regional centers – which includes the new center at Iowa State – to help guide companies that will have to comply with the law.

Shaw said the size of a firm determines the date on which it will need to comply with one of the law’s major rules. The largest companies will have to make a deadline in September, while the smallest firms have about four years. She said large companies will be able to devote the necessary resources to make the transition, but small companies likely will need the most help in updating under the new rule.

“This is going to be a feat for large companies to comply with the new rule, but they’ll have the money and the personnel to help them get there,” she said. “The smaller firms will have a harder time getting fully compliant because they don’t have access to the same kind of resources.”

Companies will have to update their recordkeeping and training policies regarding food safety, Shaw said.

But in order to help companies make those changes, Shaw said the first step for the regional center will be to reach out to the firms that will have to comply with the new rules for a needs assessment. Catherine Strohbehn, an adjunct professor of apparel, events and hospitality management, and Linda Naeve, an extension program specialist in value added agriculture, also will contribute to the effort.

Shaw said the new center fits well with Iowa State’s land-grant mission.

“This undertaking will be very research based,” she said. “We’ll have a very robust outreach effort to work with the companies, and we’ll also be working with the other regional centers to see what sort of overlap exists.”


- See more at: http://www.news.iastate.edu/news/2016/02/29/foodsafetycenter#sthash.QEkHCikh.dpuf



Angela Shaw, Food Science and Human Nutrition, 515-294-0868, angelaml@iastate.edu
Fred Love, News Service, 515-294-0704, fredlove@iastate.edu

Webb Receives 2016 Wallace E. Barron All-University Senior Award

JoeWebb_2016 Wallace E Barron Award Winner
February 24, 2016
By Megan Pulse


Joe Webb, senior in nutritional science, is driven to serve others and passionate about expanding human potential through conducting research that improves human health. These qualities make Webb deserving of the 2016 Wallace E. Barron All-University Senior Award.

The award, given by the Iowa State University Alumni Association, is granted upon two to five seniors who have dedicated their time to making Iowa State a better place to live, learn, and grow.

“I am deeply humbled and honored to be named a recipient of the Wallace E. Barron All-University Senior Award. This award is the most prestigious honor that I have received and I would like to express my sincere gratitude for this opportunity because there are so many other deserving students at Iowa State University,” said Webb.

Joe’s decision to major in nutritional science was rooted by a family health diagnosis. When his family was given the news that his step father was diagnosed with high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, and high cholesterol, Joe helped his family to lead a healthier lifestyle. This resulted in a change of diet for Joe and his family as they began to eat healthy. Around the same time, Joe assisted in founding a weight lifting program at his high school in Murray, Iowa. Joe and his family lost a combined total of 175 pounds within a short few years, Joe losing 90 pounds himself. After witnessing the profound influence nutrition can have on peoples’ lives, Joe knew that he wanted to spend his life helping others experience the same joy he discovered from leading a healthier lifestyle, and turning his life around.

Joe’s leadership is evident with his involvement in numerous organizations and committees on and off campus, such as: President of Acacia Fraternity, advising in the President’s Leadership Class (alongside President Leath), S.H.O.P., ISU Honors Program, American Alzheimer’s Association, American Society for Nutrition, College of Human Science Dean’s Advisory Board, and many more organizations. He has been named a Coca-Cola National Scholar, College of Human Sciences Student Sensation, Department of Defense National SMART Fellowship Finalist; and has received the Iowa State Interfraternity Council Most Valuable Member and International Acacia Fraternity Most Outstanding Undergraduate awards, to name a few.

Joe attributes his success to the guidance provided by several mentors during his time at Iowa State. From involvement in student organizations to working in research labs on campus, Webb’s mentors had a large impact in helping him identify opportunities to continue his personal growth and mark his college career by his servant leadership.

“Dr. Auriel Willette, Mr. Stewart Burger and Dr. Matthew Ellinwood have been the most influential mentors in my life thus far, helping clarify that I want to spend the rest of my life conducting research that will positively impact human health. Their guidance, knowledge and dedication to serving others extends far beyond anyone else I have met. I deeply venerate these gentlemen and their wisdom has left a resounding impact on my life,” said Webb.

Immediately after graduation, Joe will begin conducting research through a scientific fellowship through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or the American Physiological Society (APS). He will spend his summer studying Alzheimer’s disease before entering into a Ph.D. program in the fall of 2016. Joe plans to complete his Ph.D. in four years before traveling to begin a post-doctoral fellowship through the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) in Bethesda, MD.

In Joe’s short four years at Iowa State, he has had a multitude of experiences that will impact the rest of his life. Most importantly, he believes that attending college should pick a student up and place them back down with new opportunities, and a newly gained perspective on life.

“The best advice I have to give those that would like to receive this honor is to discover your passion,” said Webb. “If you let passion drive you, let reason hold the reigns. As long as at the end of the day you know you are making a difference in others’ lives, you are doing the right thing. Immerse yourself in everything you are interested in and make the most out of your adventure here at Iowa State because this is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you will never forget.”


Key Contacts:
Joe Webb, Senior in Nutritional Science, jlwebb@iastate.edu
Megan Pulse, FSHN Marketing and Communications, mjpulse@iastate.edu
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