Venkitanarayanan appointed member of the Institute of Food Technologists

Kumar Venkitanarayanan, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, and Professor of Animal Sciences at the College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources (CAHNR) has been appointed to the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT).

This prestigious honor recognizes Venkitanarayanan’s outstanding contributions to improving the food safety of eggs and poultry meat.

“It is a great honor and recognition of my research. I thank my students and post-docs whose dedicated work has contributed to the success of my program, ”says Venkitanarayanan.

Since 1970, IFT has appointed fellows who make advancements in food science, technology or regulation, recognizing them as leaders in the field. IFT brings together some of the best minds to advance food science and its applications in the global food system.

Venkitanarayanan transferred his training as a veterinarian into a productive academic career using science to tackle major challenges in today’s industry.

During his decades-long career, Venkitanarayanan has conducted pioneering research into the use of plant-derived compounds, essential minerals, and probiotics to improve food safety. His work has contributed to the use of several new phytochemicals as ingredients in poultry feed, thereby reducing the incidence of dangerous bacterial infections such as salmonella.

Venkitanarayanan has secured more than $ 17 million in total funding from competitive grants to support its research. Recently, Venkitanarayanan embarked on a large-scale collaborative project to improve the sustainability of the poultry industry. The work will promote both poultry health and human health while reducing dependence on antibiotics and tackling the environmental toll of industry waste.

He also set an impressive publication record, with 125 peer-reviewed journal manuscripts and 27 book chapters. He also characterized five new bacterial genes. He sits on the editorial board of several journals, most notably as academic editor of PLOS One, an open source journal. Venkitanarayanan is committed to taking its work from the laboratory to the public sphere where it can directly benefit consumers by working closely with stakeholders.

“Dr. Venkitanarayanan’s contributions to the field extend beyond his own research,” says Indrajeet Chaubey, dean of the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources. “As an administrator, he supports high quality scholarships, opportunities and training for graduate students. As a faculty member he has mentored 80 students and five postdoctoral fellows in his own lab. We are delighted that he has received this honor.

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