Friday, January 22, 2021

Q&A: Presenting your poster at the AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo

The AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo is still open for poster submissions. The deadline for submissions is February 15.

With our interactive and easy to use online system attendees can listen to your recorded description while they explore your poster. Share your results and innovations with researchers from around the world. Submit your abstract today.

How will my poster be displayed?

We recorded the start of one poster presentation from the 2020 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo as an example: 

(if you are intrigued to learn more about Julian's work check out his webinar below)

As your recording is playing your attendees will be able to move around your poster. They can zoom into areas of interest to study your results in detail – just like they would at an ‘in person’ poster event. 

Your poster will be available for attendees throughout the meeting – from May 3 – May 14.  On-demand access will be then be available to all attendees through June 30, 2021. And AOCS members receive extended access to posters and oral presentations through April 2022.

My abstract was accepted. Do you have any suggestions on how to create my poster?

Congratulations! We have created a ePoster template which you could use as a starting point for your poster. You do not need to use this template, or PowerPoint. Once you have completed the poster – using which ever program/tools you select - you should save it as a single page, one side only, pdf file. 

Download the ePoster template (pptx)

I have prepared my poster. How do I upload it to the meeting website and record my presentation?

You will receive login information and a link with your acceptance notice on February 19. 

Watch for this video detailed instructions and a demonstration from AOCS staff:

Watch this video for additional information provided by the cadmium platform provider:

View Video

Is there a deadline for meeting registration?

Yes, you must register for the meeting by April 19.

What happens after the meeting?

Your poster will be available for attendees to view after the meeting. On-demand access will be then be available to all attendees through June 30, 2021. And AOCS members receive extended access to posters and oral presentations through April 2022.

All researchers whose work is accepted for poster presentation at the 2021 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo are also automatically accepted into the AOCS Webinar program which runs year-round. 

Here is an example of a webinar given by a 2020 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo poster presenter after last year’s meeting.

Further Questions?

If you have questions about presenting at the AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo, please contact AOCS staff:


Telephone: +1 217-693-4831

Usha Thiyam-Hollaender: In Memoriam

We wish to express our sincerest sympathies to the AOCS community and Dr. Usha Thiyam-Hollaender's family. By sharing memories of Dr. Thiyam-Hollaender we hope to keep her in the minds and hearts of the AOCS family.

About Dr. Usha Thiyam-Hollaender

Usha joined AOCS as a student member in 2003 while completing her Ph.D. in Nutritional Sciences at the University of Kiel, Germany. She continued as an individual member and after earning a position at the University of Manitoba, Canada, she became involved with the Lipid Oxidation and Quality Division, serving many years as the Vice Chair, where she helped develop the annual meeting programming. In the past two years, Usha took on the Vice Chair position within the Processing Division and up until her last days, she had AOCS activities on her mind.

Usha built a large and broad group of friends and colleagues from around the world. She will be missed by so many. 

Thoughts and memories from Usha's colleagues.

From N.A. Michael Eskin, University of Manitoba:

What a terrible loss as I served as Usha's mentor for the past 13 years. We worked so well together and became not only colleagues who respected each other, but were wonderful friends. She was a very bright and capable scientist who achieved a lot in her short career. We were planning a second book which sadly will now be done without her but dedicated to her.

From Roger Nahas, Kalsec®, Inc:

I was very saddened by Usha’s passing. She was a very kind, passionate, loyal and dedicated AOCS member. Her memory will live on through her scientific and academic contributions and certainly through her impact on colleagues and collaborators. 

From Jill Moser, USDA, Agricultural Research Service:

I believe the first time that I met Usha was at the 2007 AOCS annual meeting when she received the Edwin N. Frankel award for best paper in lipid oxidation and quality for her paper published in 2006 “Antioxidant Activity of Rapeseed Phenolics and Their Interactions with Tocopherols During Lipid Oxidation,” U. Thiyam, H. Stöckmann, and K. Schwarz (Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society 83(6):523–528). I was the chair of the award committee at that time and so had the opportunity to hand her the award. This was such a proud moment for her! This would have been my second year as a member of AOCS (my first annual meeting as a new USDA scientist was in 2005), and so I associate Usha with AOCS almost as if we were in the same grade or class level, moving through our professional lives together if that makes sense. 

I usually only saw Usha once a year, although she did come to visit our lab in Peoria once, we corresponded every few months and I considered her a friend and always looked forward to seeing her. We shared the experience of having young children and struggling with the balance of young kids and a career in science was something we could share with each other. She had the added challenge of also being a professor, balancing teaching, grant writing and mentoring graduate students. 

She was a dedicated AOCS and LOQ volunteer, and she held all of the positions on the LOQ leadership team, often we were on the team at the same time. Usha always had a lot of passion for her research and for improving AOCS and especially LOQ programs. She especially cared about opening up opportunities for student involvement. Usha had a quiet voice, but she was outspoken in her own way, she never had to be loud to have her voice heard. 

I was heartbroken to hear of her terrible and sudden illness and death. It is tragic for her family, especially, but also for her colleagues, students and friends. AOCS lost a great scientist, volunteer and friend. I will greatly miss seeing Usha at AOCS meetings, which is when I will feel her loss most. Her memory lives on in her children, in the students she mentored, and in her imprint on the Lipid Oxidation and Quality Division and other AOCS Divisions. I look forward to getting together in person to raise a glass in her honor and memory.  

From Amy Logan, CSIRO Agriculture and Food:

I first meet Usha through our mutual research interest in fats and oils at the AOCS annual meetings (back in 2007 or 2008) and have had the pleasure of meeting up with her at many of the AOCS annual meetings since on both a professional level and as friends. I am deeply saddened to learn of her sudden illness and her passing, and will dearly miss the bright energy and spark she brought to any conversation, and of course the opportunity to work together again in the future. 

There have been many opportunities where we had wonderful interactions over the years, having been active members of the LOQ Division at the same time (and working on the annual meeting program together, for example), collaborating through a couple of student projects in research that has helped build an understanding around the efficacy of phenolic antioxidants in canola oil systems, and as a speaker at the Canola Workshop, she had coordinated and hosted at the ‘Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals’ at her University of Manitoba in Canada, back in 2010. I believe she had been at the university for only a couple of years at this point, and I will be forever thankful for the opportunity this invitation provided me to visit Winnipeg and learn more about ongoing research at the Richardson Centre. 

The workshop itself was a great success, leading to the production of a book based on the proceedings (Canola and Rapeseed: Production, Processing, Food Quality, and Nutrition), which she edited along with Michael Eskin and Bertrand Matthäus, but my fondest memory of this visit was the personal touch Usha put into plans for welcoming the speakers, which included a lovely celebratory dinner with the full cohort, as well as opening her home and cooking a more intimate dinner for myself and a few others who had arrived a day before the workshop.  I will always remember Usha’s dedication to her research and the development of her students, through which her legacy and memory shall live on.

AOCS is truly a family. We hope to stay in touch with all our members. We share joys and successes, and sometimes we share grief. Feel free to join us in remembering Usha on inform|connect.

Spotlight on 2020 Thomas H. Smouse Memorial Fellowship Winner Dr. Deena B. Snoke

The Thomas H. Smouse Memorial Fellowship is awarded to graduate students doing research in fats, oils, proteins, surfactants and related materials. The purpose of this graduate fellowship is to encourage, recognize and support outstanding research in a field of study consistent with the areas of interest to AOCS.

Could you be the 2022 Thomas H. Smouse Memorial Fellowship Award Winner? Learn more about the application process. The fellowship's deadline is February 1.

Congratulations to Deena Snoke of The Ohio State University, USA — Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Nutrition (OSUN). This spotlight introduces you to Dr. Snoke, her current research and more!

Meet Deena B. Snoke

A brief biography: Dr. Deena Snoke earned her BS in Biology from Keene State College in 2013. As an undergraduate, she spent three years working with Dr. Susan Whittemore studying the effects of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons on the development of X.laevis tadpoles. This led to the opportunity to spend two summers at Dartmouth Medical School, further contributing to this project in the lab of Dr. Leslie Henderson. The common thread uniting this work and Snoke's current research interests is that environmental factors - whether it is food consumed or exposure to harmful chemicals - can have an enormous impact on health. 

Dr. Snoke joined the lab of Dr. Martha Belury in 2015 as a member of The Ohio State University Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Nutrition (OSUN). She was a member of a diverse research group at the crossroads of nutrition and molecular biology, where she studied dietary fat quality and its impact on muscle energy metabolism. After defended her dissertation in September of 2020, and after several rounds of interviews she joined the laboratory of Dr. Michael Toth at the University of Vermont, where she uses my expertise in nutrition and metabolism to contribute to research studies focusing on skeletal muscle atrophy during cancer treatment. 

Prior to being awarded the Thomas H. Smouse Memorial Fellowship, Snoke was awarded two additional university fellowships and was one of 50 students selected to attend the John Milner Nutrition and Cancer Research practicum in March 2019. She has presented her work at regional and national conferences and has been recognized with several awards for her presentations. At Ohio State, Snoke was heavily involved in the Graduate Society of Nutritional Sciences, where she served as president, social chair, and helped organize the Russell Klein Nutrition and Cancer Research Symposium for the past five years.

1. What was your reaction when you learned you had won the award?

I could not believe I was being recognized at this level. I called my advisor as soon as I got the email and shared the great news!

2. Can you tell us about your dissertation research?

One-third of adults in the U.S. have metabolic syndrome, which increases the risk for many of the leading causes of death in the modern world. Altering dietary habits could be a very effective, safe, and affordable method to reduce the risk for these diseases. Skeletal muscle is the main site of postprandial glucose uptake, and where mitochondria metabolize fatty acids and glucose to generate energy. In skeletal muscle and other metabolically active tissues, dietary lipids act as fuel substrates, signaling molecules that regulate whole-body energy metabolism, and structural components of cell membranes necessary to support ATP production. My dissertation research looked at how different dietary oils with differing fatty acid composition impacted skeletal muscle energy metabolism in mouse models of metabolic health and disease. More specifically, I am investigated how plant-based dietary fats supplemented in the diet can impact skeletal muscle architecture, mitochondrial and cellular energy metabolism and membrane phospholipids, as well as whole-body energy metabolism.

3. How has AOCS helped develop your career?

Attending the AOCS annual meeting was the first experience in my graduate career where my work was critically discussed and evaluated.  I was provided with great feedback about future experimental ideas. I returned to my lab confident in my understanding of my project and invigorated with the drive to produce meaningful research. My attendance widened my awareness of the many flavors of positions available in industry for those interested in communicating scientific knowledge. Interactions with leading scientists in the lipids field will help me contribute impactful research that assists in the greater understanding of dietary lipids and molecular nutrition while also having implications on human health. Importantly, as I look to the next steps in my career in the future, I will have more opportunities to meet and network with other scientists from a variety of lipid fields who may be an invaluable connection to future job opportunities.

I recently interviewed for several postdoctoral positions and feel very strongly that this fellowship recognition improved my visibility and embellished my application to make me a very competitive candidate. I interviewed with many investigators in the lipids field, most of whom were familiar with AOCS and this award. Ultimately, I was offered my top choice position and I am very grateful to have a choice during such a tumultuous time for scientific research. 

4. How did you get started in the field that you are studying?

In high school, my AP biology course initiated my desire to learn more about biology, so I decided that was what I would continue my studies in as an undergraduate student. Once I got to college, I began working in a research lab as a sophomore and quickly realized that I loved the problem solving and ‘outside the box’ thinking that is required of scientific research, and enjoyed the challenge of performing different experiments and constantly learning something new. A uniting factor of my research interests and training is how environmental stimuli - whether a dietary component or pharmacological treatment - can alter metabolic health outcomes. As an undergraduate student, I studied how anthropometric toxins impacted the development of tadpoles, and I saw firsthand how compounds deposited into the environment could directly affect our health. As I progressed to my graduate school career and began lab rotations, I began to learn about how the components of the foods we eat affect our health and became enamored by nutrition research. When I met my advisor, Dr. Martha Belury, and learned about how lipids were not just consumed in the diet but also were signaling molecules that drive whole-body energy metabolism, I thought it was one of the most interesting things I had ever learned. That was when I knew that I was in the right place. As I progressed through my doctoral work and learned more about muscle and energy metabolism, I felt challenged by my research and the problem solving required, and so lucky to be a part of this new and interesting research area. 

5. What challenges have you overcome during your course of study?

Anyone who has progressed through a Ph.D. program knows that it is a long road and mentally and emotionally difficult. Yes, there are factors and variables that make this more or less challenging, but at the core of it all, it is just something that is very difficult to do - which is why not everyone chooses to go down this path. There are periods where you get great results, and there are times when you get stuck troubleshooting one experiment for six months. I do not think that this is unique to my experience - I know many colleagues of mine have been through similar situations. I learned very quickly to overcome these roadblocks by aligning my attitude and emotional response with my end goal. It is not getting stuck, but rather, how you choose to respond and bounce back from it that matters the most and keep you on your trajectory. 

6. Can you share any advice for graduate students who want to apply to the Fellowship?

First: try to propose a small project. One page is not very much space, and trying to accomplish too much leaves a lot of questions! Instead, focus on one major aim and really try to develop it. Because AOCS encompasses so many different areas of research, it is also very important to write to a broad audience and try to include as much explanation as possible. A great thing to do is to ask someone who is not in your field to read your fellowship application and make sure they understand it. 

Second: do not give up and keep submitting if you do not get selected. I applied for this award twice before receiving it, and I am so glad I submitted again. I would also suggest that if you submit a second time, it is important to ask for feedback on your application and try to address that feedback in future applications. I can see that all of my hard work and using the valuable feedback of the award committee on each application really paid off.  

Award details

This Thomas H. Smouse Memorial Fellowship award was established in memory of Dr. Smouse’s dedication and enthusiasm for lipid chemistry and his commitment to family, education, and AOCS. Dr. Smouse was a long-time member and very active volunteer in AOCS, including serving as President of AOCS in 1983. As well as a noted industrial researcher into the flavor chemistry of fats and oils. Archer Daniels Midland Foundation, AOCS Foundation, AOCS and the family and friends of Dr. Smouse established and assisted in this fellowship’s funding.

What does the recipient receive?

  • Custom inscribed bookends with the recipient’s name and award details
  • US $10,000 honorarium
  • Up to a US $5,000 research and travel allowance
  • Opportunity to present an award lecture at the 2022 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo

Who is eligible?

Graduate students who are AOCS members that:

  • are conducting research at an educational institution that is conducting fundamental investigations in the chemistry of fats, oils, proteins, surfactants and related materials, with an above-average interest in and aptitude for research have never received the Thomas H. Smouse Memorial Fellowship
  • Note: the graduate student’s major professor supervising the research must also be a current AOCS member
  • Please refer to the Award Guidelines (.pdf) for detailed eligibility guidelines.

How to nominate?

  • The professor should review the student's application for completeness, and then send the following nomination materials as a single mailing to the AOCS main office by February 1. Should you have concerns about your application materials arriving by February 1, please notify AOCS at
  • Letter of nomination from the major professor supervising the research
  • Major professor statement confirming good standing at the university (complete within the application)
  • At least three letters of recommendation from deans, department heads and/or professors who have supervised the student’s most recent academic work. These letters should present essential facts regarding: 1) scholastic record, 2) character and personality, 3) interest and capability in research, 4) ability to cooperate with others, 5) capacity for work and 6) extracurricular activities
  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate colleges or university work completed to date
  • Application (.doc) completed by the student

View all student award details


Should you have any questions, contact Victoria Santo at

Thursday, January 21, 2021

We want your ideas for future Midweek Mixers

In a continued effort to help AOCS community members connect with each other, AOCS turns to its community for inspiration - after all, this is for you and about you, so we want to hear from you!

Midweek Mixers are a new social space designed to give AOCS community members a space to chat, network and connect over a common interest. 

Whether you are looking to break into peer reviewing (or share your peer-reviewing experience), connect with fellow industry colleagues or exchange best practices for edible oil sample preparation, Midweek Mixers are the online social space for you!

Do you have an idea that would help connect professionals in the fats, oils, proteins, surfactants and related bio-based materials industries? We want to hear from you! Submit your idea for an online get-together.

Read more about past (and upcoming) Midweek Mixers on

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

14th ISSFAL International Congress will co-locate with the AOCS Annual Meeting and Expo

We are delighted to announce that our colleagues in the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL) will be co-locating their annual meeting with the AOCS Annual Meeting and Expo. What a wonderful opportunity for researchers from the two groups to meet up and learn from each other in the virtual world.

The 14th ISSFAL International Congress will run from May 10th to 14th as a separate, independent ‘track’ alongside the second week of the AOCS Annual Meeting and Expo. The ISSFAL Congress will comprise two sessions each day with varying start times to give delegates in different international time zones the opportunity to attend ‘live’. The event will feature ISSFAL award presentations, plenary speakers, presentations selected from abstracts, and opportunities to interact live with sponsors and exhibitors.

The deadline for abstract submissions for the 14th ISSFAL International Congress has been extended by one week to January 22nd to accommodate those waiting for confirmation of actual dates.

More information here

Monday, January 11, 2021

Protein-based Hydrocolloids for Food and Biomaterial Applications: Key Speakers Announced

We are delighted to announce key speakers for the Protein-based Hydrocolloids for Food and Biomaterial Applications session at the 2021 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo.

This session focuses on current techniques to develop novel protein-based hydrocolloids for improved food stability, texture and quality. Their applications such as novel delivery systems and biomedical materials will also be discussed. 

Key Speakers:

Alberto Romero, Professor, Universidad De Sevilla
Protein-based polymer materials for agricultural and biomedical applications

Dario M. Cabezas, Researcher, Laboratorio de Investigación en Funcionalidad y Tecnología de Alimentos (LIFTA), UNQ - CONICET

Effect of ultrasound on compositional and emulsifying properties of soybean okara

Please join us! The deadline for submissions into this session, and others in the Protein and Co-Products interest area, is January 15, 2021. Do not miss this opportunity to share your research and innovations with researchers from industry, government laboratories and leading academic groups from around the world.

Spread the word: Final call for submissions for the AOCS Annual Meeting and Expo is January 15

Analytical Division: Join our key speakers in the analysis of less abundant lipids sessions or participate in sessions highlighting a range of emerging technologies for characterizing oils and fats in biological and food matrices: Find out more 

Biotechnology Division: Join our key speakers in the oleochemicals - biocatalysis sessions or participate in sessions on enzymatic and microbial conversion, breeding and biotechnology for improving plant proteins, lipids, and development of biobased surfactants and biorenewable polymers. Share this link

Surfactants and Detergents Division: Join key speakers in the biobased surfactants sessions or participate in sessions covering all areas of research and development for surfactants and detergents, including their preparation, purification, characterization and application. More details here 

Edible Applications Technology Division: Join key speakers in the fundamentals of fat crystallization sessions or participate in one of seven sessions on applications focused research in plant proteins fats and oils, and new innovations in food materials and technology. 

Industrial Oil Products Division: Join key speakers in the green chemistry and oleochemicals sessions or participate in sessions on biofuels, new uses of glycerine, biorenewable polymers, and on all areas of sustainable materials research and development based on plant sources. Find out more 

Lipid Oxidation and Quality Division: Join key speakers in the lipid oxidation consequences to health, nutrition and toxicity sessions or participate in sessions covering contemporary analysis, antioxidant effectiveness, lipid behavior in protein products and novel food matrices. More details here 

Phospholipids Division: Join key speakers in the sustainable processing and fractionation for novel phospholipids sessions or participate in sessions on novel phospholipids; on pharmaceutical, functional and edible applications; and on sustainable processing, fractionation and novel applications for materials including milkfat, marine and plant-based phospholipids Find out more 

Health and Nutrition Division: Join key speakers in a session on COVID-19 and lipids or participate in sessions on essential fatty acids; cannabinoids and terpenes; emerging sources of proteins, and on all aspects of experimental nutrition, physiology and biochemistry in humans and animals Share this link

Processing Division: Join key speakers in the new and emerging processing technology session or participate in sessions highlighting best practices and guidelines, cannabis and hemp processing, processing to enhance bioactive ingredients, and processing renewable fuels. More details here.

Protein and Co-Products Division: Join key speakers in the sessions on protein-based hydrocolloids for food and biomaterial applications or participate one of 10 sessions covering all areas of innovation in protein and co-products science and technology. Find out more.