Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Welcome to the new Canadian Section Leadership Team!

The Canadian Section of AOCS (CAOCS) elected five new members to serve on its 2020–2021 Leadership Team:
  • Chairperson: Xiao Qiu, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan
  • Vice Chairperson:  Apollinaire Tsopmo, Carleton University, Ontario
  • Secretary/Treasurer: Andrew Gravelle, University of Guelph, Ontario
  • Student Affairs: Elisa Di Stefano, University of Ottawa, Ontario, and Hongbing Fan, University of Alberta, Alberta
The Leadership Team will organize events in Canada, encourage students and young professionals to participate in the 2020 Annual Meeting, and facilitate networking in the region. Assisting these new leaders will be the Section's Advisory Board:
  • Dérick Rousseau, Ryerson University, Ontario
  • Chibuike Udenigwe, University of Ottawa, Ontario
Learn more about some of the new members in the below Q&As!

Andrew Gravelle
Research Assistant, University of Guelph

Andrew Gravelle
Provide a brief biography of 250 words or less.
Andrew completed his M.Sc. in biophysics in 2010, after which he began his professional career as a research associate in the Department of Food Science at the University of Guelph. In this role, Andrew led numerous projects broadly focusing on two main topics: characterizing and improving the functionality of edible oleogels structured using the polymer ethylcellulose and investigating the use of particulate fillers as a means of modulating functionality in food protein gels. The overarching theme of this work has been to identify methods of recovering or enhancing food structure via non-traditional routes. Andrew has been a major contributing author to numerous peer-reviewed publications and book chapters in the field of food structure, and has presented his work at a variety of international conferences.

In 2018, Andrew shifted to a full-time Ph.D. program, while continuing part-time as a senior researcher in the Food, Health, and Aging Laboratory under Professor Alejandro Marangoni (University of Guelph). The topic of his thesis is to improve and expand on existing theoretical approaches for describing the mechanical and rheological properties of various fat-filled food gels.

His research focuses on elucidating the contribution of a dispersed fat phase in modulating the physical properties of fat-filled foods in a predictive manner. This work also has further implications with respect to the oral processing and associated sensory attributes of such products.

Why did you decide to volunteer as a member of a Steering Committee?
I decided to volunteer as a member of the steering committee for the Canadian Section because there are a considerable number of Canadian researchers within AOCS, and I feel it is important to ensure we retain a distinct identity and sense of community within the greater AOCS organization.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
In my free time, I enjoy running, cycling and rock climbing.

Hongbing Fan
Ph.D. candidate, University of Alberta

Hongbing FanProvide a brief biography of 250 words or less.
After obtaining my master's degree in food science at the China Agricultural University, I came to Canada and continued my Ph.D. study in food science in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science at the University of Alberta. My research interests are mainly on functional foods and bioactive peptides. My thesis research is to develop food-derived antihypertensive peptides as functional food ingredients against hypertension. My story with the AOCS started with my supervisor Dr. Jianping Wu and my lab colleagues as many of them are active AOCS members. This initiated my interaction with AOCS, and in January 2018, I have become an AOCS student member. In 2019, I was honored with the Honored Student Award and was the first-place winner in the Health & Nutrition Division poster competition.

Why did you decide to volunteer as a member of a Steering Committee?
I hope to take more roles in such a professional organization, which I think is one of the best ways to become a professional. This would allow me to improve quickly and then, in turn, to provide better services to the members and the society. I have been working as the chair in my department's graduate student's association from 2017 to 2019 and am now the chair of the AOCS Student Common Interest Group (SCIG). I joined AOCS in my third year within my Ph.D. program, which was late compared to many other student members; I cannot wait any longer to be involved in more activities and events. I hope that my previous experience can let me better serve student members in the CAOCS.

What do you hope to accomplish in your role?
I will advertise the CAOCS in various scenarios, recruit more student members to join the CAOCS, and speak for Canadian student members in AOCS.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I usually go to office and start daily work at 8:30–9:00 a.m. on weekdays. I am mainly working at three different places: my lab, cell culture unit and the university central animal facility. My project involves cell and rats models so I usually check them first and then start working in my own lab. I usually go back home around 5:30 p.m. so that I can have time to cook and then do some paperwork in the evening. On weekends, I spend half to one day for groceries and house cleaning, and may attend entertaining activities with friends such as bowling and karaoke. I like skiing in the winter. I previously went tor social dancing like salsa but currently am not since I want to spend more time on graduating. I also like singing; I won first place in the Public Category of the Edmonton Second Chinese Singing Contest in 2018 and have been invited a few times to perform at various Gala dinners by various associations at the University of Alberta and in Edmonton.

Apollinaire Tsopmo
Associate Professor, Carleton University

Apollinaire Tsopmo
Provide a brief biography of 250 words or less.
I am an Associate Professor of Food Science at Carleton University, Ottawa, ON. My research interests are in the area of food chemistry, nutritional analyses and biological activities of food molecules. I study the relationship between nutrition and health. I focus on analysis of vitamins in foods; on the search of novel molecules that can be used to prevent oxidative deterioration of foods; to reduce inflammation, oxidative stress and metal toxicity in various models.

Some areas of study are the following:
  • Bioactive peptides from cereals: preparation of protein isolates and their digestion with food-grade proteases. Separation of digested proteins into several fractions, functionalities, identification of peptides, structure-function relationships and evaluation of biological activity.
  • Effect of bioactive food peptides on the management of body weight, reduction of markers of oxidative stress and inflammation.
  • Reduction of the toxicity of metals such chromium and arsenic by hydrolyzed food proteins and peptides.
  • Biochemistry of human milk. Novel antioxidant compounds.
    Vitamins and phytochemical analysis in foods and their bioavailability in cell cultures.
  • Effect of processing on phenolic compounds in cereals.
Why did you decide to volunteer as a member of a Steering Committee?
I decided to volunteer because I would like to increase my network, which I sure will help advance my research. I believe other members will also benefits from the interaction we will have.

What do you hope to accomplish in your role?
I would like to get more research and students involve in AOCS. I would like to help grow the Canadian Section 

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My typical day starts in the laboratory where I discuss experiments and planning with my students. Next, I spend some time in my offices, writing reports and reviewing and managing manuscripts. In between, I will go to class or talk to undergraduate students.

Xiao Qui
Professor, University of Saskatchewan

Provide a brief biography of 250 words or less.
I am currently a Professor in the Department of Food and Bioproduct Sciences, University of Saskatchewan. I obtained my doctorate from the University of Guelph, Canada, in 1995. After graduation, I spent two years as Research Associate in the National Research Council of Canada and seven years in nutritional oil industry first as Research Scientist and later as Research Director. In 2005, I moved to the University of Saskatchewan to set up an institutional lipid biotechnology program. Since 2009, I has also been an Adjunct Research Officer in the National Research Council of Canada, Saskatoon. My research is primarily focused on plant and microbial lipids and bioactive compounds and their biosynthesis and metabolic engineering in plants and microorganisms.

Why did you decide to volunteer as a member of a Steering Committee?
Last year I helped the Canadian Section of the American Oil Chemists’ Society (CAOCS) organize the 26th CAOCS Canadian Lipid & Bioresource Conference 2018 (CLBC2018) in Saskatoon. Through the event, I realize that there is quite a size of lipid research community in Canada with enthusiasm in retaining their identity and networking. The CAOCS is a wonderful platform for them to exchange ideas and promote business and scientific collaborations.

What do you hope to accomplish in your role?
What I hope to see is the enhanced sense of Canadian lipid community and increased participation of our members in CAOCS/AOCS activity.

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