The Ralph Holman Lifetime Achievement Award of the AOCS Health and Nutrition Division recognizes an individual who has made significant contributions to the Division’s area of interest, or whose work has resulted in major advances in health and nutrition.
This award commemorates Ralph Holman’s lifetime service to the study of essential fatty acids and their impact on human health and to the Society. Dr. Holman was not only an accomplished biochemist, but a devoted father and husband, a man of integrity and a role model for students and young scientists. Learn more about Ralph Holman in the AOCS Lipids Library
On the occasion of receiving the AOCS Herbert J. Dutton Award in 2020 Dr. Brenna provided advice that is well worth repeating:
Second is an obsession for organizing empirical results into models accessible to the human mind – we call those theories. Regularly asking yourself how you know the things you think you know, is paramount for discovering new things that no one knows. How do you know the earth is not flat? Explain the chemical steps leading free fatty acid content to determine, in part, an oil’s smoke point. Work it out from first principles.
Third, is an underlying recognition of the primacy of humanity, a desire to apply the best ideas to improve the human condition.
These principles can be exercised in any career path – academics, government/non-profit, industry – though some jobs may not enable it. Two examples from industry come to mind:
Lessons learned? Excellence can be practiced anywhere and no career path has a monopoly on virtue.
Thank you Dr. Brenna for this great advice (and the awesome photos!) - and congratulations on receiving the Ralph Holman Lifetime Achievement Award