Thursday, February 25, 2021

Interview with Protein and Co-Products Division student member Ogadimma Desmond Okagu

Ogadimma Desmond Okagu is a PhD candidate in the Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada. He is a new member of AOCS and the PCP Division, joined the Society in 2020.

How did you get involve with AOCS and the PCP Division?

I was introduced to AOCS by my PhD supervisor, Dr. Udenigwe, and I joined the PCP Division, which is most related to my work.

How do you hope or how has AOCS helped in solving the challenges you encounter in your work and/or research?

I attended the 2020 AOCS virtual meeting and, it was very impactful, especially in addressing some key issues related to protein nanoparticle preparation, zeta potential analysis, TEM image acquisition and kinetic release.

What excites you the most about your present work?

The fact that food-based protein nano delivery vehicles could be engineered to behave the way we want for targeted delivery of biodegradable, insoluble, non-accessible, and non-bioavailable bioactive compounds.

Have you presented at an AOCS annual meeting before?

No, I was one of the four finalists for the student oral competition, which did not go as planned due to COVID-19. I am hoping that my work will be accepted for presentation in the coming 2021 AOCS annual meeting.  (editor note - it was!)

How has the present situation with COVID-19 changed your daily life

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted my daily life. Having to work from home means that hours for laboratory research have been considerably reduced. That impacts the pace of the project, which I would have loved to progress much faster. On the home front, however, the work-from-home routine has allowed me to enjoy quality family time with my partner and kids. I have channeled my energy into writing manuscripts and publishing my work. I have also been performing my teaching assistantship role virtually, and it has been quite a remarkable and impactful experience. I consider these to be something good that I have achieved amidst the precarious pandemic situation.

What is your career goal?

My career aspiration is to become a successful professor in food chemistry, specifically in the application of nanotechnology for protein-based delivery systems and bio-nano interaction.

Meet Ogadimma Desmond Okagu at the 2021 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo

His presentation topics are:

'Impact of succinylation on pea protein-curcumin interaction, polyelectrolyte complexation with chitosan, and gastrointestinal release of curcumin in loaded-biopolymer nano-complexes'

'Influence of structural properties of pea globulin, albumin and glutelin on interaction and nanocomplexation with curcumin, formation of pepsin resistant and thermo-stabilized spherical bio-nanocomplexes for oral delivery'


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