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.
This spotlight will tell you more about Hongbing Fan, who was the recipient of the 2020 Health and Nutrition Division Student Award and has gone on to win the Thomas H. Smouse Memorial Fellowship in 2021.
Provide a brief biography
I am a Ph.D. student under the supervision of Dr. Jianping Wu in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Science at the University of Alberta in Canada. Prior to this, I graduated from China Agricultural University with my masters degree in Food Science. My current research interests include Protein Chemistry and Functional Foods, especially the health benefits of food-derived bioactive peptides. I joined AOCS in 2018 and since then, I have actively participated in various academic and social activities in AOCS. I volunteer as the Chair of the Student Common Interest Group (2019-2021), the student representative in the Canadian Section's AOCS leadership team (2019-2021), as well as the technical or poster session co-chair in the PCP and H&N Divisions of the 2020 and 2021 annual meetings.
Can you tell us about your current research?
My thesis project is to develop antihypertensive peptides from spent hen muscle proteins. Spent hens are laying hens that reach the end of their egg-laying cycle and are a major byproduct in the egg industry. Every year, more than 30 million spent hens are produced in Canada and ten times more of those produced in North America. Processing them for food/feed uses is of little economic value to the industry; they are mostly disposed by burial, composting and incineration, which raise environmental and animal welfare concerns. Hypertension is a global health concern and food protein-derived antihypertensive peptides are an emerging treatment for hypertension. Although being treated as a byproduct, spent hens are rich in various animal proteins which are a good source of antihypertensive peptides. This project aims to purify and identify novel antihypertensive peptides from spent hen muscle proteins, followed by validating their efficacies in various cell and animal models of hypertension.
What was your reaction when you learned you had won the award?
It was very exciting when I knew that I was selected for this award. This is a true honor and inspired me to focus on my study and research work and gave me some flexibility to wrap up my project.
How has AOCS helped develop your career?
I have ever been recognized as the winner of the H&N division poster competition (2019), the H&N division award (2020), the Society Honored Student Award (2019), and the Thomas H. Smouse Memorial Fellowship (2020). I wanted to express my sincere thanks to AOCS for awarding me these honors. It further built up my confidence to showcase my research and connect myself with other professionals or colleagues, which inspired me, as a student, to further undertake more roles in the AOCS community. Many of the world's excellent scholars and researchers are present at AOCS Annual Meetings, therefore it is a great platform for networking and interaction with peers.
Meet our award winner
Hongbing Fan will be presenting his work on 'Spent hen-derived angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) upregulating peptide reduces blood pressure in spontaneously hypertensive rats' at the 2021 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo, May 3-14, 2021