Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Member Spotlight: Aurore Cournoyer

Aurore Cournoyer
Aurore Cournoyer is a Ph.D. student in food science, Laval University, a recipient of the 2021 AOCS Canadian Section (CAOCS) Travel Grant and placed 2nd in the 2021 Biotechnology Division Student ePoster Pitch Competition.

Could you please introduce yourself?

I have been conducting my Ph.D. studies in food science since September 2020 in Dr. Laurent Bazinet’s team at Laval University, Quebec. Initially, I started my undergraduate studies at Laval University after holding a bachelor’s degree in food science and technology. During that time, I participated in two research internships at INRS-Institut Armand Frappier in Laval, Quebec, and at VetAgro-Sup in Lyon, France. I also completed my master’s degree at Laval University. It was these experiences that grew my enthusiasm in doing research in the fields of food by-products and finding solutions to improve impacts of my research on the environment and the society. I am currently working on my doctoral thesis research, which I plan to finish in 2023.

Could you tell us a bit about your research and what problems your work aims to solve?

My research aims to improve industrial waste management, particularly in slaughterhouses. A slaughterhouse generates several byproducts, such as blood, which has a high quality and quantity of proteins. The aim of this project is to apply value addition to blood. My work focuses on producing bioactive peptides from animal blood that can be used in the meat industry and contribute to a circular economy. Different aspects of production and separation of peptides as well as peptides’ mechanisms of action are deepened through this work.

How long have you been an AOCS member and what types of activities have you participated in?

I have been an AOCS member for one year. Thus far, I have attended the 2021 AOCS Annual Meeting & Expo and participated in the Biotechnology Division Student ePoster Pitch Competition.

What does a typical day look like for you?

I would say that a typical day always starts with coffee! But more seriously, I usually go to my office, check emails and then decide whether it will be a day of lab or written work. I will either stay in my office reading literature, preparing my future papers, analyzing my data or preparing for regular meetings. Otherwise, I will spend my day in the laboratory.

You won the 2021 CAOCS Student Support Grant and Biotechnology Division Student ePoster Pitch Competition! Could you share with us your feelings/wisdom?

It really made me happy and encouraged me to work hard and get involved in the events outside my university. It is very encouraging to see that my research subject is of interest to other researchers who want to hear and discuss it. If you are only focusing on your own research, you may get close-minded. Winning these awards reminded me that science is worldwide and underlined the importance of communicating and discussing research work with peers at scientific conferences.

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