Monday, February 21, 2022

Spotlight on F. Xavier Malcata, recipient of the 2022 Stephen S. Chang Award

We are delighted to announce that Dr. F. Xavier Malcata is the recipient of the 2022 Stephen S. Chang Award. This award recognizes a scientist, technologist or engineer who has made distinguished accomplishments in research for the improvement or development of products related to lipids. This award is made possible by the Stephen and Lucy Chang Endowed Fund.

About F. Xavier Malcata

F. Xavier Malcata

Dr. F. Xavier Malcata is a professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering of University of Porto and senior researcher at the Laboratory for Process Engineering, Environment, Biotechnology and Energy. He received his Ph.D. (1991) from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

His research on lipases in immobilized form has supported a number of industrial advances. Dr. Malcata’s various reviews on the subject have become classical references for anyone interested in enzymes for catalytic reactions of hydrolysis, ester synthesis, acidolysis, alcoholysis or transesterification. He pioneered immobilization of lipases for modifying oils and fats via hydrolysis and transesterification and developed nonconventional configurations of photobioreactors for producing polyunsaturated fats and high-added value metabolites by lipidogenic microalgae.

He has authored 470+ refereed papers that have received more than 17,500 cites by the peers, with an h-index of 65. He currently appears in the 0.5%-top tier of Stanford University ranking of the most influential researchers worldwide.

He has also edited five books and published 17 books, including the 11-volume treatise titled “Enzyme Reactor Engineering” by Wiley, and the three-volume collection titled “Food Process Engineering" published by CRC. In addition, he has supervised 30 Ph.D. dissertations, coordinated 37 research and development projects, and written 55 book chapters.

Dr. Malcata is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including the Ralph H. Potts Memorial Award (1991) and Young Scientist Research Award (2001) from AOCS; Foundation Scholar Award (1998), Danisco International Dairy Science Award (2007), Distinguished Service Award (2012) and Teaching Award in Dairy Manufacturing (2019) from the American Dairy Science Association; Samuel Cate Prescott Award (2008) and William V. Cruess Award (2014) from IFT; and International Leadership Award (2008) and Elmer Marth Educator Award (2011) by International Association for Food Protection. He was named an AOCS Fellow in 2014.

Can you tell us about your current research?

I am currently focusing on enhancement of production, and eventual secretion of oil by microalgae, using metabolic and genetic engineering tools, in attempts to bring down the production costs of biodiesel.

What was your reaction when you learned you had won the award

I felt proud to hear I had been selected for this award — not only because it recognizes the noteworthy advances in the biotechnology of lipids I gradually developed over the latest 30 years, but also for the opportunity to join the elite of professionals working with lipids who took Stephen Chang for a role model.

How has AOCS helped develop your career?

The Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society (JAOCS) still remains one of my major sources of state-of-the-art information of the (bio)technology of lipids. In addition, the awards I received from AOCS have contributed to my success as coordinator in earning project grants for research, as well as postgraduate fellowships for students to work under my guidance.

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