We are delighted to announce that H. M. A. Ruchira Nandasiri is the recipient of the 2022 Lipid Chemistry and Nutrition Award. This award recognizes outstanding performance and achievement by graduate students conducting research in lipid chemistry and nutrition. The award is sponsored by Seawit Co., Inc.
About H. M. A. Ruchira Nandasiri
Ruchira Nandasiri was born and raised in Sri Lanka. In 2004, he passed the university entrance exam conducted by the Sri Lankan government and graduated with a specialized degree in food science and technology at the University of Wayamba in 2009. He then pursued a master’s degree in food chemistry and nutrition at Dalhousie University under the supervision of Dr. Vasantha Rupasinghe. After graduating in 2012, he worked at that university until he moved to the University of Manitoba to do his Ph.D. under the guidance of Dr. Usha Thiyam-Hollander in 2016. Sadly, Dr. Thiyam-Hollander passed away on December 24, 2020. Dr. Michael Eskin stepped in and took over supervision until graduation.
During Ruchira's time at the University of Manitoba, he received a number of awards, including the Murphy Foundation scholarship from the University of Manitoba in both 2017 and 2019, AOCS Lipid Oxidation and Quality Division Travel Award, CIFST Student Travel Award in 2019, Program Completion Award from the faculty of graduate studies of the University of Manitoba in 2020, and Best Pecha-Kucha Presenter Award at the Protein Research Symposium in 2021.
Can you tell us about your current research?
My current research is focused on the valorization of canola, mustard and hemp by-products with an emphasis on its minor components, including canolol. In addition, we are in the process of determining the efficacy of some minor components as natural cancer preventative agents.
What was your reaction when you learned you had won the award?
I felt really happy and at the same time felt honored receiving such an award from a world-recognized organization such as AOCS. Further, I felt Dr. Thiyam-Hollander was here with me today to witness my success and achievements.
How has AOCS helped develop your career?
I joined AOCS in 2018. Since then, I have been actively involved with AOCS. The AOCS Annual Meeting has provided many networking opportunities. Being a member of the best paper award selection committee for the Lipid Oxidation and Quality Division for two years has helped me improve my writing and analytical skills. Also, being selected as one of the session chairs for the Lipid Oxidation and Quality program at the upcoming 2022 AOCS Annual Meeting will sharpen my presentation and management skills, which will help me in the long run.