Citrus Researcher Yu Wang Recognized

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Yu Wang (right) working in her lab with graduate student Veronica Lagor.

She’s early in her career, but food scientist Yu Wang is making great strides in her research. Recognizing Wang’s work, the Agricultural and Food Chemistry division (AGFD) of the American Chemical Society (ACS) recently named her a fellow. Wang, a flavor chemist with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center, may be the first assistant professor in the division’s history to receive this prestigious award.

The award is presented to scientists who have made significant contributions in the areas of agriculture and food chemistry. Wang may be one of the only fellow recipients who have received the award so early in their career and before they have earned tenure from their institution. This award will be officially announced at the virtual ACS meeting late in August.

“I joined the AGFD division when I was a Ph.D. student. Back then I was always wondering if someday I could receive the fellow award from the division as other scientists did,” said Wang.  

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“To be recognized as a fellow so early in her career is a testament to Yu Wang’s commitment and contributions to the body of scientific knowledge,” said Michael Rogers, director of the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center. “She is certainly creating a national reputation for excellence in the field.”

Wang earned degrees from Hefei University of Technology, Louisiana State University and Rutgers. She worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and as a flavor chemist at Mars Chocolate before coming to UF/IFAS to work with citrus. 

“If you want to study flavor, you want to study citrus flavor,” noted Wang. Citrus is one of the most widely studied flavors and scents and used in many industries such as food and beverage, household products and perfume. Discoveries made in citrus flavor and scent research reach consumers around the world.

Read Wang’s recent research on how rootstock and scion affect orange juice flavor.

Source: UF/IFAS

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