Kumar Venkitanarayanan, associate dean for research and graduate studies, and professor of animal science in the College of Agriculture, Health, and Natural Resources (CAHNR) has been named a fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT).
This prestigious honor recognizes Venkitanarayanan’s remarkable contributions to improving food safety of eggs and poultry meat.
“This is a great honor and recognition of my research. I thank my students and postdocs whose dedicated work contributed to the success of my program,” says Venkitanarayanan.
Since 1970, IFT has named fellows who are making strides in food science scholarship, technology, or the regulatory arena, recognizing them as leaders in the field. IFT brings together some of the best minds to advance food science and its applications across the global food system.
Venkitanarayanan transferred his training as a veterinarian into a productive academic career using science to address today’s major industry challenges.
Through his decades-long career, Venkitanarayanan has led pioneering research on using plant-derived compounds, essential minerals, and probiotics to improve food safety. His work contributed to the use of several novel phytochemicals as poultry feed ingredients, reducing the incidence of dangerous bacterial infections like salmonella.
Venkitanarayanan has secured more than $17 million in total funding from competitive grants to support his research. Recently, Venkitanarayanan embarked on a large-scale collaborative project to improve the sustainability of the poultry industry. The work will promote both poultry and human health while reducing reliance on antibiotics and addressing the environmental toll of the industry’s waste.
He has also established an impressive publication record, with 125 peer-reviewed journal manuscripts and 27 book chapters. He has also characterized five new bacterial genes. He serves on the editorial board of several journals including serving as the Academic Editor of PLOS One, an open-source journal. Venkitanarayanan is committed to moving his work from the lab into the public sphere where it can directly benefit consumers by working closely with stakeholders.
“Dr. Venkitanarayanan’s contributions to the field extend beyond his own research,” says Indrajeet Chaubey, dean of the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources. “As an administrator, he supports high-quality faculty scholarship and opportunities and training for graduate students. As a faculty member, he has mentored 80 students and five postdoctoral scientists in his own laboratory. We are thrilled that he has been recognized with this honor.”
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