Shengmin Sang, associate professor and lead scientist in the Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies ​at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University labs in Kannapolis, was awarded the inaugural Innovation for Impact Grand Prize last week in Greensboro. Here’s a look at his bio.

Dr. Shengmin Sang

Dr. Sang is associate professor specializing in functional foods, researches dietary exposure markers using metabolomic approaches, with the goal of identifying novel bioactive natural products that can be used in functional foods and dietary supplements to prevent chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes.

Present areas of research focus on how post-harvest technologies affect the chemical profile, bioavailability and efficacy of the bioactive components in functional foods.

Specific projects in his lab involve:

• Purifying and identifying bioactive components from herbal medicine and functional foods;
• Standardization and quality control of herbal medicine and functional foods;
• Studying the bioavailability and biotransformation of bioactive food components in animals and humans;
• Studying the preventive effects of dietary polyphenols, such as tea catechins and apple polyphenols on the development of diabetic complications focusing on the trapping of reactive dicarbonyl compounds and the formation of Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs) using in vitro and animal models;
• Developing new chemopreventive agents from dietary sources, such as gingerols and shogaols from ginger, pterostilbene from blueberry, theaflavins from black tea, and wheat bran oil from wheat bran using in vitro and animal models.
• Using metabolomic approach to study dietary exposure markers.

Dr. Sang is a very productive natural product scientist. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles in reputable journals and 15 book chapters.

He was co-organizer of the symposium titled “Challenges in Chemistry and Biology of Herbs” at the American Chemical Society’s National Meeting in 2004, and then co-edited a book titled “Herbs: Challenges in Chemistry and Biology” sponsored by ACS. He is currently organizing another symposium titled “Reactive Carbonyl Species: Chemistry and Health Effects” for the ACS National Meeting in 2010.

He has received two U.S. patents titled “Benzotropolone derivatives and modulation of inflammatory response” (United States Patent Number: 7,087,790 B2. August 8, 2006 and 7,288,680. October 30, 2007). Dr. Sang’s research has been supported by research grants from NIH Botanical Center, NCI/NIH, U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Apple Association (USApple) and the Apple Products Research Education Council (APREC), as well as by a private company.

His outstanding research in the area of food and health was recognized with his winning in 2007 the Young Scientist Award of the Agricultural and Food Chemistry Division from the American Chemical Society; and in 2009, the Matthew Suffness Young Investigator Award, which is currently the highest honor for an investigator in the first ten years of his independent research career in the American Society of Pharmacognosy.

Shen obtained his Ph.D. degree as a natural product chemist from Shanghai Institute of Material Medicine, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1999. From 1999 – 2003, he served as a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Food Science at Rutgers University, and from 2003 – 2008 as an assistant research professor in the Department of Chemical Biology, School of Pharmacy. From 2008 – 2010, he was assistant professor in the Julius L. Chambers Biomedical/Biotechnology Research Institute at North Carolina Central University. He continues to serve as adjunct faculty in the Department of Chemical Biology, School of Pharmacy at Rutgers University and in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutritional Sciences at North Carolina State University.

Source: N.C. AT&T