A pair of CAES researchers recently claimed noteworthy prizes in the inaugural Innovation for Impact Grand Prize, co-sponsored by SoBran Bioscience and the Piedmont Triad Office of the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.
Dr. Shengmin Sang, associate professor and a lead scientist at the Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies, claimed the top prize of $11,000 for his research on ginger’s ability to mitigate the abrasive properties of aspirin and increase its efficacy. His patented ginger compound may also be effective in preventing colon and other cancers.
The bulk of the award will be used to conduct a pre-clinical research study, and $1,000 in cash is awarded directly to the scientist. Sang’s work emerged from the research of among 17 entrants, whose application mission was to demonstrate how their research would “heal, fuel or feed the world in the future.”
Four other scientists from North Carolina universities were also awarded prizes of $500 each, including Dr. Hye Won Kang, assistant research professor of family and consumer sciences. Kang is researching ways to reduce obesity i in humans. She is using the gut bacterium Akkermansia muciniphila to reduce adipose or fat deposits by increasing the metabolic activity of brown adipose tissue. Kang’s lab is testing the effect of Akkermansia muciniphila in mice to evaluate its potential effectiveness for helping decrease and prevent human obesity.