Dr. Shengmin Sang, a 2018 BEYA Innovation Award winner, has won a $2.8 million grant to better understand the effects of whole grains on health.

Last year Sang received North Carolina A&T’s Intellectual Property Award for his research investigating the potential of bioactive components from foods and herbal medicines to prevent chronic diseases.

He was recognized for his groundbreaking research at the 2018 BEYA STEM Conference.

Sang has patented compounds comprising aspirin and ginger derivatives that have shown promise for preventing cancer, and he studies bioactive compounds in tea, apples, rosemary, and other foods.

For this research project, the food scientist will work with his research partners at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institutes of Food and Agriculture.

The USDA’s Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s College of Computing and Informatics will also collaborate on the research.

“At the completion of these studies, our expectation is that we will have identified markers to reflect whole grain wheat or oat intake,” said Sang. “Our findings will establish the basis for future studies of the role whole grains play in health and eventually lead to more individualized nutrition.”

Sang submitted this research proposal to the National Institutes of Health in response to the program entitled “Food Specific Molecular Profiles and Biomarkers of Food and Nutrient Intake, and Dietary Exposure (R01),” which is co-sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and the USDA.

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