Dr. Shengmin Sang is an associate professor in the Laboratory for Functional Foods and Human Health. The lab is part of the Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies at North Carolina A&T State University.
Dr. Sang’s lab does research on bioactive compounds in wheat bran, tea, oats, ginger and other foods that might be helpful in preventing or treating chronic and inflammatory diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and obesity.
“It was my great honor to be the recipient of the 2018 BEYA Innovation Award,” Dr. Sang told USBE Online. “I was also invited to give a talk about my inventions of novel aspirin derivatives for colorectal cancer prevention at “An Evening with BEYA Leading Voices.”
“What impressed me the most is the hotel bellman introduced himself to me the next morning. He asked me when my novel aspirin derivatives will be available on the market. He had started to develop gastro- intestinal complications (a typical side effect from aspirin intake) even after taking baby aspirin (85 mg dose) for 3-4 years.
“At that moment, I started to realize the importance of my inventions and to feel the pressure to move my discoveries forward to benefit millions of patients who are regularly taking aspirin,” Sang said.
The food scientist at North Carolina A&T State University was awarded a patent last year for aspirin compounds that could be useful in treating or preventing colon cancer, heart disease, and other disorders.
The patent could mean that more patients may one day be able to receive the benefits of aspirin without incurring adverse side effects.
“We think this could be helpful in treating anything for which aspirin is recommended for treatment or prevention. We found it to be less toxic to the stomach than aspirin,” Sang said last year.
Sang describes his findings in the study, “Novel Resveratrol-based Aspirin Prodrugs: Synthesis, Metabolism and Anticancer Activity,” which was recently published in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.
The Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis is administered by the School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at North Carolina A&T State University.