2014 Research Article of the Year Award Lectureship

Sponsored by Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Co-sponsored by AGFD & AGRO Divisions

Wolfgang MeyerhofDr. Wolfgang Meyerhof started his career with Walter Knöchel at the Institute for Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Free University Berlin, Germany, where he earned his PhD investigating the role of repetitive DNA in the regulation of gene expression during embryonal development of clawed frogs. He continued his research with Dietmar Richter at the Institute of Cell Biochemistry and Clinical Neurobiology, University Hospital Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany, which led to the discovery of several neuropeptide and neurotransmitter receptors as well as their associated signal pathways. Since then, he has published numerous articles about structure, function and regulation of G protein-coupled receptors. As head of the Department of Molecular Genetics, German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke, which he became in 1994, he investigates the sense of taste as a crucial factor for food preferences and ingestive behavior. He uncovered functional principles of taste receptors, discovered receptor specific taste modulators and identified genetic variability as determining parameter for perceptual differences in the population.

Victor FreitasDr. Victor Freitas graduated in Chemistry from the Faculty of Science of the University of Porto in 1984. Since then, he has been following a professional career at the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the Faculty of Science where he has been developing his teaching and research activities. Presently, he is a Full Professor and the Head of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. In 1995, he obtained his PhD in Biological and Medical Sciences at the University of Bordeaux II (France). After his PhD, he returned to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and joined the Chemical Research  Center of the University of Porto to develop a new and independent area of research in Food Chemistry in the field of polyphenol compounds such as the study of chemical  transformations resulting from oxidation processes of polyphenolic pigments, analysis of polyphenols in foods, study the antioxidant and biological properties of polyphenols, and the interaction of different classes of polyphenols with proteins in a sensory (color, astringency and bitterness) and nutritional context. He also is a long-time active member of the Groupe Polyphénols (GP) international society that is an international association founded in France in 1972 with the aim of promoting research on plant polyphenols. Victor Freitas presents in his CV almost 200 scientific publications, several book chapters, numerous invited conferences and Congress communications, and several supervisions of PhD students.

Stephen CutlerDr. Stephen Cutler is Chair and Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, Pharmacognosy, and Pharmacology at the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy Department of BioMolecular Sciences in Oxford, Mississippi. He received his BS (1984) from the University of Georgia Department of Chemistry and PhD (1989) from the College of Pharmacy. At the age of 5, his father, Horace “Hank” Cutler, introduced him to the laboratory. It wasn’t until his graduate studies that he began to collaborate with his father as they evaluated natural products for both their agrochemical and pharmaceutical properties, which continues to be a primary focus of his research today. Included in this research is the evaluation of natural products for their effects on the endocannabinoid system and opioid system as well as their effects on various agricultural diseases including fungal infections. Dr. Cutler and his research group have discovered various natural products with high affinity for the cannabinoid and opioid receptors as well as potent antifungal agents. He has received more than $25 million in grant awards from the NIH,
CDC, NSF, NASA, DoD, USDA, and private foundations. Results of his efforts have resulted in over 100 peer-reviewed publications, 3 books, 13 book chapters, 45 US and international patents, and more than 160 scientific presentations. Past members of Dr. Cutler’s research group are employed in various pharmaceutical companies, the NIH, the CDC, the FDA, and the USDA.