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This Lectureship was established in 1981 by ARS to honor the memory of Sterling B. Hendricks and to recognize scientists who have made outstanding contributions to the chemical science of agriculture. Hendricks contributed to many diverse scientific disciplines, including soil science, mineralogy, agronomy, plant physiology, geology, and chemistry. Nominations should be received by December 31 of each year. For more information, direct inquiries to HendricksLecture@ars.usda.gov.

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Co-sponsored by AGFD and AGRO Divisions

2019 Awardee

John W. Finley, emeritus professor at Louisiana State Univeristy (LSU), is a native of Central New York. He received an AD from Auburn Community College, a BS in Chemistry from LeMoyne College, and a PhD from Cornell University. After a post-doc with J.R. Brunner at Michigan State University, in 1969, John joined the USDA Agricultural Research Service at the Western Regional Research Center (WRRC) in Albany, California. 

While at WRRC, John conducted research on the isolation, chemical modification, and influences of processing of proteins. After 13 years, he moved to Ralston Purina in St. Louis as head of methods development and established new methods for rapid analysis. He then joined the University of Iowa Department of Pediatrics to head the microchemistry laboratory.  

In 1983, he moved to Nabisco Foods in New Jersey and planned, recruited, and built a fundamental science program that included 50 preeminent industrial food scientists. While at Nabisco, he directed the development, scale-up, and safety testing of low-calorie fats. 

John joined Monsanto in 1996 and directed research focused on the modification of lipids to control bioavailability, participated in defining targets for plant lipid biotechnology, and worked on acquisition evaluations. He also led the group that developed applications of the intense sweetener neotame. He moved to Kraft Foods where he was an internal consultant in biotechnology and conducted longterm research. Several new technologies were established including a means to reduce acrylamide formation in baked and fried products. 

In 2007, John was appointed Head of the Department of Food Science at LSU  with an adjunct appointment at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center (PBRC). His research interests focused primarily on health benefits of bioactives and dietary fiber. He established a colonic fermentation model that studied the interactions between polyphenolic compounds in foods and gut microbiota.  

John led efforts to enhance the processing and quality assessment of Louisiana seafood including assessment of safety and quality of seafood after the Deepwater Horizon Disaster. His work included the development of a natural, bitter blocking technology that masked bitter and astringent notes from polyphenolics as well as blocking potassium bitterness in beverages. While at PBRC, he studied protein modification to produce low methionine proteins, ketogenic lipids, and deuteriumdepleted water.  

John has been an active member of the ACS Division of Agricultural and Food Chemistry for 50 years, was a division Chair, and currently serves as a councilor. He was an Associate Editor of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry from 1999 to 2018. He is an ACS Fellow and an AGFD Fellow. 

Currently, John is advising start up companies on many issues, including gut microbiome interactions with foods and the development of diet beverages and foods. He recently led the revision of the text book, Principles of Food Chemistry. 

John and his wife Lucille reside in Florida and have a combined four married children and six grandchildren living along the east coast from New York to Florida. 

 

Past Awardees

1981

Norman E. Borlaug, Nobel Laureate, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, Mexico City, Mexico

1982

Warren L. Butler, University of California-San Diego

1983

Melvin Calvin, Nobel Laureate, University of California-Berkeley

1984

Frederick Ausubel, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

1985

Alan Putnam, Michigan State University, East Lansing

1986

Ralph Hardy, Cornell University and BioTechnica International, Ithaca, New York

1987

Mary-Dell Chilton, Ciba-Geigy Corporation, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina

1988

Bruce N. Ames, University of California, Berkeley

1989

Sanford A. Miller, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Texas

1990

Roy L. Whistle, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana

1991

Peter S. Eagleson, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

1992

John E. Casida, University of California-Berkeley

1993

Philip H. Abelson, Deputy Editor, Science, and Scientific Advisor to AAAS, Washington, DC

1994

Wendell L. Roelofs, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York

1995

Winslow R. Briggs, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Stanford, California

1996

Hugh D. Sisler, University of Maryland, College Park

1997

Ernest Hodgson, North Carolina State University, Raleigh

1998

Morton Beroza, USDA-ARS (retired), Beltsville, Maryland

1999

Bruce D. Hammock, University of California-Davis

2000

William S. Bowers, University of Arizona, Tuscon

2001

Malcolm Thompson, USDA-ARS (retired), Beltsville, Maryland

2002

Irvin E. Liener, University of Minnesota, St. Paul

2003

Kriton Kleanthis Hatzios, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg

2004

Robert L. Buchanan, Food and Drug Administration, College Park, Maryland

2005

Donald L. Sparks, University of Delaware, Newark

2006

Stanley B. Prusiner, Nobel Laureate, University of California, San Francisco

2007

Bruce E. Dale, Michigan State University, East Lansing

2008

Fergus M. Clydesdale, University of Massachusetts-Amherst

2009

Charles J. Arntzen, Arizona State University-Tempe

2010

Chris Somerville, Director of the Energy Biosciences Institute, Berkeley, California

2011

Deborah P. Delmer, University of California-Davis

2012

Eric Block, University at Albany, State University of New York

2013

Keith Solomon, University of Guelph, Canada

2014

Robert T. Fraley, Monsanto, Company, St. Louis, Missouri

2015

James Tumlinson, Penn State, University Park

2016

May R. Berenbaum, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

2017

John Pickett, Rothamsted Research, United Kingdom

2018

James N. Seiber, University of California, Davis

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