Lab Members

B. Pam Ismail

Pam Ismail

Dr. B. Pam Ismail is a Professor in the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota (U of M) and is the director and founder of the Plant Protein Innovation Center (PPIC), an interdisciplinary research center dedicated to studying plant and alternative proteins, https://ppic.cfans.umn.edu. She joined the U of M as an Assistant Professor in May of 2007 following a post-doctoral research training in the Department of Food Science at Purdue University (2004-2007). Pam received her Ph.D. degree in Food Science from Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, England (2003). She has over 20 years of experience in Food Chemistry research focused on analytical chemistry, protein chemistry, enzymology and chemistry and fate of bioactive food constituents. Her research focuses on chemical characterization and enhancement of functionality, safety, bioavailability, delivery, and bioactivity of food proteins and phytochemicals, following novel processing and analytical approaches. Her group is currently researching ways to improve functionality, thermal stability, and bioactivity of food proteins, as well as ways to reduce allergenicity following enzymatic and other natural protein modification approaches. Protein structural characterization is performed using a number of proteomic analytical tools, aiming at linking structure to function. Her lab group is also studying the stability and activity of phytochemicals, as affected by their chemical structure, storage, and processing, following novel analytical techniques. Pam is leading the effort on determining the functionality and storage stability of perineal crops for food applications as part of the ongoing Forever Green Initiative effort to develop perineal crops with environmental benefits. Pam has contributed original research papers to a number of scientific journals, including the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Food Chemistry, Journal of Dairy Science, International Dairy Journal, etc. Pam teaches a senior undergraduate level Food Analysis course and a graduate level Protein Chemistry course, and has received several teaching awards including “Distinguished Teaching Award” for undergraduate faculty in a tenured position, 2014, and “Outstanding Professor”, 2012, in recognition of outstanding contributions to the University of Minnesota and the college’s education of students.

Publications

Graduate Students

Rachel Mitacek, M.S.

Rachel Mitacek

Rachel completed her B.S. in Food Science in 2015 and M.S. in Food Science in 2017 at Oklahoma State University. Her M.S. research was completed under the guidance of Dr. Ramanathan focusing on the effects of aging on beef biochemical properties and color stability. After working as a summer intern at Cargill, she decided to pursue doctoral studies under Dr. Ismail in proteins and phytochemicals, shifting her focus from muscle proteins to plant proteins. Rachel is a full-time researcher studying the functionality and quality properties of pennycress protein and oil. Outside of the lab Rachel enjoys traveling, visiting with family and friends, and exploring new places to eat. Some other fun facts about Rachel is that she has lived in 8 different states and moved 10 times, she can lick her elbow, has a pet tarantula, bearded dragon & cat, and has never mowed a lawn.

Sonia Han, B.A.

Sonia Han

Sonia completed her B.A. in Biochemistry in 2013 from the University of Northern Iowa.  She worked in the food industry for Cargill Inc. for two years before joining the lab to pursue an M.S. degree in Fall 2015.  Her research focuses on characterizing the structure and functionality of a vegetable protein with Cargill.  She is continuing to work at Cargill full-time while she works on her degree.  In the free time, she has she enjoys running, eating/cooking with friends, and knitting!

Allie Schneider, B.S.

Allie Schneider 2019

Allie joined the lab in the summer of 2017 as an undergraduate research assistant. She primarily worked with Jenny to gather data for her honors thesis regarding the antioxidant content and activity of stored intermediate wheatgrass flour. After completing her B.S. in Food Science in May 2019, Allie joined Cargill for the summer as an intern. She returned to the lab in the fall to pursue a M.S. degree in Food Science under Dr. Ismail. Her work involves developing a novel procedure to produce glycated pea protein and assessing the structure and functionality of the protein. Outside of the lab, Allie loves cooking, exploring new restaurants and parks, and enjoying movies and live music with friends.

Laura Eckhardt, RDN

Laura Eckhardt 2019

Laura completed her B.S. in Dietetics at the University of Georgia in 2015 and her dietetic internship program at Vanderbilt University in 2016. After surviving three winters in Chicago while working as a dietitian in corporate wellness, she moved even further north to begin her M.S. in Food Science at the University of Minnesota in 2019. Her work in the lab focuses on optimizing hemp protein extraction methods for structure, functionality and nutritional quality. In her free time, she enjoys doing 1000-piece jigsaw puzzles, trying out new healthy recipes, playing saxophone, and cheering on the Georgia Bulldogs in football. She is excited to work in industry combining her backgrounds in nutrition and food science upon graduation!

Leslie Loehr, B.S.

Leslie Loehr

Leslie completed her B.S. in Food Science and Technology in May 2020 at Iowa State University. She worked as an undergraduate research assistant and lab supervisor for Dr. Lester Wilson working on a variety of projects for Iowa companies. In the fall of 2020 Leslie started her M.S. degree in Food Science at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on the storage stability of different intermediate wheatgrass cultivars. Leslie likes to spend her free time cooking/baking, trying different crafts, playing the clarinet, and being outdoors. 

Brigitta Yaputri, B.S.

Brigitta

Brigitta is a senior double majoring in Food Science and Nutrition. After completing her URS and UROP on lactic acid bacteria and multidrug-resistant Salmonella Heidelberg, she joined Ismail lab in Spring 2020 as an undergraduate research assistant. She is planning to pursue a master's degree in Food Science at the UMN in Fall 2020, focusing on plant-based protein. Outside of school, she enjoys reading, exercising, baking with bizarre ingredients, and spending some time at the farmer's market or grocery store. She is also passionate about the zero-waste lifestyle - especially when it comes to food waste!

Holly Husband

Holly Husband

Holly joined the University of Minnesota and the Ismail lab family in Fall 2018. After graduating with a B.S. in Food Science and B.S. in Nutrition in December 2020, Holly started her Masters degree under Dr. Ismail in January 2021 while also working on several PPIC projects, all involving plant proteins. Her research in this space has been enforced by R&D Product Development summer internships at SunOpta in 2019 and Cargill in 2021, in which she worked on application work involving non-dairy barista milks and whole-muscle meat alternatives, respectively. For extra-curricular activities, Holly is an active participant in the Food Science and Nutrition Club and has been part of finalist teams in IFT competitions including the 2020 Developing Solutions for Developing Countries and 2021 Smart Snacks for Kids. Outside of the lab, Holly tries her best to keep tabs on her young golden retriever, Kylo and thinks of new justifications for purchasing fresh athleisure. #Joggers

Nigel Kang

Nigel Kang

Nigel graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Food Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in May 2020. He joined the lab as an M.S. student out of keen interest in sustainable proteins. His research involves screening various oat lines for differences in protein profile and studying how they affect protein quality and functionality. Outside of academia, Nigel enjoys spending time with friends and family, playing volleyball and basketball, being in the outdoors, cooking, and going for all-you-can-eat buffets.

Saajewa Dasent-Swygart

Saajewa

Saajewa Dasent-Swygart graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2017 after completing her B.S degree in Nutrition with a minor in African and African American Studies. She then worked for Allina Health and the University of Minnesota Extension focusing on clinical and community nutrition before joining the Ismail Lab in the fall of 2021. Saajewa is passionate about exploring food and food sustainability as social justice issues for at risk communities such as youth, the elderly population, and communities of color. As a food scientist, Saajewa sees herself researching and engineering products that are appealing to kids, effortless for the elderly, accessible to low-income populations, and welcoming to diverse cultural backgrounds. Saajewa believes this kind of work is the next step in creating quality food for the greater good; a major advancement in the way we address food justice and sustainability in our society. Food justice is certainly not a small-scale problem. Despite that, she sees her approach to food science as a contribution to a solution. Saajewa is starting her food science career in the Ismail Lab, where she is screening varieties of camelina and pennycress seeds for protein nutritional quality, functionality, and digestibility in an effort to develop optimal lines of each crop variety for food use. 

Brittany Kralik, MS, RDN

Brittany Kralik

Brittany, a Food Science PhD student, completed her undergraduate degree in Dietetics, Master's in Food and Nutrition, and accredited Dietetic Internship at Bowling Green State University. Her undergraduate and thesis work at BGSU compared products grown in an aquaponic system to conventionally grown products with an emphasis on physical and nutritional characteristics.  Driven by her love for both research and the connection between human health and environmental health/sustainability, Brittany decided to enter the food science world. Brittany's doctoral research involves combining oat, pea, and chickpea proteins to optimize functionality, nutrition, and flavor. She is excited to merge her background in nutrition alongside her future food science education into a plant-based research industry career. Outside of school, you can find Brittany exploring her new Minnesotan surroundings, supporting local coffee shops, and volunteering in the community. Fun facts about Brittany include: her favorite food group is sweets and she solo-traveled for the first time this year!

Research Scientists

Karthik Pandalaneni, Ph.D.

Karthik

Dr. Pandalaneni joined PPIC in Nov 2020 taking responsibilities as Manager of Operations. He moved to St. Paul, MN after working as a Global Application Scientist after his Ph.D. in Food Science from Kansas State University (2018). During his Ph.D. he worked on improving dairy processing techniques in lactose crystallization and worked on evaluating high protein dairy beverage stability by studying ingredient functionality in the application. He brings expertise on ingredient functionalities and their interactions in food applications. Dr. Pandalaneni obtained his Master’s in Food Biotechnology from the University of Leeds, UK, in 2010 and his Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Biotechnology from India, 2009. He has work experience working in different roles in the food industry in both the UK and India as well. Dr. Pandalaneni is responsible for managing research projects, collaborations with PPIC industry partners, in addition to coordinating PPIC events, communications, and web design.

Yi Chen

Yi Chen

Yi completed her B.S in Food Science in 2020 at the University of  Minnesota and then joined Ismail lab in the same year. She works as a research assistant with Dr. Pandalaneni on cheese evaluation and currently works on the buckwheat protein extraction methods for structural and functional optimization. In Yi's free time, she enjoys snowboarding, cross-country skiing, cooking, and traveling. 

Sungil Ferreira, B. Eng, PhD

Sungil Ferreira

Dr. Sungil (Sun) Ferreira is a postdoctoral associate at the University of Minnesota in the Plant Protein Innovation Center developing studies in protein extraction and characterization of oats and peas. He has a bachelor in Food Science, Technology and Engineering with a PhD in Food Science and Engineering, at the Sao Paulo State University (UNESP) in Brazil. Part of the bachelor was done in the University of British Columbia in Canada and part of the PhD was done at the University of Loughborough in the United Kingdom. Studied encapsulation using spray drying, complex coacervation, ionic gelation, emulsification, with a focus on influence of process parameters and polymer structure. In addition, Sun has a strong background in physics and mathematical approaches. Sun loves animals (all of them), sports in general, outdoor activities, rock climbing (indoor and outdoors), used to be a cheerleader (believe it or not) and always starts his day with a good cuppa of coffee and a crossfit session. He believes the world can be a better place, if we (all humans) make it happen.

Samira Feyzi, PhD

Samira Feyzi

Samira Feyzi (Ph.D.) joined the group of Prof. Ismail and PPIC as a postdoctoral researcher on Feb 2021. Samira received her B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Food Science and Technology major at the Ferdowsi University of Mashhad in Iran. Her M.Sc. thesis was about optimization of protein extraction from fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) seed and investigation of its functional, thermal and structural attributes. Samira completed her researches by elucidating the effect of defatting solvents and drying procedures on the structures and wide range of functional and thermal properties of fenugreek protein isolates. She also cooperated in other researches on plant proteins like grass pea protein. Samira continued her studies as a Ph.D. student in Food Chemistry on September 2014. After enrolling in different courses of Food proteins, Enzyme kinetics, Physical chemistry, Chemistry of sensory properties (color, flavor, and texture), Food additives, Spectroscopic methods, Chromatography methods, etc., she started her Ph.D. dissertation about binding properties of whey proteins with safranal using various gas-chromatography, spectroscopic and molecular docking approaches. Also, Samira completed a part of her Ph.D. dissertation at the University of Naples Federico II, and did researches about the effects of whey proteins and saliva on aroma release and perception, as well as the effect of WPI, as a fat replacer, on aroma release and perception of saffron ice cream using various headspace gas-chromatography/ mass spectrometry and gas-chromatography/olfactometry approaches. She received her Ph.D. degree on January 2020. Also, she has experience in teaching the Food Chemistry and Food Engineering courses, and is interested in both teaching and research fields. Samira is completing her experience in the field of food proteins and flavor compounds in Prof. Ismail’s lab and PPIC, at University of Minnesota through collaborating in different projects of master and Ph.D. students, industrial projects, as well as review literatures. Samira enjoys the nature and traveling, and she spends her free time on visiting different new places, workout, as well as studying books.

Serap Vantansever, PhD

Serap

Serap Vatansever, Ph.D., joined PPIC as a postdoctoral researcher in August 2021. Her current research focuses on nutritional, structural, functional, and flavor characteristics of various plant proteins and their processing. Serap received her doctoral degree in the Cereal Science Program as well as a graduate level certificate in the Statistics at North Dakota State University, USA, in May 2020 and then was a postdoctoral research associate at South Dakota State University (SDSU), USA, between June 2020 and August 2021. She focused on enhancing the utilization of pulse ingredients in the food system through flavor modification using supercritical carbon dioxide extraction during her doctoral program. During her postdoctoral study at SDSU, she investigated the effects of diverse storage conditions on the nutrient and functional characteristics of pulse flours as well as supervising three graduate and eight undergraduate researchers for other research activities at the laboratory. She also had experiences on pulse ingredient functionalities and their food applications, sensory evaluation of foods, food fermentation, food microbiology and biotechnology, other food processing technologies, and applied statistics over five years. Serap concluded her B.Sc. (2009) and M.Sc. (2012) in the Department of Food Engineering at Pamukkale University in Turkey. Also, she was an exchange student through Erasmus Program for a year in the Department of Food and Nutrition at University of Helsinki, Finland, during her undergraduate program. Serap has published fourteen journal articles and one book chapter, and presented various technical presentations globally. Serap is an active member of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), American Oil Chemists’ Society (AOCS), and Cereals and Grains Association. She is the recipients of “Elwood F. Caldwell Scholarship Award for Volunteer Service of MN IFT Section” in 2020 and “Outstanding Volunteer Award of IFT Protein Division” in 2021.

Allie Boerboom

Allie Boerboom

Allie joined the PPIC team in September 2021 as a full-time researcher after working with Professor Pam Ismail as a student researcher assisting graduate students since Fall 2018. Allie completed her B.S. in Food Science in May 2021 at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and plans to pursue her M.S. in Food Science under Professor Pam Ismail in January 2021. During her undergrad, Allie interned at SunOpta working alongside their beverage and formulations team to advance the product line. Allie is currently working closely with industry partners on a variety of research projects along with mentoring and training new researchers and students on analytical techniques. 

Undergraduate Student Researchers

Sandi Levine

Sandi

Sandi is a sophomore from Indianapolis, Indiana majoring in food science and minoring in nutrition. She joined the lab in fall of 2019 and works as an undergraduate research assistant for Chelsey in her work on whey protein encapsulation. In her free time, Sandi enjoys going to UMN basketball games, watching tv and spending time with friends. 

Shreevats Mor

Shreevats Mor

Shreevats is a sophomore from India, double majoring in Food Science and Nutrition Studies at the University of Minnesota. He joined the lab in Spring 2020 as an undergraduate research assistant and started working on a literature review exploring the utilization opportunities of alfalfa in human nutrition. Currently he is working on alfalfa protein characterization. In his free time Shreevats loves being outdoors playing soccer or tennis, listening to music, watching tv or just hanging out with friends!

Madison David

Madison David

Madison is a senior from Milwaukee, Wisconsin majoring in Food Science and minoring in Nutrition and Spanish. She joined the lab in the summer of 2021 and has been conducting research on oat proteins as an undergraduate research assistant. In her free time, Madison enjoys playing with her dog, Zola, hanging out with her friends, cooking, being outside, and exploring the city.

Maddi Johnson

Maddi Johnson

Maddi is a senior studying Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering. She joined the lab in May 2021 as an Undergraduate Research Assistant. Her research is focused on the extraction and characterization of covercress and cranberry seed proteins. She recently joined the Innovation/Technology/Quality Dynamic Talent Bench at General Mills as a student contractor. She is passionate about plant-based and alternative proteins and is looking forward to working in this industry after graduation. Outside of school, you can find Maddi brewing kombucha, rock climbing, snowboarding, or planning her next trip out west!

Emily Nelson

Emily Nelson

Emily is a sophomore majoring in Food Science. She joined the lab during the summer of 2021 and has worked with Samira on Soy Protein isolates analysis and assays. In her free time she enjoys painting, drawing, spending time with her cat Fred and baking (whenever she actually has access to an oven).

Past Members

Fan Bu, B.E.

Fan Bu

In Fall 2018 Fan completed her B.E. in Food Quality & Safety at Southwest University in China. Fan joined the lab in Spring 2019 and was co-advised by Dr. George Annor. Her research focused on the utilization of cold plasma to modify protein structure and functionality. Fan graduated in 2021 and started her PhD in plant protein research at the University of British Columbia in Canada. In her free time Fan enjoys swimming, cooking, and playing the clarinet!

Misen Luu, M.S., Researcher IV

Misen Luu

Misen is from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and completed his B.S. in Food Science at the University of Minnesota Spring of 2015. After working in quality assurance at a baking company, Misen decided to join Ismail’s lab in the Fall of 2016 as a research assistant and subsequently joined the lab as a Master's student researching intermediate wheatgrass. Misen finished his Masters in 2020. Misen Luu joined PPIC after he graduated with his Master’s in Food Science under the advisement of Dr. Pam Ismail at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities in January 2020. Now Misen is working as a Food Scientist, Project Manager at PURIS in Minneapolis, MN. During his Master’s, he researched the storage stability of a novel perennial grain called Intermediate Wheatgrass, analyzing changes in dough functionality, flavor, and sensory attributes of the stored flour at different storage conditions. Before his graduate studies, Misen got his B.S. in Food Science from the University of Minnesota. Outside of the lab, Misen is a member of the Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra as a clarinetist, loves being with his dog Elio and cat Claude, and is actively involved with the Minnesota Section of the Institute of Food Technology as chair of the newsletter committee and assistant treasurer. Misen is responsible for managing and conducting PPIC projects, with emphasis on flavor associated with plant proteins. 

 

Vaidehi Narkar, B. Tech, MS

Vaidehy

Vaidehi completed her B.Tech in Food Engineering and Technology in 2018 at the Institute of Chemical Technology, India. She completed her MS in the Ismail Lab in 2021 and started a career as a Food Scientist at General Mills in Minneapolis, MN. In Fall 2018, she began her M.S. degree in Food Science at the University of Minnesota. Vaidehi has worked on the development of bakery products and dairy-based beverages during her summer internships with General Mills and O-AT-KA. She is currently investigating the isolation methods of camelina protein, aimed at providing a functional plant-based protein ingredient for food applications. She is engaged in product development competitions and also volunteers with the IFT Food Chemistry Division. Vaidehi enjoys spending time with family and friends, playing board games, cooking, hiking, and traveling. 

Chelsey Hinnenkamp, M.S., PhD

Chelsey Hinnenkamp

Chelsey completed her B.S. in Food Science in 2013, her M.S. in 2016, and her PhD in 2020 from the University of Minnesota. Her doctoral research focused on the utilization of a whey coproduct and functionally enhanced whey protein concentrate for microencapsulation. Her master's research focused on using limited enzymatic hydrolysis and partial Maillard glycation to produce a functional, hypoallergenic soy ingredient. Chelsey now works for ADM and is living in Decatur, IL as a Senior Food Scientist! A lifelong gopher (10 years and running!), she did "hop the pond" to complete seven months of her doctoral research in Germany at the Technical University of Berlin. In her spare time, Chelsey can be found making messes in the kitchen, traveling, exploring the Twin Cities dining scene, running through Minneapolis, reading anything she can get her hands on, and spending time with her nephews!

Amy Mathiowetz, M.S., R.D.

Amy Mathiowetz

Amy was introduced to the phytochemical/protein lab in Fall 2014 before being officially admitted to the Graduate Food Science program in January of 2015. She is honored to be a member of the Ismail 122 lab family and has enjoyed every moment spent with them. Amy graduated from St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN in August 2014 with a B.S. in both Dietetics and Food and Nutrition Science. She is currently pursuing a Master’s of Food Science at the University of Minnesota with the goal of melding her affinities for the nutrition and food sciences. Her research explores the storage stability and safety of intermediate wheatgrass, a novel grain with low environmental impact and high nutritional prospects. When she is not learning new laboratory methods or researching grains with her partner-in-crime and fellow intermediate wheatgrass research colleague, Citra Rahardjo, Amy enjoys scouring the town for new coffee joints, running, walking dogs, and going on adventures with her husband, Colin.

Lucy Hansen, M.S.

Lucy Hansen 2019

Lucy began working in the lab as a junior, primarily helping Claire with her research on camelina protein while also working on her own Honors thesis project. Lucy graduated from the University of Minnesota in Spring 2018 with majors in food science and nutrition. After completing a summer internship in product development, Lucy returned to her home in the lab and began her M.S. program in Fall 2018 working with pea protein. Her project is looking at how different extraction methods affect the structural and functional properties of the resulting pea protein isolates. Outside of lab, Lucy enjoys spending time with friends and family, solving puzzles, trying out new foods, and traveling to escape the Minnesota cold!

Ben Millis, B.S.

Benjamin Millis 2019

Ben completed his B.S. in Food Science at the University of Minnesota in the Spring of 2017. He worked as an undergraduate research assistant for Antonio Lourenco studying the thermal resistance of Salmonella in dry extruded cereals. After receiving his B.S., he worked as an Operations Manager for a Minneapolis based cold brew coffee startup. After two years in industry, Ben decided to pursue his M.S. in Food Science, and joined the Ismail lab in the Summer of 2019 and will be working on a PepsiCo project that evaluates protein fractions in oat lines for protein quality and functionality. In his free time he enjoys traveling, spending time outdoors, trying new foods, and drinking coffee.

Maneka Malalgoda, Ph.D.

Maneka

Maneka completed her Ph.D. at the North Dakota State University in Fall 2018 and joined the lab group as a postdoctoral research associate in February 2019. Maneka's research is mainly focused on enzymatic modification of pea protein isolates to improve functionality and analyzing protein secondary structure using FTIR. She also works on characterizing the different fractions of oat proteins.Outside the lab, Maneka likes to cook, watch movies and travel.

Jenny Hayek, M.S.

Jenny

Jenny completed her B.S. in Food Science at the University of Minnesota in May 2017. She previously joined the lab as an undergraduate research assistant in May 2015, studying the potential of millet varieties grown in Minnesota for future use in food products.  In September 2017, Jenny returned to pursue an M.S. degree. Her research focused on intermediate wheatgrass flour storage stability, focusing on the enzymatic activity, rancidity, and antioxidant activity changes over time in various degrees of flour refinement.  Jenny finished her M.S. in spring 2020 and is now working full time at Cargill in Food Applications R&D.

Catrin Tyl, Ph.D.

Catrin Tyl

After completing her Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota under the supervision of Mirko Bunzel in August 2012, Cati has been working as a post doc research associate part-time in the lab since February 2013. Her responsibilities are instrument maintenance and working on the chemical analysis of intermediate wheatgrass varieties, which she tackles with enthusiasm after her morning coffee break with Brian. She trains our graduate students in liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry analysis. She is also the NMR wiz. Aside from their love for coffee, Catrin and Brian also share their birthday as well as the fate of always having office space in a room without windows. Catrin’s research interests include carbohydrate analysis and structural characterization.

 

Claire Boyle, M.S.

Claire Boyle

Claire completed her B.S. in Food Science at the University of Minnesota in the fall of 2014. She previously joined the lab as an undergraduate research assistant in the summer of 2013, helping Kirsten Ruud with her thesis work, as well as conducting independent research for her Honors thesis, which investigated the digestibility and nutritional quality of Maillard glycated whey protein hydrolysates. In the spring of 2015, Claire transitioned to a full-time researcher, studying the emulsification properties of enzymatically hydrolyzed proteins. After a quick year-long hiatus from lab life where she interned with a non-profit in Paris, France, Claire returned to the U of M in the fall of 2016 to pursue her M.S. degree. Her research centers on the oilseed camelina, and she investigated the characteristics and functionality of camelina's extracted protein and fiber for food applications. Claire is currently a Food Scientist at Brandless in the Twin Cities. Outside of the lab, Claire loves to paint, eat potato chips, and try her hand at pub trivia.

Citra Rahardjo, M.S.

Citra Rahardjo

Citra completed her B.S. in Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign in Spring 2012. She then worked in the food industry for two years before she joined the lab as a graduate student pursuing her M.S. degree in Fall 2014.  Her research project focuses on the chemical characterizations, functionalities, and applications of intermediate wheatgrass, a novel grain with low environmental impact and high promise for use in biofuels and foods. In her free time, Citra enjoys running, singing, traveling to new places, shopping, and watching Korean dramas/ TV shows!

Chathurada Suge Gajadeera, Ph.D.

Chaturada

Chathurada completed her Ph.D. in Chemistry at Texas Tech University in fall 2013. She joined the lab group as a postdoctoral research associate in May 2015. Her research is mainly focused on understanding protein structure, network formation and protein functionality of intermediate wheatgrass. Also, she is working on identifying modifications (modified epitopes) in the hypoallergenic protein ingredients to optimize the modifications in the food proteins. In her spare time, she loves to watch movies, go shopping and traveling.

Ingrid Cordelino, M.S.

Ingrid

After getting her B.S. in Food Science at the University of Milan (in Italy) in 2013, Ingrid started her M.S. degree and decided that for her final thesis work she wanted to have a research experience abroad and chose to work on a project about gluten-free pasta made of millet, here at UMN. Like every other Italian she likes pizza and pasta! When not in the lab she likes spending time with her husband Ethan and she devotes time to her hobby: interior design.

Lu Liang, M.S.

Lu Liang

Lu completed her B.S. in Food Science at Shanghai Ocean University, China in the spring of 2012. She joined the lab group in the Summer of 2013 to pursue her M.S. degree, which she obtained in June 2016. Her research focused on optimizing proteolysis and Maillard-induced glycosylation conditions, using response surface methodology (RSM), for the production of hypoallergenic sodium caseinate ingredient, while maintaining nutritional quality, bioactivity and emulsification properties. In her free time, she loves to watch movies, go shopping, and play ping pong!

Matthew Savre, M.S.

Matt Savre

Matt completed his B.A. in Chemistry at Gustavus Adolphus College in the spring of 2011. He started pursuing his M.S. degree in the spring of 2013 and joined the lab group in the summer of 2013. Matthew’s main research focused on the effects of Maillard-induced glycation on whey protein’s solubility and thermal stability following industry-friendly techniques. He attained his Master's degree in May 2016. In his free time, he enjoys watching football and basketball, and playing any sport, especially basketball and golf.

Courtney Lasky, M.S.

Courtney Lasky

Courtney completed her B.S. in Food Science at the University of Minnesota in the spring of 2013. She had previously worked as an undergraduate researcher in Dr. Tonya Schoenfuss’s lab working on quantifying toxins in fermented cheese using high-performance liquid chromatography. She joined our lab in Fall 2013 to pursue her M.S. degree and successfully defended her thesis in June 2015! Her research focused on studying the effect of Maillard-induced glycation on whey protein hydrolysate solubility, bioactivity, and allergenicity. She now works as a Research and Development Scientist at General Mills.  In her free time, Courtney makes her way around Minnesota’s many outdoor hiking trails, parks, and lakes. And of course, she wouldn’t be a true food geek if she didn’t visit all the top food destinations in the Twin Cities, one restaurant, winery and brewery at a time.

Kirsten Ruud, M.S.

Kirsten rUUD

Kirsten completed her B.S. in Food Science at the University of Minnesota in the spring of 2012. She had previously joined the lab group as an undergraduate researcher in 2011. She continued on and finished her M.S. degree in Food Science in Spring 2015. While she has worked on several research projects, her main research was on the effect of Maillard glycation on the reduction of aggregation and quality deterioration of protein hydrolysates during storage. She is currently working as a Research and Development Scientist at General Mills in Golden Valley, Minnesota.

Aimee Mortenson, M.S.

Aimee Mortenson

Aimee completed her B.S. in Chemistry at the University of Minnesota, Fall 2008. She was an undergraduate researcher for the last few semesters of her B.S. degree in the lab and now works as a Senior Technician at General Mills. She continued on to pursue her M.S. degree while working full time and graduated with her M.S. degree in Food Science in Fall 2014. Her research pertained to the quantification of sucrose crystallization using FTIR spectroscopy.

Jordan Walter, M.S.

Jordan

Jordan is now a Sensory Scientist at General Mills in Golden Valley, Minnesota. Jordan completed her M.S. degree in Food Science in Spring 2014; her research focused on protein modification techniques to reduce the allergenicity of soy protein. Jordan completed her undergraduate degree in Nutrition at the University of Minnesota in the Spring of 2012.

Lauren Gillman, M.S.

Lauren Gillman

Lauren is now a Research Scientist at General Mills in Golden Valley, MN.  Lauren completed her M.S. degree in Food Science in Spring 2014; her research focused on investigating the product quality and nutritional degradation of soy protein isolate and hydrolysate powders as a result of moisture-induced aggregation.  Lauren completed her B.S. in Food Science at the University of Minnesota in the Spring of 2011 and then worked at Milk Specialties Global for 7 months before returning to the U of M for her M.S. degree.

Brian Folger, M.S.

Brian

Brian successfully defended his M.S. thesis in Spring of 2014.  He now works for Land O’Lakes as a Scientist. His research focused on the degradation of the mycotoxin patulin by yeast. Brian completed his B.S. in Food Science at the University of Minnesota in the Fall of 2010.

Qian (Cherry) Wang, Ph.D.

Cherry

Cherry is currently working at Kraft. She completed her doctorate degree successfully in the summer of 2012 and stayed on in the lab as a post-doc for 9 months leading several projects and training new graduate students.  Her research was focused on improving whey protein solubility and thermal stability via Maillard-induced glycation.  Before pursuing her Ph.D. in 2008, Cherry completed her M.S. in Food Microbiology at the Illinois Institute of Technology, and her B.S. in Food Science at China Agricultural University.

Vamsidhar (Vamsi) Yerramsetty, Ph.D.

Vamsi

Vamsi completed his Ph.D. in the Summer of 2013. His research was focused on the detection, structural characterization, and bioavailability of soy isoflavones and their derivatives.  Previous to his Ph.D., Vamsi completed his B.tech in Food Technology at Osmania University, India, and he joined the lab group as one of the first trios of masters students in Fall 2007. He completed his M.S. degree in Spring of 2009.

Eui-Cheol (Richard) Shin, Ph.D.

Richard Shin

Richard is now a Food Science faculty member at Gyeongnam National University of Science and Technology (GNTECH), Korea Republic. However, the lab was lucky to have him as a post-doctoral research associate between Oct 2010 and Feb 2012. His main research was on the antihypertensive activity in enzymatically tenderized beef cuts.

Edem-Elikplim Emmanuel (Edem) Folly, M.S.

Edem

Edem is working as a Global Product Development Specialist at Mead Johnson Nutrition. He completed his B.tech in Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Lomé, Togo. Edem joined the lab in Fall of 2009, and he completed his M.S. degree in the Summer of 2012.  His research was on enhancing the functionality of delactosed whey by enzymatic hydrolysis using response surface methodology approach.

Jookyeong (Tracy ) Lee, M.S

Tracy

Tracy completed her B.S. in Biology at Kansas State University. She joined the lab in January of 2009. She completed her M.S. degree in Spring 2011. Her research was focused on improving soy protein solubility and stability in beverages and determining sensory acceptability.

Wynnie Margatan, M.S.

Wynnie

Wynnie is currently working in R&D at a food company in Indonesia. She completed her B.S. in Food Science at Purdue University. She joined our lab group as one of the first trios of masters students in Fall 2007. She completed her M.S. degree in Spring of 2009. Her MS research was focused on using unique and selective enzymatic systems to produce bioactive peptides from soy proteins.

Sravanthi (Priya) Malapally, M.S.

Priya

Priya is currently working as a R&D Lead Scientist at Lawrence Foods, after graduating with her Ph.D. in Food Science from Purdue University. She previously had completed her B.tech in Food Technology at Osmania University, India, and joined our lab group as one of the first trio of masters students in Fall 2007. She completed her M.S. degree in Spring of 2009. Her M.S. research was on the effect of protein content and denaturation on the extractability and stability of soy isoflavones.

Kevin C. Mathias, M.S.

Kevin Mathias

Kevin is currently working as a Scientist at Nestle in Lausanne, Switzerland, after completing his Ph.D. at UNC-Chapel Hill in Nutrition Epidemiology. Kevin completed his M.S. in Food Chemistry at Purdue University and his B.S. in Food Science at Cornell University. Kevin was the first member of our lab group! He joined us in June of 2007 as a Research Fellow. He installed and operated our major equipment, trained new students, established analytical techniques and participated in on-going research.

Past Undergraduate Researchers

 

Erica Chung

Erica Chung

 

Christina Montouri

Christina Montouri

 

Felize

 Felize Dangcil  

 

Maddy Nones

Maddy Nones

 

Nathan

Nathan Morrison

 

Kory Jacquart

 Kory Jacquart  

 

Claire Klevorn

Claire Klevorn   

 

Elizabeth Ha

Elizabeth Ha

 

Kaylin Clark

Kaylin Clark 

 

Kristina Sandvik

Kristina Sandvik

 

Jennifer Cain

Jennifer Cain     

 

Sarah Brentrup

Sarah Brentrup

 

Brandon Kopesky

Brandon Kopesky

 

Amy Patel

Ami (Amy) Patel

 

Fatemeh Khodaei

Fatemeh Khodaei Kalaki

 

Marsha Sintara

Marsha Sintara   

 

Mathilde Lamat

Mathilde Labou 

 

Erica Gardner

Erica Gardner

 

Elizabeth Drantch

Elizabeth Drantch

 

Reilly McNaught

Reilly McNaught

 

Mal Pal Goggans

Mallory Goggans

 

Megan Low

Megan Low

 

Alex Cummins

Alex Cummins

 

 

 

Sheila
Sheila V.
Elizabeth Holm

Elizabeth Holm

 

Sam Adler

Samuel Adler 

Dawn Wannasin

Dawn Wannasin

Erin McCann

Erin McCann

Al L

Al Leminh