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COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A substantial gift to the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences has created a designated professorship to honor a faculty member for his extensive research in food safety.
Earlier this summer, The Ohio State University Board of Trustees gave official approval for Ahmed E. Yousef to be named professor and holder of the Virginia Hutchison Bazler and Frank E. Bazler Designated Professorship in Food Science, effective through June 30, 2011.
Yousef, a resident of Upper Arlington, has been on the faculty of the Department of Food Science and Technology since 1991. His research includes inactivation of foodborne pathogens using ozone as a sanitizer; identification and characterization of natural antibiotic-like substances; and the development of non-thermal processing technologies.
The professorship was made possible by Ginni and Frank Bazler of Troy, Ohio, who pledged $200,000 over five years to support the designated professorship. Mrs. Bazler received her bachelor's degree from the School of Home Economics when it was housed in the College of Agriculture (now Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences), and at one time her father was associate dean of the college. The Bazlers also made a similar gift to the Moritz College of Law, where Mr. Bazler was president of his class in 1953.
"Through the years we have tried hard to equalize our support to each of our areas of learning," Mr. Bazler said. "We need to retain good professors who have demonstrated outstanding teaching skills. There needs to be some extra funds to do that, or otherwise we may lose them to other colleges."
Yousef, a microbiologist, is well-deserving of the recognition, said Denise Smith, professor and chair of the Department of Food Science and Technology. Besides teaching Food Microbiology twice a year and authoring or co-authoring 120 publications including three books, a translated book, 15 book chapters, two patents, and 99 peer-reviewed papers or review articles, he has:
- Developed an ozone-based technology to produce Salmonella-free shell eggs; the technology has been patented and is expected to be implemented by major egg producers in Ohio.
- Discovered a new antibiotic in food bacteria, which was listed as one of the top seven medical inventions in 2006 at Ohio State.
- Revealed how pathogens become inactivated by nonthermal processing technologies; one of these studies was highlighted in 2006 June issue of Microbe, the official news magazine of the American Society for Microbiology.
Yousef is currently focusing on developing techniques to sanitize fresh produce, and continuing his work on naturally occurring antimicrobial agents, including a potent antibiotic from bacteria in Korean kimchi (fermented cabbage), which his research team discovered. These antimicrobials could be used both in fighting food-borne pathogens and may have applications in treating illness and disease.