Ismail Lab Spotlight
Each month we are highlighting one of our professors, their students and their research.
This month we highlight the work of Professor Pam Ismail.
What are you Driven to Discover?
Plant-based proteins are more in demand than ever before. As our society becomes more health conscious and at the same time concerned for the environment, demand for plant-based protein has steadily increased. This has led me to establish a program focused on developing novel plant-based protein ingredients, while seeking sustainable and environmentally friendly sources.
What is the impact of your research in your field?
Our research addresses industry-identified plant-protein challenges and opportunities to develop a wealth of interdisciplinary research that will bring to the supply chain new nutritious and functional plant protein ingredients and products, working all the way from breeding and genetics to ingredient functionalization, processing, and formulation.
How can people see the impact of your research on everyday life?
Our research will not only bring economic gain to the industry, but will also address the consumer desire for nutritious and healthy food, have a positive impact on the environment by seeking and utilizing sustainable crops, provide additional sources of protein for the growing population, and provide revenue to farmers by developing market for sustainable crops.
What drew you to your field of study?
The love for basic research that will ultimately lead to valuable applications relevant to the needs and health of our growing population.
What is your favorite research/lab tool and why?
In abstract terms, curiosity and perseverance. One needs to be curious and patient to conduct re-search! Curiosity leads to innovation, and repetition leads to sound results!
Never give up!
What is your greatest research accomplishment?
One may count research accomplishment by considering number of publications, grants, and patents. However, I am proud of every research endeavor, no matter how big or small, or how many publications I got out of it. With each research endeavor comes new
learnings that lead to more discovery. Most valuable of all is the opportunity to educate and train future scientists, who will continue the mission and add to our discoveries!
What do you hope to accomplish next?
Develop a protein innovation center that will bring together researchers and industry partners who are driven to work together towards fulfilling consumer’s needs for novel protein sources, while protecting the environment and ensuring prosperity.