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Patil: For he's a jolly good science fellow

Nobody can deny that this has been a jolly, good year for Dr. Bhimu Patil.

The director of Texas A&M University's Vegetable and Fruit Improvement Center has been named a fellow by three professional entities for his research and collaboration with other scientists and industry.

The title of "fellow" is bestowed by scientific societies to designate one who has made exceptional contributions to research and academia.

Patil was first honored in January 2009 as fellow by Texas AgriLife Research, an agency of the Texas A&M System. On Saturday, he will receive a similar honor from the American Society for Horticultural Sciences in St. Louis, Mo. Then on Aug. 18, Patil will be named fellow by the American Chemical Society's Agricultural and Food chemistry Division in Washington, D.C.

One of Patil's passions is developing fruits and vegetables to help prevent human disease.

"It's a challenge to develop fruits and vegetables that are both flavorful and healthy," he said. "If we develop a fruit that is healthy but tastes bitter, no one would eat it. We have to develop produce with the consumer in mind."

Patil is well known for his research on compounds in onions, citrus and several other vegetables and fruits, specifically for advancing the understanding of their potential health benefits. His research and educational efforts have been supported with $12.3 million in federal and state grants, and in collaboration with other scientists both from academia and industry. Results from his research findings have been widely published worldwide in journals, books and proceedings relating to both agriculture and medicine.

Patil and a colleague from Canada established an international Human Health Effects of Fruit and Vegetables symposium in 2005, and this biennial gathering continues to draw premier researchers from almost 40 countries to share the latest findings on enhancing the healthy aspects of fruit and vegetables. "I am pleased to welcome Dr. Patil to such a distinguished and select group," said Michael Neff, the horticulture society's executive director. "I have had the privilege of working with Bhimu in many of his volunteer roles to serve our society and horticulture, and I believe he is most worthy of this honor."

That sentiment echoes comments from a chemical society official.

"It's a pleasure to recognize Dr. Patil's outstanding research and publications and scholarly activities," said Fereidoon Shahidi, chair of the awards committee for the chemical society's agricultural and food chemistry division.


Contact: Kathleen Phillips
Texas A&M AgriLife Communications

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