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Purdue Food Science Welcomes Three New Faculty Members

From plant-based proteins, to foods for health, the food industry continues to evolve and innovate. To keep pace with these advancements, Purdue Food Science welcomed three faculty members to the department for the Fall 2023 semester. Together, these individuals will widen the breadth of expertise found in the department of Food Science and propel us into the future. Meet our new faculty members!
thaisa.jpgThaisa Cantu-Jungles
Dr. Cantu-Jungles joins us as a Research Assistant Professor after working for several years as a post-doctoral researcher for the Whistler Center for Carbohydrate Research. Prior to this, she received a bachelor's degree in nutrition from Pontifical Catholic University in Brazil and a master's and Ph.D. in biochemistry at the Federal University of Parana in Brazil. Dr. Cantu-Jungles' research focuses on prebiotic development for gut and whole-body health. Thaisa has found her home in Purdue Food Science, saying, "I am excited to continue my career at Purdue Food Science while contributing to the advancement of the prebiotic field through a Food Science perspective, mentoring the next generation, and translating research into real-world impact."
da-chen.jpgDa Chen
Dr. Da Chen began his position as an Assistant Professor of Food Science. His research centers on enhancing the functionality and sustainability of plant and dairy proteins by modifying their structure for expanded food applications, especially high protein foods and plant-based meat. Prior to this position, Dr. Chen served as an Assistant Professor at the University of Idaho. He is enthusiastic about his new role in the Purdue Food Science Department, stating, "I find working in Purdue's Food Science department highly enjoyable because it boasts a multitude of exceptionally skilled faculty members whose expertise spans a wide array of fields. This diversity allows for collaborative opportunities on challenging projects. Additionally, I am deeply impressed by the inclusive, diverse, and supportive work environment within the Food Science Department."
weicang-wang.jpgWeicang Wang
Dr. Weicang Wang occupies a new position in the foods for health area as Assistant Professor, Foods for Health - Foodomics. Applying lipidomics approaches and multiple cell/animal models, Dr. Wang explores the roles of dietary fatty acids and their bioactive metabolites on gut microbiota and gut health. His research also includes work on nutraceuticals for disease prevention, as well as foodborne risk factors on gut microbes. Dr. Wang joins us from the University of California, Davis, where he worked as a postdoctoral scholar. He is looking forward to his role in the department. "I feel very excited to join the Purdue food science team because it has outstanding faculty members and scientists in food science, especially the "foods for health" field. Additionally, Purdue has a very supportive academic environment and advanced facilities to support innovative ideas."
Click here to read more about the new faculty members in the Purdue College of Agriculture.

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