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DSM Nutritional Sciences Award 2013 is granted to Maret G. Traber

Urmond, NL, 17 Sep 2013 17:00 CEST

The DSM Nutritional Sciences Award 2013 has been given to Professor Maret G. Traber, Director, Oxidative & Nitrative Stress Laboratory, Linus Pauling Institute, College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Corvallis, Oregon, USA. Professor Traber received the distinction for her lifetime commitment and scientific achievements in the field of vitamin E research. 
From left to right: Marcel Wubbolts, Maret Traber, Manfred Eggersdorfer

An international judging committee, chaired by Dr. Manfred Eggersdorfer, Senior Vice President DSM Nutrition Science and Advocacy, selected Professor Maret Traber from among several candidates shortlisted by an international pre-selection committee. The award, which carries a cash prize of €50,000, was presented by Marcel Wubbolts, DSM Chief Technology Officer, at the 20th IUNS Conference in Granada, Spain, on 17 September.

In addition to her role as a Principal Investigator and Director of the Oxidative & Nitrative Stress Core at the Linus Pauling Institute, Dr. Traber is Professor in the Nutrition program in the School of Biological and Population Health Sciences in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at Oregon State University. She received both undergraduate and doctoral degrees in Nutrition Science from the University of California at Berkeley, and holds the LPI Professorship in Micronutrient Research. 

Professor Traber is a pioneer in vitamin E research and the world’s leading researcher of vitamin E in humans. She has reported landmark discoveries on the bioavailability of vitamin E, its antioxidant function, and its metabolism in health and disease. Professor Traber’s scientific contribution is reflected in more than 200 publications, which have been quoted over 10,000 times, and in a number of book chapters, conference proceedings, editorials, and review articles.

Widespread in nature, vitamin E is an essential micronutrient for growth and human health. It functions as a powerful biological antioxidant, protecting our cells, tissues and organs from damage due to oxidative reactions. At the award ceremony, the judging committee concluded that: “Professor Maret Traber has been providing seminal work and is a major contributor to our understanding of the role of vitamin E as an essential micronutrient in human metabolism in health and disease. As such, she is a highly qualified recipient of the DSM Nutritional Science Award 2013 for Research in Human Nutrition.”

Congratulating Professor Traber, Dr. Manfred Eggersdorfer, Senior Vice President DSM Nutrition Science and Advocacy, observed: “Much as we already know about vitamin E, there is clearly much more to learn about the nature and function of this essential micronutrient. We must encourage scientists to engage in new research on nutrient-gene interactions and to use novel biomarkers and analytical tools to truly gauge the role of vitamin E in supporting health and wellness.”

In addition, on presenting the award to Professor Traber, Dr. Marcel Wubbolts commented on the importance of this work in view of DSM's wider ambitions: "As we are moving towards a world with probably 9 billion people in 2050, food and nutrition security becomes one of the most important quests for our society. Food and nutrition security is an important new Sustainable Development Goal from the United Nations that aims at securing both the right amount and quality of food for all people on our planet. Understanding the role that nutrients play in improving people's health is an essential part of this."

The DSM Nutritional Sciences Award forms part of the DSM Bright Science Awards program. It is granted every two years, and alternates between the fields of human nutrition and animal nutrition.