Press release

Dr. Na DONG wins DSM Science & Technology Award Asia 2014

Urmond, NL, 20 Oct 2014 09:45 CEST

Recognizing promising research in antimicrobial peptides with potential use in animal nutrition and health

Royal DSM, the global Life Sciences and Materials Sciences company, announced today that the DSM Science & Technology Award Asia 2014 with emphasis on Animal Nutrition in China has been awarded to Dr. Na Dong from Northeast Agriculture University, Harbin, China, in recognition of the exceptional contribution that her Ph.D. research has made to the design of novel antimicrobial peptides potentially replacing the traditional antibiotics. The theme of this year’s award was “Quality - Ecology - Health”.


Dr. Marcel Wubbolts (l) and Dr. Gilbert Weber (r) presenting the Science & Technology Award Asia, China Nutrition 2014 to Dr. Na DONG

The Science & Technology Award Asia is part of DSM’s Bright Science Awards program, and this year the award was presented in collaboration with the Animal Nutrition Branch of the Chinese Association of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine during the 7th China Academic Symposium of Feed Nutrition, which took place in Zhengzhou city, Henan Province.

For more than 25 years, DSM has been presenting such awards in order to recognize, reward and nurture excellence in innovative Ph.D. research in the fields of key interest to DSM. The Science and Technology Award program now spans three continents, honoring bright young scientists in Europe, Asia and the Americas who are an example to their peers. The DSM Science and Technology Award Asia is granted every year, and is open to all current Ph.D. students in Asia.

Promising research in antimicrobial peptides potentially replacing traditional antibiotics

Dr. Na Dong received the award for her Ph.D. research on the molecular design, biological activity and antibacterial mechanisms of β-sheet antimicrobial peptides, which she conducted under the supervision of Professor An-Shan Shan. An international jury of leading scientists selected Dr. Na Dong as the winner out of four finalists, after each had presented their research in a short lecture during a special DSM-CANA symposium. The award was given to Dr. Na Dong on 18 October by Dr. Marcel Wubbolts, Chief Technology Officer of Royal DSM as part of the program of the symposium.

The jury chose Dr. Na Dong because of her excellent contribution to groundbreaking molecular design on short peptides with exceptional antimicrobial properties. The outcome of this research has the potential to replace antibiotics used as therapeutics to improve gut health and to counteract infectious diseases of various origins in farm animals. There might also be opportunities to develop this concept further for maintaining human health. Dr. Na Dong will present her doctoral research at the Swine Nutrition Science Seminar on October 20 at the recently opened DSM China Animal Nutrition Center in Bazhou.

Opportunities for sustainable feed and food

Commenting on this year’s award winner in the context of DSM’s wider ambitions in the Animal Nutrition field, DSM’s Chief Technology Officer Dr. Marcel Wubbolts said: “Dr. Na Dong has clearly demonstrated the valuable contribution young scientific talent can make, and impressed the jury with her excellent, extensive and thorough research pointing the way to new possibilities to address the pressing societal issue of sustainably feeding the growing world population for both China and the world at large.

At DSM we are strongly engaged in this year’s theme of “Quality - Ecology - Health”: we are one of the world’s leading suppliers of vitamins, carotenoids, eubiotics and enzymes to the feed industry and we continue to be faced with the challenges of increasing meat demand from high-growth economies, and the need for ongoing innovations that can enhance industrial productivity, animal wellbeing and environmental sustainability.”

Dr. Gilbert Weber, Corporate Scientist, Animal Nutrition & Health at DSM said: “The ability to conduct sound, fundamental research is an invaluable skill for young animal nutrition scientists, and I’m impressed with the knowledge and expertise that became very clear from the presentations. Animal nutrition and science are extremely important to both DSM and China, and fostering local talent in the field as much as possible is not only for the good of both, but for the world as a whole.”

Prof. Dai-Wen Chen , the vice president of the Animal Nutrition Branch of the Chinese Association of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine: "It’s great that leading companies like DSM are helping students make the critical connection between excellence in science on the one hand, and commercial and industrial needs on the other. We’re also very proud to be collaborating with DSM this year in presenting the Science & Technology Award Asia, China Nutrition 2014, especially since it’s the first time that the eligibility field for the award has been opened nationwide.

Nominees and runners-up were:

  • Dr. Gang Lin, China Agriculture University, Beijing, China
    Ph.D. Thesis: Impaired Placental Pentose Phosphate Pathway of IUGR Fetal Pig and Its Nutritional Regulation
    Ph.D. Supervisor: Prof. De-Fa Li, Academician
  • Dr. Lei Liu, Shandong Agriculture University, Tai-An, China
    Ph.D. Thesis: Mechanism of Glucocorticoids Regulating Appetite in Stressed Poultry
    Ph.D. Supervisor: Prof. Hai Lin
  • Dr. Jian-Zhang Tan, China Agriculture University, Beijing, China
    Ph.D. Thesis: Effects of Dietary L-Arginine Supplementation on Immune Functions in Broiler Chickens Challenged with Different Pathogens
    Ph.D. Supervisor: Prof. Yu-Ming Guo