Dr. Yves Nys
DSM Nutritional Sciences Award (2011)
Despite being one of the world’s leading experts on poultry nutrition with a distinguished research background stretching back some 30 years, Dr Yves Nys admits that being honored with a DSM Nutritional Science Award still came as a slight surprise…
Winning the award was unexpected but extremely pleasing and a great honor of course: We are all well aware of DSM’s work in poultry nutrition.
The award was good validation of the work that myself and my colleagues at INRA (an eminent agricultural research center) have been doing for many years covering a wide range of poultry-related research from nutrition to sustainability.
Most importantly for me, the award was the result of an international peer review and rather than being presented at a DSM-specific event was actually presented at the European Symposium on Poultry Nutrition in 2011. That really made it extra special.
Ten years ago we could identify around 50 different proteins in an egg; now we can identify more than 1,000 proteins. That’s all down to hard scientific work!
Much of my work at the INRA has focused on the microbiology and mechanics of egg shell formation – understanding and controlling the fabrics of the shell, which although only 3mm thick is a truly amazing material and has a direct effect on the nutritional quality of the egg itself.
Why is this important? Because eggs still have enormous potential. They are a high quality, low cost protein ideal for infant nutrition and in places like China and Africa - where the amount of animal protein consumed is very low – will fill a major nutritional gap in the years ahead.
Now it’s about the next generation continuing the work I have started – and I’m very confident they will be able to go on.
Of course it’s all very different now to when I began as a young scientist. Everything is accelerated now; back then everything was done by hand; now it's automated, it goes faster and is more efficient – but of course than means we have to solve more problems!
The other big factor is the influence of open innovation, especially as we adopt a multi-disciplinary approach. Very often there is no single ‘right’ way to do things and as scientists we are having to collaborate and ‘open up’ a lot more.
“Dr. Nys has made a major contribution to the world’s understanding of the role of nutrition in improving the quality of poultry products.
His research has resulted in an impressive record of scientific publications, almost all dedicated to poultry nutrition and physiology at a very deep experimental and analytical level. His publications – positioned at the interface of nutrition, physiology and molecular biology – have provided new insights into the mineral metabolism of poultry and egg quality.”