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Students Awarded at International Conference

Ashish Christopher, doctoral student in Food Safety, and Ramnarain Ramakrishna, doctoral student in Cereal Science, received awards for presentations given at the 2016 Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops International Conference held in Rochester, NY on September 24-28, 2016.
Students Awarded at International Conference

L to R: Ramakrishna, Johnson, Berti, Christopher

October 14, 2016

Faculty and students from the Department of Plant Sciences at North Dakota State University attended the 2016 Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops (AAIC) International Conference held in Rochester, NY on September 24-28, 2016. Doctoral students Ashish Christopher and Ramnarain Ramakrishna received awards for their presentations during the conference.

Christopher, a Food Safety doctoral student, won first place for his poster presentation in the Medicinal and Nutraceuticals Division. His poster was titled “Stress-Induced Enhancement of Phenolic Antioxidants in Grapes (Vitis vinifera L.), Targeting Bioactive Compounds for the Management of Early Stages Type 2 Diabetes”. His research focused on the improvement of human health relevant bioactives and nutraceuticals in nine red and white grape cultivars using pre-harvest ozone and chemical treatments. Improvement of human health relevant phenolic antioxidants and associated anti-diabetic properties were observed in some white and red grape cultivars (Vignoles, St Croix, Frontenac) with pre-harvest ozone treatment. Therefore, the treatment has the potential to be used to develop functional food ingredients and nutraceuticals to counter the global epidemic of diet and lifestyle-linked non-communicable chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Ramakrishna, a Cereal Science doctoral student, won a $1000 travel grant for his oral presentation in the Medicinal and Nutraceuticals Division. His presentation was titled “Evaluating Phenolic Linked Anti-Hyperglycemic Potential of Barley Cultivars for Managing Early Stages Type 2 Diabetes Using in Vitro Model”. The objective of the study was to screen malting barley cultivars for health relevant phenolic antioxidants, for managing early stage type 2 diabetes-linked hyperglycemia. In this study, malting barley cultivars with strong phenolic antioxidant-linked functionalities, such as high antioxidant potential, along with anti-diabetic properties were identified. The study also demonstrated the practical utility of in vitro screening models in selecting barley cultivars for further development into functional dietary ingredients or nutraceuticals, for the management of early stage of type 2 diabetes.

Both students are advised by Dr. Kalidas Shetty, Associate Vice President for International Partnerships and Collaborations and Professor in the Department of Plant Sciences.

NDSU Plant Sciences professor Dr. Marisol Berti serves as current president of the AAIC and presided over the conference, and professor Dr. Burton Johnson serves as AAIC treasurer.

The 2016 AAIC conference theme was “Industrial Crops: Promoting Sustainability”. The AAIC is an international, nonprofit educational and scientific organization established to encourage and promote the activities of those involved in the production, processing, development, and commercialization of industrial crops and products. Learn more at

Author: Kamie Beeson, 701-231-7123,
Editor: Karen Hertsgaard, 701-231-5384,

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