Doctoral degree candidate wins award to present research in Brazil

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- A doctoral degree candidate in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences has received a scholarship to present her sensory science research at a conference in Brazil.

Nadia Byrnes, of Doylestown, Pa., who is pursuing a doctorate in food science, was named winner of the Rick Bell Memorial Travel Award by colleagues of Bell and the co-chairs of the Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium. The honor includes a $3,000 award for her to travel to Rio de Janeiro in August to present her research at the organization's biennial gathering.

To receive the award, Byrnes submitted materials to the Pangborn program detailing her research on individual differences in the perception of orally irritating compounds, such as the burn of capsaicin in chili pepper, the cooling of menthol and the numbing associated with compounds in cloves.

The selection committee judged Byrnes' submissions as the best according to the following criteria: evidence of an interdisciplinary approach to conducting sensory and consumer research; evidence of innovation in conducting sensory and consumer research; evidence of passion for research; evidence of teamwork; and evidence of extracurricular activities including, but not limited to, music and the arts.

Byrnes is advised by John Hayes, assistant professor of food science.

Every two years the Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium brings together professionals of the sensory and consumer science community. It promotes the dissemination of new knowledge and allows young scientists and students to meet senior professionals, contributing to the development of the field. The 2013 conference, the 10th such event, is being held for the first time outside Europe and North America.

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Last Updated June 13, 2013