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College of Human Ecology

K-State designates three new University Distinguished Professors

Friday, April 4, 2008

MANHATTAN -- Three Kansas State University professors have been selected as the university's newest university distinguished professors, a lifetime title that represents the highest honor K-State can bestow on its faculty.

The 2008 university distinguished professors are Edgar Chambers IV, director of the Sensory Analysis Center and professor of sensory analysis and consumer behavior; T.G. Nagaraja, professor in diagnostic medicine/ pathobiology; and Philine Wangemann, professor in anatomy and physiology. All three are recognized nationally and internationally for their contributions to their fields.

"These faculty members are remarkable for their expertise and achievements," said M. Duane Nellis, K-State provost and senior vice president. "With their significant contributions to their individual disciplines, they have enhanced K-State's reputation as an outstanding research and teaching university."

Before joining the faculty in K-State's department of human nutrition, Chambers spent eight years in industry, including five years as manager of sensory and statistical analyses at the world-headquarters of the Seven-Up Company. He consults extensively with industry on product evaluation, consumer understanding and advertising claim substantiation.

At K-State, Chambers builds on the university's strengths in sensory analysis related to product research and development. He teaches graduate classes in sensory analysis and consumer behavior and directs research projects in product evaluation and consumer understanding for national and international companies. His expertise encompasses food products such as meat and grains, packaging, personal care, fabric, paper, pharmaceutical, paint finishes, fragrance and other consumer and industrial products.

Chambers is a past chair of the Sensory Division of ASTM International and was named a Fellow of that organization in 2006. He also is one of several U.S. delegates to the International Standards Organization committee on Sensory Evaluation; is the associate editor of the Journal of Sensory Studies, is co-chair of Society of Sensory Professionals and is active in other professional organizations.

His degrees include a B.S. in food science from the University of Tennessee; a master's degree in foods and nutrition, and a Ph.D. in sensory analysis, both from K-State. He took postgraduate courses in psychology and behavior at Washington University in St. Louis.

Nagaraja joined K-State's animal sciences faculty in 1980 and transferred to the College of Veterinary Medicine in 1998. His research has focused on microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract, particularly of the rumen of cattle in relation to health and disease. He has done extensive research on feed additives and on ruminal digestive diseases of feedlot cattle, such as acidosis, bloat and liver abscesses. Nagaraja leads a team of researchers studying the ecology of E. coli 0157, a major human food-borne pathogen, in cattle for the past decade with funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and animal heath companies. The team also is working on developing and testing intervention strategies to reduce E. coli O157 in cattle presented for slaughter.

Nagaraja received the 2001 Pfizer Animal Health Award for Research Excellence from the College of Veterinary Medicine. He is a member of the American Society for Microbiology, Anaerobe Society of the Americas, American Society of Animal Science, American Dairy Science Association, Sigma Xi, Gamma Sigma Delta, Phi Zeta and an honorary diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Microbiology.

A veterinarian from India, he received his master's in veterinary microbiology in 1975 and his bachelor's in veterinary science in 1970, both from the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, India. He earned a doctorate in microbiology from K-State's Division of Biology in 1979.

Wangemann is well known around the world for her contributions to the fields of cochlear and epithelial physiology. Research in Wangemann's laboratory centers on epithelial physiology and vascular biology of the inner ear with the goal to prevent deafness and vestibular disorders in humans and animals. Basic research performed in her laboratory is aimed to ultimately benefit more than 28 million people in the United States that are deaf or hard of hearing and about 2 million that are impaired by dizziness or have difficulties with balance.

Wangemann has been awarded more than $4.7 million to fund her research. She has published 64 peer-reviewed articles and 17 chapters or invited papers. She directs the Confocal Microfluorometry and Microscopy Core and co-directs the Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Core in K-State's anatomy and physiology department. She teaches Cell Signaling and Pharmacodynamics in the veterinary curriculum. She reviews grant applications for the National Institutes of Health and speaks before national and international scientific audiences on a regular basis. Wangemann was recognized with K-State's 2006 Commerce Bank Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award.

Wangemann received her degree in biology in 1985 from Justus-Liebig University in Giessen, Germany. She worked at the Max-Planck Institute for Biophysics in Frankfurt, Germany, and received her doctorate in 1987 from the Albert-Ludwigs University in Freiburg, Germany. She joined K-State in 1998.

University distinguished professors are appointed following a university-wide competition held by the provost.

Sources: M. Duane Nellis, 785-532-6224, provost.nellis@k-state.edu;Edgar Chambers IV, 785-532-0156; eciv@k-state.edu; T.G. Nagaraja,785-532-1214, tnagaraj@vet.k-state.edu; Philine Wangemann,785-532-4863, wange@vet.k-state.edu.

Photos available. Please contact media@k-state.edu or 785-532-6415
News release prepared by: Cheryl May, 785-532-6415, may@k-state.edu

This article was posted on Friday, April 4, 2008, and is filed under College News, Food, Nutrition, Dietetics and Health.