On 16th August 2016, the award ceremony of the APEC Science Prize for Innovation, Research and Education (ASPIRE Prize) was held in Lima, Peru, with the theme of “Technologies for Food Security”. Dr. Hua Kuang, associate professor at the School of Food Science and Technology of Jiangnan University, won the award for developing low-cost biosensors that detect food sanitation hazards.
The award recognizes outstanding scientists under 40 years of age, who lead cross-border researches, for their promotion of advanced theories and technologies in APEC economies through academic exchanges and their contribution to the region’s trade and economic growth. As this year’s ASPIRE Prize winner, Dr. Kuang also received USD 25,000 in prize money sponsored by Wiley and Elsevier, publishers of scholarly scientific knowledge.
Dr. Kuang is an associate professor and postgraduate tutor of Jiangnan University, awardee of the Talent Program of the New Century run by the Chinese Ministry of Education, nominee of the 333 High-caliber Talent Project run by Jiangsu Province, and visiting scholar of the City University of Hong Kong. She mainly studies biomimetic pattern recognition of harmful factors in food products and biosensor-based fast testing, and has set two national standards of food safety. A number of fast testing kits and strips developed by her have been applied in dairy, meat and grain industries, generating huge economic and social benefits.
“Dr. Kuang’s innovative and accessible detection technologies are proving to be a real breakthrough for protection against foodborne diseases,” noted Gisella Orjeda, President of the Peruvian National Council for Science, Technology and Technological Innovative, “her work demonstrates the crucial role cross-border research is playing to ensure safe, secure food supplies and which is being led by a new era of scientists in the Asia-Pacific.” Mark Allin, CEO of Wiley, said, “Scientific collaboration across the Asia-Pacific is driving the advancement of research and innovation worldwide, and the work of young researchers like Dr. Kuang is enhancing our understanding of food safety and security and bringing forward innovative solutions to help us mitigate threats to global supply chains of safe and nutritious food.” “Dr. Kuang’s research has the potential to save lives and curb the negative economic consequences that come with food insecurity,” concluded Youngsuk Chi, Chairman of Elsevier. “We are inspired by the contribution of her and her team in the creation of knowledge that brings new hope.”