COLLEGE STATION — Dr. Robert S. Chapkin, distinguished professor in the department of nutrition and food science, has received a Vice Chancellor’s Award in Excellence in the research category.
The Vice Chancellor’s Award in Excellence recognizes the commitment and outstanding contributions of faculty and staff across Texas A&M AgriLife. The award was presented Jan. 14 at the AgriLife Center on the Texas A&M University campus in College Station.
Chapkin is also a Regents Professor and University Faculty Fellow in the Program in Integrative Nutrition and Complex Diseases of the department, as well as a Texas A&M AgriLife Senior Faculty Fellow. He is deputy director of the Texas A&M Center for Translational Environmental Health Research and collaborates on a National Institutes of Health-funded nutrition, biostatistics and bioinformatics training grant.
According to his nomination, Chapkin is an expert in dietary and botanical modulators related to prevention of cancer and chronic inflammatory diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease. His research centers on colon cancer prevention by investigating the impact of dietary fat, fiber and folate status on disease processes.
“The determination of excellence for research can be made utilizing a variety of metrics, including research grant dollars, peer-reviewed publications, and invited presentations,” wrote Dr. Nancy Turner, AgriLife research professor in the department of nutrition and food science, in her nomination of Chapkin. “His excellence in research extends beyond those standard metrics and includes the large number of students he has trained, the extensive number of times he has served on review panels for granting agencies, the number of journals for which he has served as a reviewer and as a member of their editorial board, and the number of large group proposals he has supported, helped to develop or has developed as primary investigator.”
In his research, Chapkin has demonstrated the impact of omega-3 fatty acids on the transmission of information that alters physiological responses that ultimately determine the risk for developing colon cancer. He also has developed non-invasive methodology for monitoring global changes in intestinal gene expression, which has generated a patent as well as a National Institutes of Health initiated and sponsored clinical intervention trial.
Chapkin and research collaborators are also investigating the mechanisms by which dietary lipids and phytochemicals affect the immune system, including the role of lipids as mediators of chronic inflammation.
He has received a number of prestigious awards for his work, including the Osborne and Mendel Award from the American Society for Nutrition, NASA Space Act Award and Bio Serv Award in Experimental Animal Nutrition from the American Society of Nutrition.
Chapkin also is a member of numerous professional societies and has authored or co-authored numerous scientific research publications.