The American Chemical Society, ACS, Fellow has been awarded to Bhimu Patil, Ph.D., for exceptional contributions to science and foods for health.

Bhimu Patil awarded American Chemical Society Fellow.
(Right) Bhimu Patil, Ph.D., recently was awarded American Chemical Society, ACS, Fellow for exceptional contributions to science and foods for health. Presenting the award was Wayne Jones, Ph.D., chair, ACS Board Committee on Professional and Member Relations, and Provost at the University of New Hampshire. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo)

Patil is a Texas A&M AgriLife Research Regent Professor, the Inaugural Leonard Pike University Professor and director of the Vegetable and Fruit Improvement Center, Department of Horticultural Sciences and U.S. Department of Agriculture National Center of Excellence on Melons at Texas A&M University.

2022 Fellows Class

Patil was one of 45 members in the society’s 2022 class of Fellows. He was honored at the ACS Awards Ceremony during the recent meeting in Chicago.  A nonprofit organization, chartered by Congress, ACS is the premier professional home for chemists, chemical engineers, industry and related professions globally.

“It’s a great honor to be recognized by this global scientific body,” Patil said. “I am indeed fortunate to be part of Texas A&M, which is a major research university advancing the science of foods for health. My team effort in advancing science and impacting the society is possible because of dedicated scientists, students, staff across the country and around the world. Being a member of the ACS for 20 years, this prestigious Fellow recognition challenges me to continue the path and the mentoring of the new generation of researchers.”

Foods for health

As director of the Vegetable and Fruit Improvement Center, Patil has played an instrumental role in leading the center’s foods for health initiative. Specifically, Patil’s work involved identifying mechanisms by which health-promoting compounds from vegetables and fruits enhance human health, fostering collaboration with interdisciplinary scientists.

This led to the organization of six symposiums, helping ACS advance the fundamental knowledge of chemistry, increasing both participation of international researchers giving them exposure to ACS activities and increasing membership.

Notably, Patil has identified and characterized health-promoting bioactive compounds from melon and other fruits and vegetables, organized breeding of varieties with more of these compounds, and coordinated research funding centering on these specific areas.

Patil served as chair and program chair of the Agriculture and Food Chemistry Division, AGFD. He has organized numerous symposiums, served as mentor to AGFD colleagues, and introduces chemistry opportunities to high school students.

“We are pleased that Dr. Patil received this distinctive honor recognizing his many contributions to the American Chemical Society, most importantly furthering science and education specifically with foods for health,” said Cliff Lamb, Ph.D., director of AgriLife Research.

Impactful scholar

Keith Cadwalladar, Ph.D., professor of food chemistry, University of Illinois, said Patil has contributed to the global scientific community in many ways.

“He is an impactful and well-respected scholar as evidenced by the many research and teaching awards and honors he has received over the course of his professional career,” Cadwalladar said. “Noteworthy are many graduate students mentored by Bhimu who have gone on to make significant scientific and professional contributions to society.”

Chris Watkins, director of Cornell Cooperative Extension and Herman M. Cohn Professor of Horticulture, associate dean of College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and College of Human Ecology at Cornell University, said Patil has been a pioneer in addressing the connection between horticultural products and human health through his multi-disciplinary research.

“Production scientists typically operate independently of considerations of nutrition, while the reverse is true for many nutritionists,” he said. “The connection between these two endeavors is obvious and yet the disciplines meet too rarely. Bhimu has been able to bridge this gap to pull together multidisciplinary teams and create synergistic relationships between researchers studying preharvest and postharvest factors, along with food safety and consumer satisfaction.”

His contribution make Patil a leading global researcher in the top 2% of active researchers in the areas of foods for health, horticultural science, and isolation and characterization of bioactive molecules’ emphasizes, Watkins said.

Patil is an internationally acclaimed scientist, and has earned many awards, including a Distinguished Service Award from the Division of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, AGFD, of the American Chemical Society, Young Scientist award by the AGFD, as well as he has been named a Fellow by AGFD, American Society for Horticultural Sciences, Brazilian Horticulture Society, Indian Horticulture Society and AgriLife Research. 

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