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Lecture of Dr. Yeonhwa Park for Visiting Jiangsu University

Dr. Yeonhwa Park, Professor

Department of Food Science , University of Massachusetts.

Lecture for Students and Teachers

Title: Role of Food Bioactives and Environmental contaminants in Development of Obesity

Time: Nov. 2, 2018, 9:30 am.

Place: the No.3 lecture hall on the third floor of the conference center.

Introduction to Dr Yeonhwa Park:

Dr. Yeonhwa Park obtained her Ph.D. from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and had a postdoctoral training there. Dr. Park is now a Professor in the Department of Food Science at the University of Massachusetts. Currently, Dr. park is working on the beneficial effects and underlying mechanisms of several food bioactives with glucose or lipid metabolism regulation ability. She is also interested in identifying potential risks of exposure to insecticides, such as obesity and insulin resistance. Dr. Park has been elected as the global most-highly cited researcher by Thomson Reuters & Clarivate in 2014 and 2017 (Agriculture). Dr. Park has published more than 120 peer-reviewed manuscripts in Annual Review of Food Science and TechnologyCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, Food Chemistry, Food & FunctionFood and Chemical Toxicology with 6700 citations. Dr. Park is now the associate editor of Food and Chemical Toxicology and has received multiple research awards such as 2015 Timothy Mounts Award, American Oil Chemists’ Society, 2015 Faculty Convocation Award, University of Massachusetts, ILSI 2007 Future Leader Award, Outstanding Division Volunteer Award 2007, 2008, & 2011 IFT Food Chemistry Division.


Many food components and environmental contaminants are known to influence the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Among food bioactives, interest in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) research started in the 1980s because it was identified as an anti-carcinogenic compound from ground beef. CLA is a collective term for geometric and positional isomers of conjugated octadecadienoic acid, consisting mainly of two isomers, cis-9,trans-11 and trans-10,cis-12. Since its discovery, CLA has been reported to have a wide range of biological activities, in particular its role on regulating body fat along with its influence on muscle and bone masss. On the other hand, the significant rise in the incidences of obesity and type 2 diabetes in the past few decades is not completely explained by concurrent changes in diet and/or behavior, suggesting there may be unknown contributing factors to this epidemic. Simultaneously, there is a growing body of evidence suggests a connection between exposure to environmental pollutants, including insecticides, and the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Consistently, recent publications reported that different types of insecticides have similar effects on altered lipid and glucose homeostasis at levels that are considered to be safe. Moreover, the augmented effects of insecticide exposures and other known factors on the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes were recently observed. Based on the current rise of obesity and its associated pathology, it is important to understand the underlying causes of obesity and type 2 diabetes and to develop means to mitigate these diseases.

(School of Food and Biological Engineering)


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