By: Jennifer Thomas, Charlotte Business Journal
Two operations at the N.C. Research Campus have created a post-doctoral fellowship that’s the first of its kind at the biotech hub in Kannapolis.
It’s a joint initiative of the N.C. State University Plants for Human Health Institute and the Dole Nutrition Research Laboratory.
The fellowship is intended to help advance the phytochemical research being conducted at the 350-acre research campus, which focuses on health, nutrition and agriculture. Phytochemicals are bioactive compounds that occur naturally in fruits and vegetables and provide health benefits linked to the prevention of disease.
Scot Neff was hired for the fellowship position in June. He recently earned a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. He has research projects under way that involve walnuts, bananas and the concentration of the phytochemical content of fruits and vegetables into a protein-rich food.
That type of study is at the core of the N.C. State and Dole research in Kannapolis.
“We’re on very parallel paths,” says Mary Ann Lila, director of the human-health institute. “We’re looking at different crops, but we have very similar interests that make us a natural fit for partnerships and collaborative research.”
Post-doctoral positions allow newly qualified Ph.D.’s to gain experience in new research areas, says Nick Gillitt, director of the Dole lab.
Funding details for the program haven’t been disclosed.
Gillitt notes jointly funded programs between academia and industry are relatively uncommon. “I think programs like this will help cement the collaborative approach we take here” at the research campus.
Jennifer Thomas covers retail, health care and education for the Charlotte Business Journal.