Pharmacy Assistant Professor Paul Spagnuolo receives prestigious nutrition research award

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Prof. Paul Spagnuolo

Dr. Spagnuolo made headlines worldwide last year for ground-breaking research on the use of avocado-derived molecules in combating acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

AML is a devastating disease that proves fatal within five years for 90 per cent of seniors who are diagnosed with it. Spagnuolo and his team’s findings have the potential to significantly increase life expectancy and quality of life for AML patients.

They discovered a lipid in avocados that fights AML by targeting the root of the disease – leukemia stem cells.  

Spagnuolo will be awarded the 2016 Mead Johnson Award for his impressive research findings by the American Society for Nutrition at the Experimental Biology conference in April.

The Mead Johnson Award recognizes a young investigator for a single outstanding piece of nutrition research, accomplished within ten years of postgraduate training. The $2,500 award and engraved plaque is supported by Mead Johnson Pediatric Nutrition Institute.

I’m greatly honoured to be receiving this award,” says Spagnuolo. “The unexpected popularity of our findings shows that the public is genuinely interested in nutraceuticals and the support of the American Society for Nutrition helps promote and enable this kind of important research.”

Professor Spagnuolo is among only a handful of researchers worldwide who apply the pharmaceutical industry’s rigorous drug discovery research processes to food-derived compounds.

He will formally receive the 2016 Mead Johnson Award on April 3rd in San Diego.