The Center warmly welcomes Dr. Ray-Yu Yang, the new food system and nutrition specialist, who started her stint with FFTC on July 1. Dr. Yang will basically coordinate the Center’s Dragon Fruit Research Network Project, assist the Center’s Director in preparing proposals for funding and assist the Deputy Director in coordinating projects with some of the Center’s partner organizations. She will also be on top of the preparations for the upcoming September workshop on “Dragon Fruit Value Chain for Global Markets”
For almost 30 years, Dr. Yang rose from the ranks and worked as research assistant, assistant specialist, associate specialist and nutritionist at the World Vegetable Center, identifying nutrition R&D directions, strategies and national/international partners for collaborations. For 15 years, she has characterized more than 250 vegetable species indigenous to tropical Asia and Africa for phytonutrient values, developed an access database for public search, and promoted greater use and consumption of underutilized vegetables for health. Dr. Yang has also worked with breeders to improve nutrition and market qualities of tomato, pepper, eggplant, vegetable soybean, pumpkin, bitter gourd varieties, etc.
Dr. Yang finished her BSc in Food Science at the Tung-Hai University in Taiwan, her Masters in Food Biochemistry and Biotechnology at the National Chung-Shin University, and her Ph.D. in Food and Nutrition, Tropical Agriculture and International Cooperation, National Ping-Tung University of Science and Technology in Taiwan. In 2004 and 2005, she was also a visiting scientist at the Jean Mayer USDA—Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University.