Researcher finding new discoveries in both human health, agriculture
Wu is one of five faculty members for 2012 who have received the title, which is bestowed in perpetuity and awarded to a maximum of five faculty members each year. A reception was held May 1 on the Texas A&M campus hosted by the Texas A&M Foundation.
“University Distinguished Professors represent the highest level of achievement for our faculty,” said Karan L. Watson, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “Their scholarship will have a lasting impact on their respective fields of study for many generations to come, and it demonstrates to the world the high quality of scholarship underway at Texas A&M University.”
A Texas AgriLife Research Senior Faculty Fellow, Wu’s research crosses both agriculture and human health. One of his specific research areas has been functional amino acids. His discoveries relate to the essential role of amino acids and non-essential amino acids, which are both important in formulating balanced diets for livestock production and human health. His research is targeted at enhancing efficiencies in meat quality toward the production of more protein to help feed a growing population.
“We need to move forward and capitalize on the potential of functional amino acids in improving health and animal production,” he said.
Wu’s discoveries, a result of ‘thinking out of the box’ are helping find new innovations in solving obesity among the U.S. population as more than 60 percent of U.S. adults are overweight.
He has also done studies on arginine, an amino acid which contributes many positive benefits in growth and embryo development in pigs, sheep and rats. Arginine also aids in fighting obesity. Wu has identified this as an important area for expanded research on new amino acids and health.
Wu said that humans need diets with balanced portions of amino acids for cardiovascular and reproductive health.
Wu earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from South China Agricultural University in Guangzhou and a master’s degree and doctorate in animal biochemistry from the University of Alberta in Canada. He received his doctoral training from McGill University Medical School in Montreal, and the Memorial University of Newfoundland Medical School in St. John’s, Canada.