Dr. Paul Spagnuolo
Dr. Paul Spagnuolo

University of Guelph food science professor Dr. Paul Spagnuolo, who researches bioactive compounds found in food, has received a Young Investigator Award for Outstanding Research from the Canadian Nutrition Society (CNS).

The award, supported by Abbott Laboratories Co., recognizes an investigator’s overall contribution to research.

Spagnuolo examines food-derived bioactive molecules, or nutraceuticals, as potential treatments for diseases such as acute myeloid leukemia and diabetes.

His lab has discovered eight novel nutraceuticals, filed four patents and completed two clinical trials on products they created containing nutraceuticals they discovered. One such novel nutraceutical is avocatin B, a lipid from avocados, which may help in treating leukemia and diabetes.

Spagnuolo said it was humbling to be recognized by an organization as well-respected as the CNS.

“My work is very much a team effort, and I am so fortunate to have an exceptional team of technicians and graduate students who collectively work hard, challenge me every day and bring a collaborative culture that enables the successes of the lab,” he said. “I’m very proud of our accomplishments and this recognition is very much reflective of the quality of our group and the work ethic we bring to the lab every day.”

Earlier, Spagnuolo received a Ministry of Research and Innovation Early Researcher Award, the Mead Johnson Award from the American Society for Nutrition and an International Award for Bioinnovation from the Luxembourg Institute for Science and Technology.

He also co-founded SP Nutraceuticals Inc, which aims to commercialize technologies developed by his laboratory.