Dr. Yanyun Zhao won the President’s Commission on the Status of Women Breaking Barriers in Research Award for 2018. The Breaking Barriers award recognizes a woman/woman-identified faculty member whose innovative research has challenged the status quo and opened doors for fellow women.

Dr. Zhao is a professor and Value-added Food Product Specialist in the department of Food Science & Technology and also an associate dean at the Graduate School. She is an internationally prominent researcher and trailblazer in developing new knowledge and value-added applications for edible food coatings and films, and a pioneer in the capture and conversion of food processing bio-waste streams into value-added products for food and non-food applications. During her tenure at Oregon State, she has filed 15 patents and invention disclosures (4 granted patents, 2 licensed technologies by industry). Her research and outreach activities have been featured in 5 OSU news releases, numerous TV interviews, USDA reports, Oregon’s Agricultural Progress and agriculture press, Forbes magazine, and international media.

Besides Dr. Zhao’s tremendous accomplishments in research and scholarship, she is a fearsome advocate for her graduate students. Dr. Zhao has mentored numerous undergraduate students conducting research in her laboratory and has helped them move into graduate research programs at OSU and elsewhere. Dr. Zhao cares greatly about the welfare and ethical treatment of Postdoctoral fellows and is therefore a perfect fit for her part-time administrative position at the Graduate School.