With this year’s retirement of ISAPP’s longtime Executive Science Officer, Dr. Mary Ellen Sanders PhD, the ISAPP board of directors sought a suitable way to honor her contributions in advancing scientific development in the fields of probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics, postbiotics and fermented foods. Many scientists in these fields have commended Mary Ellen’s leadership, initiative, collaboration, and communication over the last 20 years.
Board members decided to launch a new award in Mary Ellen’s honor: The Sanders Award for Advancing Biotic Science. This award aims to promote excellence in the biotic field and recognize exceptional achievement across a range of potential endeavours including research, scientific communication and stakeholder engagement. A cash grant and travel to the ISAPP meeting will be awarded to the annual recipient starting in 2024.
Prof. Gregor Reid PhD, ISAPP co-founder and former board member, who championed the award, says: “What better way to applaud leadership and someone who has placed honesty, stewardship and evidence-based progress above all else, than to have an annual celebration of advancement in these critically important fields.”
The ISAPP board invited members of the ISAPP community to donate to a special endowment fund in order to sustain the Sanders Award over the long term, and this fund received over $34,000 of donations.
ISAPP President, Prof. Dan Merenstein MD, says: “We have really appreciated and been touched by the generous individual and company donations. But none of that is surprising because Mary Ellen has been a positive force in this field since the beginning and everyone who works with her respects and enjoys working with her.”
The award was launched in August, 2023 and nominations are open through to November, 2023.
Find out more about the award here.