Ana Magallanes Lopez with advisor Dr. Senay Simsek

Ana Magallanes López Defends Cereal Science Ph.D. Dissertation

Authored on
May 09, 2022

Ana Magallanes López successfully defended her Cereal Science Ph.D. dissertation, “Ingredients extracted from dry beans: Chemical, structural and functional characterization”, on May 5, 2022, at North Dakota State University (NDSU). Her advisor is former professor and wheat quality project leader, Dr. Senay Simsek.

Magallanes López extracted dietary fiber from pinto and black beans to study the fiber composition and physical properties and to investigate the fiber impact on immune system cells. The results of her study showed that the extracted fiber caused an inflammatory response, which could help to boost the immune system when combating infections. In addition, the secreted products from the inflammation showed the potential to reduce lipid accumulation in fat cells, indicating that bean-derived fibers could be used as food supplements to prevent obesity.

Magallanes López, who is from Texcoco, Mexico, has a B.S. in agro-industrial engineering from Chapingo Autonomous University, Texcoco, and an M.S. in cereal science from NDSU. She was influenced to pursue her graduate degrees at NDSU while working at CIMMYT in Mexico, where she met many alumni who spoke highly of their experiences at NDSU. She chose the Cereal Science program because of the novel research projects the students were working on and she was excited to join Simsek’s lab because she knew of Simsek’s and her students' achievements through the Cereals and Grains Association (formerly AACCI).

She recommends NDSU Plant Sciences to prospective graduate students, saying, “You would have endless opportunities to grow personally and professionally. Furthermore, all the people, from administrative staff to emeritus professors, are willing to create a network to assist you and make you succeed during the grad school journey.”

During her graduate studies at NDSU, Magallanes López completed an internship as a food safety and quality intern at Arden Mills in Omaha, Nebraska. She was active in the Cereal and Grains Association and the NDSU Graduate Student Council, serving in leadership roles in both organizations.

She made the most of every opportunity to present her research in conferences, symposia and competitions, and received numerous honors, listed below.

  • "Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship", NDSU College of Graduate and Interdisciplinary Studies. Spring 2022.
  • "Young Scientist Award for Best Poster Presentation", 16th ICC Cereal and Bread Congress, online meeting. March 2021.
  • "Minnesota Institute of Food Technologists Scholarship", Minnesota Institute of Food Technologists. Fall 2021.
  • "Best Relationship to the Theme" in Student Research Video Competition, Cereals & Grains 20 Annual Meeting, online meeting. November 2020.
  • "Jack F. Carter Graduate Scholastic & Leadership Scholarship",  NDSU Department of Plant Sciences. Fall 2020.
  • "Frank Bain Graduate Student Scholarship", NDSU Department of Plant Sciences. Fall 2020.
  • "Travel Scholarship" for attendance to Cereals & Grains 19 AACCI Annual Meeting, Denver, CO. November 2019.
  • "Dakota Specialty Milling Scholarship", Dakota Specialty Milling, Inc. Fall 2019.
  • "Best Poster Award", 1st place at NDSU Graduate Student Council 3rd Annual Research Symposium. April 2019.
  • "Oral Presentation in Cereal and Food Science Award", 2nd place at NDSU 35th Annual Plant Sciences Graduate Student Symposium. March 2019.
  • "Showcase Winner of People's Choice Award", NDSU 3 Minute Thesis Competition and Graduate Student Showcase. February 2019.
  • "10th Annual Best Student Research Paper Competition 2018", 2nd place at Cereals & Grains 18 AACCI Annual Meeting. October 2018.
  • "People's Choice Award" for best poster, 2018 NC-213 U.S. Quality Grains Research Consortium Annual Meeting. February 2018.
  • "Travel Scholarship" for attendance to Cereals 17 AACCI Annual Meeting, San Diego, CA. October 2017.

Magallanes López has accepted a research scientist position at Cargill in Plymouth, Minnesota.

Her graduate committee included Simsek, Dr. Anuradha Vegi, Dr. Estelle Leclerc, and Dr. Osvaldo Campanella of The Ohio State University.

Author: Kamie Beeson
Editor: Karen Hertsgaard