Food Innovation Center

Collaborating for a healthier, hunger-free world.

David Francis and Kichoon Lee Win OARDC Awards

The Food Innovation Center congratulates members David Francis and Kichoon Lee on their recent award wins at OARDC's 2012 Annual Research Conference.

David Francis, Innovator of the Year (K.D. Chamberlain image).Wooster, Ohio – David Francis was awarded the Director's Innovator of the Year Award and Kichoon Lee was awarded the 2012 Distinguished Junior Faculty Research Award during the Ohio Agricultural  Research and Development Center (OARDC) Annual Research Conference on April 26.

Francis, an Ohio State University associate professor from the Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, is a tomato breeder and geneticist. His award as Innovator of the Year recognizes his innovation and entrepreneurship, which he highly contributed to through his impact on agricultural production and findings of health benefits from tomatoes. His accomplishments include spearheading the development of the first high-density genotyping tool for tomatoes, a project that earned him the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Honor Award for Excellence last year.

Kichoon Lee, Distinguished Junior Faculty Research Award (K.D. Chamberlain image).


Lee, an associate professor in Ohio State University's Department of Animal Sciences, focuses on novel factors related to the development of muscle and adipose tissue that helps benefit animal productivity and quality. His award for Distinguished Junior Faculty Research recognizes his outstanding achievements as a faculty member at the level of assistant or associate professor. In 2009, Lee was named Honorary Scientist by the Republic of Korea's Rural Development Administration for consultation services, leadership, and expertise in research. He was also awarded Brilliant Korean Scientist twice. Since joining OARDC in 2004, Lee has secured $826,000 in grants to support his research and published 20 peer-reviewed journal papers.

Both winners received a plaque and $1,000. Francis will receive $2,500 for his operating expense account and Lee will receive $3,000 for his operating expense account.

Infor excerpted from articles written by Kurt Knebusch. Read more about David Francis at Tomato Genes for Health and Profit: Francis Wins OARDC 'Innovator' Award and Kichoon Lee at  How Do Muscle and Fat Develop? OARDC Scientist Honored for Findings in Animals, People