Wu Receives William J. Beal Outstanding Faculty Award

February 6, 2020

Felicia WuIIT-affiliated faculty member, Dr. Felicia Wu, was selected as one of ten MSU faculty to receive the William J. Beal Outstanding Faculty Award in 2020. William J. Beal Outstanding Faculty Awards are made each year to members of the faculty for outstanding total service to the University. Each college making nominations for the award has its own detailed criteria and methods for nomination. The nominations are based on teaching; advising; research; publications; art exhibitions; concert performances; committee work; public service including extension, continuing education and work with government agencies; or a combination of these activities. Final selection of William J. Beal Outstanding Faculty Award winners is made by an All-University Awards Committee appointed by the President.

Felicia Wu is the John Hannah Distinguished Professor of Food Science and Human Nutrition. Her research focuses on the national and global burden of food borne disease; how regulations affect global trade networks and influence chemical exposures; the effect of in-utero chemical exposures, nutrition and socioeconomic factors on infant immunity; and the cost-effectiveness of strategies to improve food safety along supply chains in the United States and worldwide.

In her research, Wu has estimated the number of global cancer cases attributable to aflatoxin and arsenic in food and assessed the cost-effectiveness and feasibility of strategies to reduce aflatoxin in the United States and in resource-poor nations. For her research on the impact of aflatoxin regulations on global liver cancer risk, Wu was awarded a National Institutes of Health EUREKA Award.

Wu and her research team have shown that transgenic Bt corn reduces aflatoxin through examining corn growers’ insurance claims for aflatoxin problems. She is also collaborating with an MSU team to assess how cassava cyanide exposure affects children’s cognitive development in Central Africa, where cassava is a staple in many populations’ diets. Wu has published 73 peer-reviewed articles and received approximately $4 million in grant funds.

Wu’s service in national and international professional organizations is exemplary. She serves as an expert adviser to the Joint FAO/ WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives of the United Nations. She is an area editor for two journals: “Risk Analysis and World Mycotoxin Journal,” and serves on the editorial board of Archives of Environmental and Occupational Health. She recently served on the U.S. National Academy of Sciences panel on the future of animal sciences research for global food security. She also served as an invited reviewer on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Sixth Assessment Report on the topics of land use and food security.

Wu has earned outstanding reviews from students for her teaching, the quality of her lectures, her enthusiasm and her willingness to provide help. Wu has advised multiple doctoral and master’s students and supervised postdoctoral research fellows and research assistant professors. The graduates from her program have all gone on to successful careers in academia, industry, government and nonprofit organizations. Wu was selected to give the annual Robert F. Leader Lecture this year for the MSU Online Food Safety course for students across the United States.

For her excellent research, teaching and service to her profession and MSU, Felicia Wu is most deserving of the Michigan State University William J. Beal Outstanding Faculty Award.

Read more of this story and learn about the other 2020 award winners at: https://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2020/beal-awards/.