Noted food scientist selected for FSU’s highest faculty honor

Shridhar K. Sathe
Shridhar K. Sathe, the 2013-2014 Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor

Shridhar K. Sathe, a food scientist in the Florida State University College of Human Sciences, has been named the 2013-2014 Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor, the highest honor the university faculty bestows on one of its own.

Sathe will be recognized during the university’s spring commencement ceremony at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 3, at the Tallahassee-Leon County Civic Center, 505 W. Pensacola St.

“Dr. Sathe has spent his career identifying the components in beans and tree nuts that cause allergic reactions,” said President Eric J. Barron. “His research is innovative, useful and internationally recognized, and I am extremely pleased that he has been selected as this year’s Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor.”

“Dr. Sathe’s research has improved the public good by furthering our understanding of food safety issues and as a result has made Florida State prominent in the world of food science,” said Billie J. Collier, dean of the college.

Sathe, who joined the Florida State faculty in 1988, was named Florida State’s D.K. Salunkhe Professsor of Food Science in 2001 and a Distinguished Research Professor in 2006.

“This peer recognition is an honor and is a very humbling experience,” Sathe said. “I want to thank my students, collaborators, colleagues, friends and family members for their support. I hope to continue to contribute to human progress, health and well-being.”

A leading researcher in food biochemistry, Sathe has spent his career studying the molecular properties and workings of food proteins — particularly those of legumes and edible tree nut seeds. In fact, the methods Sathe developed to isolate, purify and characterize the properties of edible seed proteins are used by researchers around the world.

As a result of this research, Sathe has written or co-written more than 130 refereed articles, 157 refereed abstracts and 26 book chapters, and co-edited two books. According to the Institute of Scientific Information, his work has been cited more than 3,300 times by other researchers, making him one of the world’s most-cited researchers in the field of agricultural sciences. A frequently sought after reviewer for peer research by numerous journals and funding agencies, he also serves on the editorial boards of eight international journals.

His international acclaim includes his election as fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists and the World Innovation Foundation.

In addition to being a researcher, Sathe is a teacher who students frequently rate as “excellent” on evaluations because of his concern for their learning and his ability to motivate them to perform at their best. He also is a mentor, having served as a major professor to eight doctoral students and 21 master’s students, and as an honors adviser to four undergraduate students. In recognition of his deft teaching and mentorship of students, the university honored Sathe with the Undergraduate Teaching Award in 1997 and 2009, a Teaching Incentive Program Award in 1998 and the Distinguished Teaching Award in 2003. He also received a University Advising Award in 2004.

Sathe holds three degrees from India’s University of Bombay — a Bachelor of Science with honors in chemistry, 1971; a Bachelor of Science with honors in food technology, 1974; and a Master of Science in food technology, 1977. He earned his doctorate in nutrition and food science from Utah State University in 1982. He worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Arizona in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science from July 1981 to December 1985, and at Purdue University in the Department of Foods and Nutrition from January 1986 to December 1987 and in the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology from January to April 1988.

The Lawton Distinguished Professor Award was first presented in 1957. The award was known as the Distinguished Professor Award until 1981 when it was re-named in honor of the late Vice President for Academic Affairs Robert O. Lawton. At that time past recipients also were designated Lawton Distinguished Professors. To view a list of all Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professors, visit