33rd Leonard A. Ford Lectureship

Monday, September 18, 2023
7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Centennial Student Union, Ostrander Auditorium

Join us for the 33rd Annual Leonard A. Ford Lectureship for a special presentation, "Translating classroom science education to real world solutions: The heavy metal example" given by Dr. Adeyemi Adeleye.

Dr. Adeyemi Adeleye is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Irvine. He earned his PhD from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2015. In 2016, Dr. Adeleye was awarded a National Research Council Research Associateship by the National Academies, with which he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the US Environmental Protection Agency’s research laboratory in Narragansett, Rhode Island. He is a member of the C&EN’s Talented 12 Class of 2022, and was awarded the 2022 Sustainable Nanotechnology Organization (SNO)’s Emerging Investigator Award. Dr. Adeleye is interested in using engineered nanoparticles to address environmental challenges.

Abstract: Contamination of water and soil with heavy metals is an important problem in several parts of the world. The problem may result from natural occurrence of the heavy metals at elevated concentration in the geological formation/soil, or from anthropogenic activities. Heavy metal contamination has implications on human and environmental health, food safety, and social development of children. A recent survey found a high frequency of occurrence of elevated heavy metals in baby food purchased from stores in the United States (US), which has led to the establishment of the “Closer to Zero” initiative by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The initiative seeks to finally decrease the occurrence of heavy metals in food to zero. In this talk, I will describe how we ended up with heavy metals in our food in the US despite our high level of development and regulations. More importantly, I will share ideas on how our research group is actively conducting research and training students to help address the problem of heavy metals occurrence in food. The talk will also showcase areas in which students can apply their education to help the FDA achieve this lofty goal.


Christine Cords