N.C. A&T Grad Student to Present Research at State Capitol as part of Graduate Education Week

05/23/2022 College of Science and Technology, Applied Engineering Technology, The Graduate College

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (May 23, 2022) – “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is an old adage many people grew up hearing. But Richmond Djorgbenoo, a doctoral candidate at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, is researching the truth in the old wives’ tale.

Djorgbenoo, a Ph.D. candidate in applied science and technology with a concentration in applied chemistry, has been researching whether flavonoids in apples can help prevent some chronic diseases. He will present his research to legislators at the state capitol during this week’s celebration of Graduate Education Week as well as at UNC’s Three-Minute Thesis event.

Graduate Education Week is an effort by N.C. Council of Graduate Schools to bring awareness to matters of common interest relating to graduate study and research, articulating the needs of graduate education, and influencing public opinion for the improvement and advancement of graduate education.

Djorgbenoo competed in North Carolina A&T’s Three-Minute Thesis competition and won, allowing him and his faculty researcher adviser Shengmin Sang, Ph.D., to be invited to present their research to legislators Tuesday, May 24.

As part of Graduate Education Week, UNC Chapel Hill Graduate School – in partnership with N.C. Council of Graduate Schools – is hosting its second annual Tar Heel Three-Minute Thesis competition Wednesday, May 25. Djorgbenoo and other graduate students from public and private universities from across the state have three minutes to distill their research for members of a lay audience.

Processed foods are a major source of reactive carbonyl species, a dangerous chemical that can react and modify a person’s biomolecules like proteins, amino acids, DNA and lipids. These biomolecule modifications can lead to serious diseases such as cancers diabetes, and kidney disease.

A flavonoid in apples known as Phloretin offers protection to the body’s cells by shielding biomolecules from the attack of the dangerous chemicals in processed food. Djorgbenoo’s research has found that the apple flavonoid entraps 4-HNE, a major biomarker of lipid peroxidation that has been implicated in a number of diseases like cancers, obesity and diabetes.

Djorgbenoo’s research leads him to believe that an apple a day along with other healthful food and exercise choices, can, indeed, keep the doctor away.


Media Contact Information: jmhowse@ncat.edu