2020: Zhaoping Li, MD, PhD
Dr. Zhaoping Li is the 12th recipient of the ASN McCormick Science Institute Research Award. She is a Professor of Medicine, Lynda and Steward Resnick Endowed Chair in Human Nutrition at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She currently serves as the Director of Center for Human Nutrition and Chief of Division of Clinical Nutrition at UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center. Zhaoping Li has published more than 190 research and viewpoint papers on various academic journals. Her botanical, basic, and clinical research on spices led to key insights on the effects of culinary doses of spices on the microbiome, vascular health, and oxidant stress. In 2010, Dr. Li was first author of a paper published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition entitled "Antioxidant-rich spice added to hamburger meat during cooking results in reduced meat, plasma, and urine malondialdehyde concentrations". In this study, spices reduced lipid peroxidation by 70% and then reduced urinary mallondialdehyde by 50% compared to ingestion of a cooked hamburger without added spices. In 2013, Dr. Li was first author of a study demonstrating the effects of a spice mix on endothelial function using Peripheral Arterial Tonometry and measurement of nitric oxide in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus who had endothelial dysfunction. This was followed by a study of black pepper and turmeric on lipid peroxidation of meat during cooking. Having developed expertise in studies of botanicals on the microbiome, Dr. Li established the prebiotic potential of culinary spices and was senior author of a study on the chemical composition and prebiotic effects of seven culinary spice extracts on both beneficial and harmful species of bacteria in vitro. Then in 2019, Dr. Li was the senior author of a clinical study demonstrating prebiotic effects of mixed culinary spices in healthy adults.