CORVALLIS - Oregon State University will honor two of its top faculty members with the title of distinguished professor - the highest award the university presents to faculty.

James W. Ayres, a professor of pharmacy, and Ronald E. Wrolstad, a professor of food science and technology, will carry the title of distinguished professor the rest of their OSU careers. They will be honored at a campus reception from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 24, in the CH2M-HILL Alumni Center.

Ayres is recognized as one of the leading authorities on the creation of new drug delivery systems and dosage forms. The holder of 14 U.S. and international patents, Ayres has been involved in new technologies that have brought more than $6.6 million to the university in technology transfer licensing during the past 20 years. He also has attracted nearly $1.6 million in grant funding.

The OSU professor is particularly well known for two achievements. He and colleague William Sandine developed new techniques to preserve processed cheeses that have become an industry standard in the U.S. And Ayres developed a chewable, time-release dosa ge form of acetaminophen, a technique that may be applied to other medicines.

Ayres' greatest passion, however, is the mentoring of students. He has worked with dozens of graduate and post-doctoral students who since have become program leaders throughout the world. Ayres, 58, has been on the faculty in the OSU College of Pharmacy since 1970.

Wrolstad also is recognized as a leading international authority, specializing in the composition of fruit juice and other fruit products. He frequently is called upon to provide information in legal cases relating to the authenticity of fruit juice.

In 1982, Wrolstad recruited key technical personnel from major fruit juice manufacturers to form an industry-university consortium focusing on fruit juice quality. The consortium, which still meets twice yearly, helps identify critical research needs and shares information from past research.

His own research has attracted more than $1.6 million to the university, supporting six visiting scientists, 21 master's students, and 16 doctoral students. One of his most recent areas of study focuses on anthocyanins and polyphenols in small fruits - c ompounds that are the main constituents of natural oxidants that recently have been discovered to have health benefits including the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Wrolstad also studies coloring in fruit juices and other products, particularly those that are "natural."

Wrolstad, 61, has been on the OSU faculty in the College of Agricultural Sciences since 1965.


Tim White, 541-737-2111

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