Two university students received awards in the 10th annual Alltech Young Scientist (AYS) program, the largest global contest of its kind that rewards scientific genius and experimental application in agriscience. Students were challenged to submit research studies that demonstrate a keen awareness of science and its applications for improving the future of the world, specifically through agriculture.
Dr. Aoife Lyons, director of educational initiatives at Alltech, and Dr. Inge Russell, director of the AYS program, presented the awards during the Alltech REBELation, an international conference exploring innovation, inspiration and world-changing ideas. Nearly 9,000 students from 62 countries had registered for the AYS this year.
Xiaoqiu (Churchill) Wang, who attends Texas A&M University in College Station, TX, is the graduate winner. The goal of his AYS research was to solve what he called “the long-time ignored and mysterious role of high levels of fructose during pregnancy.”


The undergraduate winner is Rafal Bialek, a student at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland. His topic was using photosynthesis to make solar cells. He developed a method for attaching proteins extracted from purple bacteria to titanium dioxide, a widely used compound.
A panel of agriculture industry leaders selected eight finalists from an initial field of nearly 9,000 registrants from 62 countries. Alltech also recognized 46 regional and local award winners. Another presentation at REBELation was the Alltech Humanitarian Award that went to John Calipari, University of Kentucky head basketball coach.