Speakers

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John Hayes, PhD
Dr. John Hayes earned a MS in Food Science from Cornell University with Harry Lawless and a PhD in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Connecticut with Valerie Duffy before completing a National Institutes of Health funed fellowship in behavioral genetics and alcohol addiction at the Brown University. At Penn State, he runs a multifaceted research program that applies sensory science to a diverse range of problems, including work on chemosensation, genetics and ingestive behavior, as well as the optimization of oral and non-oral drug delivery systems. John has received multiple international awards, including the Food Quality and Preference Research of the Future Award from Elsevier, the Barry Jacobs Award for human psychophysics of taste and smell, and Ajinomoto Award for an outstanding junior scientist in the field of gustation, both from the Association of Chemoreception Sciences (AChemS), and the Rose Marie Pangborn Sensory Science Scholarship. John has authored 90+ peer-reviewed articles and invited book chapters, and his work has been featured on NPR All Things Considered and Morning Edition, CNN.com, The Huffington Post, in the Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, The Guardian (UK), Popular Science, and Vogue, as well as other media outlets. He is a Section Editor for the journal Physiology & Behavior, and was a chair of the 2017 Pangborn Sensory Science Symposium in Providence RI.
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Alyssa Bakke, PhD
Dr. Alyssa Bakke earned her PhD at the University of Minnesota with Dr. Zata Vickers, where she researched consumer acceptability of whole wheat bread and its relation to taste phenotypes. She spent 7 years working as a senior sensory scientist in the research and development department at Land O’Lakes, a member-owned cooperative in MN, whose dairy products are nationally distributed. In 2014, Alyssa returned to academia as a staff sensory scientist in the Department of Food Science at Penn State. She continues to research dairy products, lead descriptive analysis panels, and provide technical and instructional guidance for the Penn State Sensory Evaluation Center and the Food Science Department.
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Helene Hopfer, PhD
Dr. Helene Hopfer is an Assistant Professor in Food Science. She holds a MS in Polymer Science, and a PhD in Chemistry from the Technical University Graz in Austria. For her postdoc she worked with Hildegarde Heymann at UC Davis on descriptive analysis and wine sensory and consumer science. Her research combines Sensory Science and Flavor Chemistry to further our understanding of mixture effects, quality perception, and how to incorporate sensory science into the breeding process. Dr. Hopfer has authored over 30 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on sensory science, flavor chemistry, and trace analysis. She serves as an Associate Editor for the American Journal of Enology & Viticulture.
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Allison Brown
Allison Brown is a PhD student studying a dual-title degree in Food Science and International Agriculture and Development. She earned a BS in Food Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and received an Accelerated Culinary Arts Certificate from the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. After working in the wine industry, she switched her focus to cocoa and chocolate and earned her MS in Food Technology at Wageningen University in The Netherlands where she studied the physical properties of chocolate. Allison spent 1.5 years at Ghent University in Belgium, researching cacao fermentation and sugar replacement in chocolate. With her PhD research, she continues to study chocolate, using sensory science and flavor chemistry to understand the impact of different Theobroma cacao cultivars on chocolate flavor.
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Jessica May
Jessica May is the Account Manager for the Client Success team at Compusense. She joined Compusense in June 2013 soon after earning her B.Comm. from the University of Guelph. She provides one-on-one client support to Compusense Cloud clients and conducts software trainings for new and existing clients. Jessica’s endless energy is evident from her active hobbies, including track & field, soccer and participating in demolition derbies.
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