DUNLAP, IL, June 26, 2019 — Marquis Who's Who, the world's premier publisher of biographical profiles, is proud to present David Joseph Sessa with the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. An accomplished listee, Mr. Sessa celebrates many years' experience in his professional network, and has been noted for achievements, leadership qualities, and the credentials and successes he has accrued in his field. As in all Marquis Who's Who biographical volumes, individuals profiled are selected on the basis of current reference value. Factors such as position, noteworthy accomplishments, visibility, and prominence in a field are all taken into account during the selection process.
A career in chemistry interested Mr. Sessa at an early age. Initially sparked during his high school enrollment at Newark Academy in New Jersey, where he excelled in his math and science classes. Prior to embarking on his professional path, he pursued a formal education at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, earning a Bachelor of Sciences in chemistry in 1959. Following his graduation, he enlisted and served with the United States Army Chemical Corps from 1959 to 1962. He was stationed at Fort Detrick, Frederick, Maryland, with the Biological Protection Branch, where he thrived as a technician in the lab and discovered a compound that would kill bacteria and viruses. After completing his service in the Army, Mr. Sessa returned to academia, completing postgraduate coursework at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater between 1962 and 1963 and took courses at Bradley University in in Peoria, Illinois, between 1965 and 1969, and short courses on topics related to his research at various academic institutions.
Mr. Sessa accrued 51 years of government service working as a research chemist at the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture in Peoria, IL since 1968. Prior to his research position while at the ARS he served as an associate chemist from 1963 to 1968. In addition to his tenure, Mr. Sessa spent time as an organizing committee officer at the World Congress on Vegetable Protein Utilization in Human Foods and Animal Feedstuffs in Singapore in 1988.
Over the course of his long career, Mr. Sessa made many notable achievements. Mr. Sessa isolated and identified the compounds in soy beans that caused flatulence. As a result of his research, Beano was produced. Additionally, Mr. Sessa was the first to isolate, purify and characterize soy peroxidase, an enzyme that is utilized in baking. This finding was basic to the founding of Enzymol International in Ohio. Mr. Sessa's most notable achievement was his research on the isolation and identification of oxidized phospholipids from soybeans for which he was recognized both nationally and internationally. These phospholipids caused bitter taste in soy beans. He wrote a chapter entitled “Role of phospholipids in flavor problems” for the book “Lecithins: Sources, Manufacture & Uses” edited by B.F. Szuhaj and G. R. List, published by the American Oil Chemists' Society in 1985. Likewise, Mr. Sessa did considerable research on soybean protease inhibitors. From that research, he received an invitation to present his work at a World Conference in Germany.
Mr. Sessa's research in aquaculture, also known as fish framing, have attracted worldwide attention. Together with Chhorn Lim, a renowned nutrition scientist and authority on aquaculture, he co-edited the book “Nutrition and Utilization Technology in Aquaculture” published by the American Oil Chemists' Society. This book was a number one best seller for the aquaculture industry both in the USA and abroad as a teaching tool at universities and by the aquaculture industries.
In addition to Mr. Sessa's research on soy proteins and lipids, he researched corn proteins. He isolated and identified the off-flavor of corn protein. He received a monetary research grant from the Illinois Corn Marketing Board in Bloomington to design and construct pilot plant equipment to deodorize and decolorize corn co-products for the ethanol industry. His findings contributed to the construction of an ethanol (from corn) facility stationed in Illinois. Zein, a protein from corn, has many potential uses in the medical, pharmaceutical, cosmetic industries as well as gluten-free baking and chewing gum industries. Its use is limited by its yellow color and off-taste. Mr. Sessa devised an efficient purification process using zeolites, which are porous, clay-based particles, that entrap the low molecular weight color and color causing components. This research resulted in a US Patent 7,939,633 issued May 10, 2011.
Over Mr. Sessa's research career, he contributed 93 peer-reviewed articles to professional journals as an author or co-author. He holds a patent and has edited two books. In light of his exceptional undertakings, Mr. Sessa has received many honors and accolades. Presented with Outstanding Presentation Award by the American Oil Chemists' Society, he was honored with two citations in 1984 and 1986 as well. He was also given a Certificate of Appreciation Award for his commercial support of civil rights activities and efforts in the community outreach program by the United States Department of Agriculture. Moreover, Mr. Sessa was selected for inclusion in the 13th through 15th editions of American Men and Women in Science, as well as in the 22nd edition of Who's Who in the Midwest. Over his career, the lab received $750,000 from cooperative research agreements with industries interested in particular facets of his research.
Throughout his research career, Mr. Sessa remained aware of trends in his field through affiliations with numerous related organizations. He gave presentations of his research at the American Oil Chemists' Society, Institute of Food Technologists, American Chemical Society, and Cereal Chemists. Active with the American Oil Chemists' Society, he contributed to the organization as the vice chairman and the program chairman of the Protein & Co-products group from 1983 to 1984, the chairman from 1984 to 1986, chairman of the nominations committee from 1987 to 1988, and section officer since 1983. Civically, he served as the vice chairman of Kiwanis International from 1975 to 1976.
Mr. Sessa's legacy in the scientific arena is that he is known for the unique resolution of problems and processing techniques involving both soy and corn, several findings of which have resulted in commercial ventures. He wishes to acknowledge the superlative support of his wife, Virginia Lee, in all his successful scientific endeavors for the past 33 years.
In recognition of outstanding contributions to his profession and the Marquis Who's Who community, Mr. Sessa has been featured on the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement website. Please visit www.ltachievers.com for more information about this honor.
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