Dr. Usha Thiyam-Holländer passed away on December 24, 2020 after a brief struggle with cancer.
Usha Thiyam-Hollander completed her PhD at the University of Kiel in Germany and then did a post-doc at the prestigious Fraunhofer Institute of Process Engineering and Packaging, Freising from 2005-2007. Her area of research concentrated on rapeseed phenolics and protein. Usha joined the Department of Human Nutritional Sciences as Assistant Professor in 2007 with her office and laboratory at the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, University of Manitoba. She continued her work on plant-based functional foods including canola, hemp and mustard. Usha was particularly interested in biorefining using environmentally friendly processes for producing functional ingredients. She has published extensively in this area including a book on canola and rapeseed in 2012 published jointly by AOCS Press and CRC Press. Usha held patents in the field of lipid oxidation, processing and minor components of canola and other oilseeds as well as a provisional patent on canolol production. Her research program was very active with a number of students successfully graduating. At the time of her death, there were four students under her supervision. Usha taught a variety of course in foods and nutrition including food quality evaluation, lipid chemistry and seminar.
Usha was well recognized by her professional commitment to the American oil Chemists’ Society where she served in a number of leadership positions in the Lipid Oxidation and Quality (LOQ) Division. At the time of her death she was Vice Chair of the Processing Division. The news of her death was received with great sadness by AOCS who set up a special website to memorialize her. She established many important professional relationships with colleagues around the world, many of whom will be contributing to a book on canolol that she was planning prior to her death. Usha worked very closely with Dr. Michael Eskin during her short tenure at the University of Manitoba and he and her colleagues are deeply saddened by her passing. Above all, she was a devoted wife and mother to her two young children, Klara and Maximillian.