Jason Mueller, 23, is taking food science to new levels at Purdue University, West Lafayette.
Mueller, the son of Jeff and Amanda Mueller, of Valparaiso, and a 2006 graduate of Morgan Township High School, earned a bachelor's in food science at Purdue and is pursuing a master's degree in food science with specialty in food chemistry.
He is on fellowship in the Department of Food Science, working on a research project focusing on Asian carp.
"Asian carp are sensitive to vibration and jump out of the water when alarmed by passing boats," said Mueller. "They are hazardous to boaters and depleting natural resources of the water they inhabit. They have a lot of potential of ruining the environment."
Mueller's thesis project with faculty member Andrea Liceaga in the Department of Food Science focuses on engineering a food ingredient from the Asian carp's muscles.
"By using enzymes to manipulate proteins and make them do new things," he said. "We're taking proven research to move forward, and the results are promising. People all over the state are looking at this project."
Mueller has served two summer internships, first in Minneapolis at General Mills in research and development, and then at Diageo PLC in Plainfield, Ill.
He is teaching and tutoring food-science-related subjects and biological sciences. He is a member of Institute of Food Technologists and active with the chapter on Purdue's campus.
He will complete the master's program in 2012 and is considering pursuit of a doctorate in chemistry or biochemistry.
To nominate someone for this feature, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org