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USDA Scientist Wins Research Award / April 13, 2001 / News from the USDA Agricultural Research Service

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USDA Scientist Wins Research Award

By Jim Core
April 13, 2001

WYNDMOOR, Pa., Apr. 13— Steven J. Lehotay, a research chemist with the Eastern Regional Research Center here, has recently been named a 2000 recipient of the Early Career Research Scientist award by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the Department of Agriculture's chief scientific agency.

Lehotay, a lead scientist with ERRC's Food Safety Research Unit, was recognized for his achievements in the development of new analytical methods to determine chemical residues in foods. His development of rapid, effective, safe and inexpensive analytical methods for the multiclass, multiresidue analysis of pesticides in food and environmental matrices are being used in several laboratories. It is anticipated that his methods will eventually be used by many more labs that analyze pesticide residues.

"Dr. Lehotay has demonstrated sustained research productivity, significant scientific impact and leadership thus far in his career with ARS," said Floyd P. Horn, ARS administrator, "and he is poised to make significant accomplishments in the future."

Lehotay was honored Feb. 7 at the agency's Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center in Maryland. He and other award winners received a plaque, a cash award and additional research funding.

Currently, he is spearheading a team of scientists developing advanced technologies and techniques to analyze veterinary drug and pesticide residues on animal- and plant-derived food products.

The "early career" award is given to ARS scientists who have made outstanding scientific contributions while having been with the agency 7 years or less and completed their highest academic degree within the past 10 years. Lehotay is the winner for the agency's North Atlantic Area. The area includes research locations in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia.

Lehotay received his doctorate in chemistry in 1992 from the University of Florida, Gainesville. Among his many advisory functions, he is a member of the Editorial Board and the Methods Committee on Residues in AOAC International (formerly the Association of Official Analytical Chemists). He also serves on the Surveillance Advisory Team for USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service.

He joined ARS in 1992 as a postdoctoral research chemist at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center in Maryland. He has been a permanent member of ARS since 1997 and transferred to Wyndmoor in 1999.

Scientific contact: Steven J. Lehotay, lead scientist, Food Safety Research Unit, ARS Eastern Regional Research Center, Wyndmoor, Pa., phone, (215) 233-6433, fax, (215) 233-6642, slehotay@arserrc.gov.

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