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John Bland
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Dr. John M. Bland is a Research Chemist with the Food Processing and Sensory Quality research unit at SRRC (USDA, ARS), with research emphasis on improving catfish product quality.  Projects are aimed at the determination and evaluation of chemical components of catfish fillets related to flavor, texture, and color and their association with intensive aeration production systems and stress factors related to pond management practices and environmental factors.  To complete this research, multiple instrumental methods are devised and improved using LC-MS, GC-MS, TD-NMR, ASE, nitrogen analyzers, and others.  He received a B.S. in Chemistry from North Carolina State University and a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of Georgia with studies directed toward the synthesis of conformationally constrained cyclopropyl amino acids. Postdoctoral studies at the University of California San Diego focused on the synthesis of aspartame sweetener analogs. He has worked at the USDA, ARS, SRRC on a number of projects directed toward the synthesis and structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies of peptides, such as the transit peptide of RuBisCO, the herbicide, tentoxin, the antifungal peptide, iturin, savory taste enhancing peptides, and several antifungal peptides. He has also studied molecular imprinted plastics for the detection of environmental chemicals. He has isolated and identified a new antifungal saponin from cayenne peppers and a peanut protein associated with sensory quality and peanut allergenic properties.  Further research was involved with the isolation and identification of Coptotermes formosanus termite pheromones and other behavior-modifying chemicals.