It is with a heavy heart that the OSU Seafood Lab announced the sudden passing of one of its own, Yi-Cheng Su on Dec. 3. Su was about to turn 57 and was at the peak of his professional career. Su received his Ph.D. in Food Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1994. During his Ph.D. study, he identified, purified and characterized a new staphylococcal enterotoxin and developed an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for its detection. TheStaphylococcus aureus enterotoxin H and methods of use was granted U.S. Patent No. 5,601,830 in 1996.
Professor Su spent the past 16 years dedicated to improving the safety of seafood. Noted accomplishments and service to the seafood industry include validation of a Vibrio parahaemolyticusreduction step in raw oysters through the use of high pressure technology and validation of the safety of thawing practices in the production and processing of canned tuna. Su’s expertise in the safety of oysters was culminated in his book entitled “Pathogenic Vibrios and Food Safety”. Su also served the seafood industry by conducting bi-annual trainings in Seafood HACCP in collaboration with the Oregon Department of Agriculture. He was an author for 12 book chapters and over 50 peer reviewed publications. His service to his profession included participating on the editorial boards of the Journal of Aquatic Food Product Technology, Journal of Food Protection and Journal of Food Safety. He served his academic department, Food Science & Technology, by participating on its graduate committee. Su was loved and respected by the graduate students at the Seafood lab. Over the course of his time here he advised 15 graduate students and served on numerous others committees.
Dr. Su was a leader for the professional societies that he participated in and served as the President of the Chinese American Food Society and he received their Distinguished Service Award. His international service included invitations to guest lecture several times a year in both China and Taiwan. He also has served on the leadership team for the Institute of Food Technologists Aquatic Food Products Division where he also served as Chair and was recognized with their Outstanding Service Award. Su served on the Seafood HACCP Steering Committee and, finally, Dr. Su was a dedicated leader on the executive committee for the Pacific Fisheries Technologists where he has held the title “holder of the checkbook” for the past ten years.
Su will be fondly remembered by his colleagues and students as a gentle and kind man who would sometimes surprise you with his understated determination. He handled obstacles and difficulties with grace and aplomb and could always be counted on for his fair-minded council. Su was a gentleman in every sense of the word and he will be missed.
He is survived by his wife, Shu-Juan Lin, their son Cullen and daughter Vickie, and his parents Wan-Tiaw Su and Shu-Hui Tung and brother Yi-Hsin Su and sister Li-Fen Su who live in Taiwan.
Services were held Saturday, Dec. 10, at Evergreen Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Vancouver, Wash.