CORVALLIS - Oregon State University's Food Toxicology and Nutrition Laboratory has been renamed the Sinnhuber Aquatic Research Laboratory to honor former OSU researcher Russell O. Sinnhuber.
The laboratory is located one mile east of Corvallis along Highway 34.
Sinnhuber retired from OSU as emeritus professor of food science and technology in 1981. He died last July at the age of 86.
While at OSU, Sinnhuber became internationally known for his research contributions in advancing the biomedical field, publishing more than 100 research papers in the areas of food science and toxicology.
From his research in the 1960s, Sinnhuber determined that a potent chemical carcinogen, aflatoxin, found in moldy cottonseed meal, caused liver cancer in hatchery-reared rainbow trout, in levels as low as 1 part per billion. He recognized that the trout's extreme sensitivity to aflatoxin made it an excellent model for cancer research.
In 1965, he established the OSU Food Nutrition and Toxicology Laboratory. The Sinnhuber Aquatic Research Laboratory remains the only trout hatchery in the world devoted to cancer research. Recently, the laboratory has added a zebrafish facility to conduct biomedical research on many diseases including cancer, fetal alcohol syndrome and nicotine addiction. The laboratory is funded through grants from the National Institutes of Health and operated by the Marine and Freshwater Biomedical Sciences and the Environmental Health Sciences Centers at OSU.
Sinnhuber also developed a method to measure the levels of aflatoxin in human foods as well as animal foods that is still widely used today.
In 1966, he received the United States Department of the Interior Conservation Service Award for his work with Duncan Law at the OSU Seafood Laboratory in Astoria in developing the Oregon Moist Pellet that still provides the major source of fish hatchery food.
Sinnhuber received his bachelor's degree in organic chemistry in 1939 from Michigan State College, now Michigan State University. He received his master's degree from Oregon State in 1941.
After retirement, he spent much of his time at his home on Yaquina Bay, near Toledo, as a commercial fisherman and oyster farmer.