Dr. Jay-lin Topel and Dr. David Topel
Jay-lin Jane-Topel was born in Taipei, Taiwan in 1951 to Tong-Hsiang Cheng and Chih-Fei Chen-Cheng. Her father was a colonel in the National Chinese Army during WWII and the family fled from the Peoples Republic of China to Taiwan in 1949. She attended the National Chung-Hsing University in Taichung, Taiwan, and received her bachelor’s degree in Food Science and Technology. She then attended Texas Woman’s University, Denton, TX, receiving her MS degree in Chemistry under Professor James Johnson, and then on to Iowa State University for a PhD in Biochemistry focusing on carbohydrates. She studied under the internationally known carbohydrate pioneer Professor Dexter French and upon his untimely death finished under Professor John Robyt. She joined Iowa State University in 1987 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, and later was promoted through the ranks ultimately achieving a Distinguished Professor. She became a key partner in the starch and biomaterials programs of the Center for Crops Utilization Research and her early leadership in starch-based plastics and soy-protein-based polymers provided the underpinnings for acquiring National Science Foundation funding to establish an Industry and University Cooperative Research Center, the Center for Bioplastics and Biocomposits. She devoted her efforts and life to conducting research on structures, properties, and applications of starch and on the application of protein as a biopolymer, and teaching/mentoring more than a hundred graduate students, Post-doctoral Fellows, and Visiting Scientists. She taught courses in food chemistry and food carbohydrates that were regarded as rigorous.
Dr. David G Topel, Professor Emeritus of Animal Science at Iowa State University. He received his Doctor of Philosophy, Michigan State University: 1965; Master of Science, Kansas State University: 1962; Bachelor of Science, University of Wisconsin: 1960. David has served in various different capacities with the university – his time as a faculty member was spent serving Iowa State as much as he spent within the classroom. He served on the Iowa State University Alumni Association board of directors, the Academic Council, the Committee for Agricultural Development, the Council of Deans, the President’s Council, the selection committee for both the athletic director and the vice provost for extension, the University Student Services Committee, and the Governor of Iowa Science Advisory Council, where he represented Iowa State.