Em. Prof. Dr. Fernand Lambein
Em. Prof. Dr. Fernand Lambein is responsible for all Lathyrus related projects within IPBO.
Em. Prof. Dr. Ir. Fernand Lambein obtained undergraduate training at the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences in Ghent where he received a degree of engineer in chemistry and agricultural industries in 1963.
After an assistantship in the Faculty of Medicine he obtained a Ph. D. in Biochemistry at the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences and a M. Sc. in Molecular Biology at the Faculty of Sciences in Ghent in 1969. After spending two years as Research Associate at the Plant Research Laboratory (MSU-DOE) in Michigan State University he returned to the Faculty of Medicine where he continued research on non-protein amino acids from plant origin, later focussing on the toxic amino acids in the genus Lathyrus and the crippling disease neurolathyrism.
He coordinated international collaborations with Bangladesh, Canada, Ethiopia and India on Lathyrus and lathyrism. Unusual amino acids found in Lathyrus species during his Ph D research were later found to be precursors of the Lathyrus toxins. Improving the nutritional quality of the drought and salt tolerant Lathyrus sativus (grass pea), a basic food for millions in drought prone areas in Africa and Asia, will now be tried with biotechnological means.