Ada, Michigan — Amway employs a crew of scientists, engineers and technical professionals who work on the company’s next great products. While efforts behind some segments of research are kept secret for competitive purposes, others warrant a different approach: Sharing.
Inside the laboratories at Amway’s Global Headquarters in Ada, Michigan, Amway scientists find their accomplishments can help move science forward by publishing in peer-reviewed trade journals.
The team has between five and ten articles published by a variety of respected journals per year. Articles vary in topic from new findings regarding Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) plants, bone health and carbohydrates – a specific focus of scientist Xun Yan.
Yan has worked as a principal scientist at Amway for 10 years and finds a great amount of worth in contributing to our drive for global scientific excellence.
“Carbohydrates is a very complex topic that our team pays specific attention to,” Yan said. “With growing regulations, there is a lot of interest in industrial research. Keeping active in this area is very important to our team, because (publications) make our work more visible and impactful.”
Getting published is a multi-step process, principal scientist Arun Rajgopal explained, but his focus never wavers from what’s best for Amway ABOs.
“We do a lot of discovery work here to look for new products both in beauty and nutrition,” Rajgopal said. “When we do the discovery work and find data or make observations that have not been seen before, that’s when we start thinking about the process for publication.”
“It’s a great proof-point for our ABOs. To be able to show, yes, this product is built on (credible) science – that’s why we participate in these publications. “
Getting published can take nearly as long as the actual research, according to Mark Proefke, department manager of analytical sciences.
“Getting an article published is not something that’s easy to do,” Proefke said. “It requires a fair amount of effort to complete, but when it is done it’s something our scientists are very proud of and something Amway is very proud of too.”
Senior research scientist Molly Hood appreciates the amount of time the company provides for completing the publication process.
“For me it’s usually a very collaborative process,” Hood said. “I like to pull in other colleagues to look articles over and give me their thoughts. A lot of times we have other scientists in our group that do different experiments that contribute to the paper as well, because they’ll have different expertise to add.”
When the publication finally happens, it’s a short celebration for all the hard work the team has put in, Hood said.
“If you can get into some of the top journals you feel like a rock star, you’ve hit your high point,” Hood said. “Those journals are usually sited by a lot of other scientists and that means your work is of high quality, has moved the ball and is meaningful.”