Newswise — Feb. 4, 2013 — Dr. Lance Price, an Associate Professor at the Translational Genomic Research Institute (TGen), has been appointed to the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF).
Dr. Price also is Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health at the School of Public Health and Health Services (SPHHS) at George Washington (GW) University.
As a member of the NACMCF, Dr. Price will counsel President Obama’s Cabinet — the Secretaries of Agriculture and of Health and Human Services — on food-safety issues. Specifically, the 30-member panel assesses the microorganisms that indicate whether foods have been properly processed.
“This appointment is a tremendous opportunity for the work that we've been conducting at TGen and GW to be translated into a safer food supply for the American public,” Dr. Price said.
Dr. Price is Director of the Center for Food Microbiology and Environmental Health at TGen’s Pathogen Genomics Division, also known as TGen North, in Flagstaff, Ariz. There, Dr. Price and his team are helping pioneer a technique called "genomic epidemiology" to study new and emerging foodborne pathogens.
Dr. Price's group uses the genetic code of foodborne bacteria and human bacterial infections to measure how often these bacteria make us sick. His team is currently studying a special kind of E. coli found on poultry products that may be causing antibiotic-resistant urinary tract infections, particularly in women.
Dr. Paul Keim, Director of TGen North and the Cowden Endowed Chair of Microbiology at Northern Arizona University (NAU), praised the selection of Dr. Price.
“Lance is one of the leading scientists in his field. This appointment is not only an honor for him, but also will add to the quality of information and knowledge available to the NACMCF, and thereby brace the government’s ability to help protect public health,” said Dr. Keim, a world-renowned expert in anthrax and other infectious diseases who also is Director of NAU’s Microbial Genetics & Genomics Center, a program that works with numerous government agencies to help thwart bioterrorism and the spread of pathogen-caused diseases.
The NACMCF is chartered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS).
NACMCF members are scientists from academia, industry, other organizations, and federal and state government, as well as one individual affiliated with a consumer group. They are appointed by the USDA Secretary in consultation with the Secretary of HHS, and with advice from the Department of Commerce's National Marine Fisheries Service, the Department of Defense's Defense Logistics Agency, and the Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Dr. Price is joined on the NACMCF with SPHHS doctoral student Susan Grooters, who also is a research and policy associate for the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
NACMCF was established in 1988 to formulate positions on the development of microbiological criteria, the review and evaluation of epidemiological and risk assessment data, and methodologies for assessing microbiological hazards in foods. The committee's work assists the CDC and the Departments of Commerce and Defense. The committee is the outcome of a 1985 report of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Food Protection, Subcommittee on Microbiological Criteria.
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The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix, Arizona-based non-profit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life changing results. Research at TGen is focused on helping patients with diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders and diabetes. TGen is on the cutting edge of translational research where investigators are able to unravel the genetic components of common and complex diseases. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities, TGen believes it can make a substantial contribution to the efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. For more information, visit www.tgen.org.
About the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services
Established in July 1997, the School of Public Health and Health Services brought together three longstanding university programs in the schools of medicine, business, and education and is now the only school of public health in the nation’s capital. Today, more than 1,100 students from nearly every U.S. state and more than 40 nations pursue undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral-level degrees in public health. http://sphhs.gwu.edu/