Michael R. Taylor
Michael R. Taylor, J.D., was named Deputy Commissioner for Foods at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, on Jan. 13, 2010. He is the first individual to hold the position, which was created along with a new Office of Foods in August 2009 to elevate the leadership and management FDA’s Foods Program. Mr. Taylor is a nationally recognized food safety expert, having served in high-level positions at FDA and USDA, as a research professor in academia, and on several National Academy of Sciences expert committees.
As Deputy Commissioner for Foods, Taylor provides leadership and direction to all food programs in the Agency, including those managed by the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) and the Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), and the foods-related programs of FDA’s inspection and compliance arm, the Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA).
Mr. Taylor returned to FDA in July 2009 as Senior Advisor to the Commissioner. Before that, he served as Research Professor, School of Public Health and Health Services, The George Washington University. His research agenda focused on policy, resource and institutional issues that affect the success of public health agencies in carrying out their prevention-related missions. Mr. Taylor received his law degree from the University of Virginia and his B.A. degree in political science from Davidson College.
Professor Arie H. Havelaar PhD, MSc graduated in Chemical Engineering with specialisation Technical Microbiology (with honors) at the Delft University of Technology. He obtained his PhD at Utrecht University (Bacteriophages as virus models in water treatment) and also obtained an MSc in Epidemiology at the Netherlands Institute of Health Sciences (Erasmus University, Rotterdam).
Arie Havelaar is deputy head of the Laboratory for Zoonoses and Environmental Microbiology at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) in Bilthoven, the Netherlands. He is also professor of Microbial Risk Assessment at the Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences at the Veterinary Faculty of Utrecht University in the Netherlands.
Arie Havelaar’s research covers the broad field of public health aspects of pathogens in food and the environment, and the effectiveness of preventive measures. Currently, his attention is mainly focussed on development and application of microbiological risk assessment and assessment of the burden of foodborne illness. He is (co-) author of more than 120 scientific publications, several books and numerous scientific reports.
Arie Havelaar is director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Risk Assessment of Pathogens in Food and Water at RIVM. In this function, he also chairs the WHO Foodborne Epidemiology Reference Group. He is a member of the Panel on Biological Hazards of the European Food Safety Authority. His contributions to microbiology were honoured by election as Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, and he was awarded the German Rudolf Schülke Hygiene Preis.
Patricia Griffin received an MD degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; trained in internal medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania; in gastroenterology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston; in mucosal immunology at the University of Pennsylvania, and in epidemiology at CDC.
She is Chief of CDC’s Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch. This Branch conducts surveillance for enteric bacteria; tracks trends in these illnesses; makes estimates of the actual number of foodborne illnesses; does research on risk factors, and analyzes data on the relationship of illnesses to particular foods. In addition, CDC’s Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch programs include FoodNet, the Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System, national surveillance for bacterial enteric pathogens, and the human epidemiology arm of the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System.
Dr. Griffin has authored or co-authored over 175 journal articles, book chapters, and other publications. She also holds an adjunct appointment in the Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health.
Steen Ethelberg has a Ph.D. in biology and has worked on foodborne infections from an epidemiological perspective for the last 10 years. He is currently a senior researcher in zoonotic disease epidemiology and head of the outbreak investigation unit at Staten Serum Institut, which is the Danish National Institute for Infectious Diseases in Copenhagen. His research interests cover various aspects of foodborne or zoonotic diseases, including epidemiological studies of risk factors, burden of illness studies, outbreaks and geographical analyses of disease distribution.
Barbara Kowalcyk is co-founder and CEO of the Center for Foodborne Illness Research & Prevention (CFI). Kowalcyk has a strong analytical background. She has a master’s degree in applied statistics from the University of Pittsburgh. In 2011, she earned her Doctorate in Environmental Health with a focus in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the University of Cincinnati.
Kowalcyk spent 10 years in the pharmaceutical industry as a biostatistician conducting clinical research. In 2001, her focus shifted to food safety when her 2 ½ year old son died from complications due to an E. coli O157:H7 infection. Since 2001, Kowalcyk has served on numerous government committees and co-authored the 2010 National Academies of Science report, Enhancing Safe Food: The Role of the Food and Drug Administration. She has given numerous presentations about food safety, in particular the impact of foodborne diseases and the need to adopt stronger analytical measures in evaluating food systems and in foodborne illness surveillance efforts.
In addition to her work at CFI, Kowaclyk also has faculty appointments at both North Carolina State University, where she is an assistant research professor in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she is an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Epidemiology in the Gillings School of Public Health.
Mark S. Riddle, MD, DrPH
Mark S. Riddle, MD and DrPH, is a Commander in the Medical Corps of the United States Navy and is boarded in General Public Health & Preventive Medicine (Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland). Since completion of his medical residency and specialty training, he has worked in the areas of epidemiology, global surveillance, clinical trials and vaccine development research, primarily in the area of acute enteric infectious diseases, through assignments at the Naval Medical Research Center [NMRC] (2002 - 2003, 2006 – present) and at the Naval Medical Research Unit No. 3 in Cairo Egypt (2004 – 2006).
Dr. Riddle currently serves as the Deputy Head of and leads the clinical trial and epidemiological research activities in the Enteric Diseases Department of the NMRC, as well as directs two internally funded Department of Defense (DoD) Enteric Disease Epidemiology Research Programs. His responsibilities include the planning, execution, oversight and reporting of military research on diarrheal diseases prevention, and the direction of research activities related to enteric disease epidemiology among pediatric and adult populations out of multiple Navy and Army OCONUS laboratories.
In the area of foodborne infections, Dr. Riddle leads a research program in the utilization of DoD medical encounter data to develop acute infection and chronic sequelae disease risk and burden information, and is actively involved in prospective studies exploring the pathogen specific risk and pathogenesis of chronic illness associated with common travel related infections, as well as the economic and disability consequences of these infections and their sequelae from Department of Defense and travelers’ perspectives.
Robert Scharff is an economist who has studied the economics of food safety for more than a decade. He is currently an associate professor with an appointment in the Department of Consumer Sciences at The Ohio State University.
Scharff has led a number of studies evaluating the health-related costs associated with foodborne illness and has conducted numerous benefit-cost analyses related to food safety. Prior to accepting a position at OSU, Dr. Scharff worked as an economist at the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) at the Food and Drug Administration. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Duke University and a J.D. from George Mason University.
Following speaker biographies will be posted when available.