IAFP Announces 2016 Travel Award Recipients
Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Des Moines, Iowa – The International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) will present Travel Awards to the following individuals at IAFP 2016, July 31–August 3, in St. Louis, Missouri. Sponsored by IAFP and the IAFP Foundation, the Travel Award for State or Provincial Health or Agricultural Department Employees and the Travel Award for Food Safety Professionals in a Country with a Developing Economy will provide funding to enable recipients to travel to IAFP 2016.
The Travel Award for State or Provincial Health or Agricultural Department Employees will be presented to the following individuals:
Veronica Bryant is an Environmental Health Regional Specialist for the Division of Public Health at the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services in Raleigh. In her current position, Ms. Bryant oversees enforcement of State rules; is responsible for training and authorizations of new REHS in the state; accompanies registered environmental health specialists with difficult inspections; assists with rule interpretations; and oversees the HACCP Plan review and verification. With a background in chemistry, Ms. Bryant began her career as a local regulator, moving into the environmental health field with various North Carolina County Health Departments prior to joining her current employer in 2015.
Scott Troppy is a Surveillance Epidemiologist and a member of the Foodborne Illness (FBI) Team within the Office of Integrated Surveillance and Informatics Services (ISIS) at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH) in Jamaica Plain. Mr. Troppy is responsible for ensuring that the state’s surveillance and case management system, MAVEN, is fully configured to receive, triage and respond to data related to enteric diseases and foodborne outbreaks. He is a member of the Working Group on Foodborne Illness Control, an interdepartmental team that follows up on foodborne illness complaints and clusters related to enteric illnesses. Mr. Troppy is also responsible for training the more than 350 local boards of health in Massachusetts that conduct foodborne case investigations and follow-ups.
Lauren Turner is the Foodborne and Advanced Pathogen Characterization Lead Scientist in the Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services for the Commonwealth of Virginia in Richmond. Dr. Turner oversees testing related to the detection, isolation and characterization of foodborne disease pathogens and application of next generation sequencing for enhanced surveillance and detection of foodborne disease outbreaks. She also serves as the laboratory representative of the Virginia Rapid Response Team and works in partnership with the core RRT VA agencies to coordinate testing for suspected foodborne outbreaks and adulterated foods. Dr. Turner received the 2015 PulseStar Award for exceptional contributions to the National Subtyping Network for Foodborne Disease Surveillance.
Christopher Waggener is a Lead Scientist for the Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services for the Commonwealth of Virginia in Richmond, where he facilitates the Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) microbiological activities. Dr. Waggener also coordinates all grant-funded objectives from two federal agencies; provides technical expertise for the division of foodborne pathogens and bio threat agents in food; and operates a National U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS) FERN Training Center. Throughout his career, Dr. Waggener has developed courses, including lecture materials and wet-lab exercises, and provided instruction to scientists regarding rapid detection methods for foodborne pathogens and food defense agents.
Chun Wang is the Manager of the Bacteriology/Parasitology Diagnostic Group for the Texas Department of State Health Services Laboratory in Austin. Employed with the State for more than 13 years as both a microbiologist and a manager, Ms. Wang has been an integral part of the testing for foodborne diseases across Texas, overseeing three foodborne pathogen detection teams: the Molecular Biology Team; the Medical Parasitology Team; and the Clinical Bacteriology Team. Ms. Wang has been a PulseNet Steering Committee Member since 2011 and served as the PulseNet South Central Region Coordinator from 2011–2015.
The Travel Award for Food Safety Professionals in a Country with a Developing Economy will be presented to the following individuals:
Lay Ching Chai works in the Institute of Biological Sciences for the University of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur. Dr. Chai’s primary research interests involve foodborne and waterborne pathogenic bacteria, particularly the emerging and important pathogens in Malaysia, such as Salmonella spp. and its connection with contaminated chicken; Vibrio parahaemolyticus which is frequently detected in seafood and coastal waters; L. monocytogenes in ready-to-eat (RTE) foods; and Campylobacter jejuni that is frequently isolated from RTE foods, chicken farms and retail chicken. Dr. Chai is involved in various national projects with the Food Safety and Quality Department, Ministry of Health Malaysia, to study and investigate the transmission of bacterial pathogens through contaminated foods in the country, particularly those that cause outbreaks.
Folarin Oguntoyinbo is a food microbiologist in the Microbiology Department of the Faculty of Science at the University of Lagos, Akoka, Nigeria. Dr. Oguntoyinbo has been in the department for 16 years and teaches and conducts research on pre- and post-harvest interventions; pathogen monitoring and control; baseline research; and food security. He has conducted food security research in West Africa and has served as a consultant to food industries and regulatory bodies in Nigeria. Dr. Oguntoyinbo’s research interest at the University of Lagos is in food microbial ecology with application to food fermentation, impacting African food security programs, the economy of small scale food processors, global food safety, and human health. He has published more than 30 peer-reviewed articles, authored three book chapters, and received numerous fellowships and research grants.
About International Association for Food Protection
The International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) represents more than 4,300 food safety professionals committed to Advancing Food Safety Worldwide®. The association includes educators, government officials, microbiologists, food industry executives and quality control professionals who are involved in all aspects of growing, storing, transporting, processing and preparing all types of foods. Working together, IAFP members, representing more than 70 countries, help the association achieve its mission through networking, educational programs, journals, career opportunities and numerous other resources.