Dr. Lee-Ann Jaykus is a William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences at North Carolina State University, having been employed with the university for over 22 years. 

Dr. Jaykus received a Ph.D. (1993) in environmental sciences and engineering from the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. She previously earned B.Sc. (1979) and M.Sc. (1982) degrees in food science from Purdue University, as well as serving in industrial positions for seven years. Her research efforts are varied but she is best known for her work in food virology. She is currently serving as the scientific director of the USDA-NIFA Food Virology Collaborative. Also called NoroCORE, the Collaborative is a seven-year, $25 million project intended to reduce the burden of disease associated with enteric viruses, particularly noroviruses. Prevention and control of norovirus contamination and subsequent transmission is one of her particular passions. 

Dr. Jaykus’ professional activities have included membership on the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods, on several Institute of Medicine-National Research Council consensus committees, and on the executive board of the International Association for Food Protection, for which she served as president in 2010-2011. Dr. Jaykus has also worked closely with the FDA Office of Foods in facilitating the implementation of risk-based food safety management systems. She has taught food microbiology/safety on the undergraduate and graduate levels, has mentored over 50 graduate students and post-doctoral research associates and authored or co-authored over 150 scientific publications.

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In this episode of Food Safety Matters, we speak to Lee-Ann Jaykus about:

  • How NoroCORE got started, including the major players and institutions that have contributed to the initiative's success and outreach efforts
  • Why NoroCORE focuses so much on engaging stakeholders from the foodservice industry
  • The history of norovirus first identified in the 1960s
  • Work done by Baylor College of Medicine to produce replication of norovirus for the first time
  • Human challenge studies, popular among cash-strapped college students but necessary for continued and timely norovirus research
  • The most surprising findings she's come across in her years researching norovirus
  • Clarifying the source of norovirus
  • What foodservice can do to prevent norovirus outbreaks from occurring
  • Social media's effect on educating the public about norovirus

Lee-Ann Jaykus's Articles Published in Food Safety Magazine:
Updates from the NoroCORE Project: Progress Toward Reducing the Burden of Foodborne Viruses
Food Virology Collaborative: NoroCORE Tackles Foodborne Viruses

News Mentioned in This Episode:
Similar E. coli Outbreaks Persist in U.S. and Canada
Audits Criticize FDA on Food Recalls
Enforcement Discretion Policy Announced for Some FSMA Regulations

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