The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Office of Food Safety (OFS) and the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) have selected four food safety fellows through the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education program. The fellows are students currently working toward their doctoral degrees and have an interest in improving food safety and public health. During their fellowships, they will learn how to apply their scientific and technical knowledge to inform FSIS decision making and improve the safety of the food supply. They will collaborate with FSIS scientists on projects related to the agency’s research priorities.

“The fellowship program at FSIS is part of our vision to lead with science and to build relationships, by continually fostering our connections with academia,” said Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Mindy Brashears.

The four fellows are Darwin Bandoy, University of California at Davis, who will investigate the genes that drive infection for Salmonella Dublin, a bacterial disease that affects dairy cattle; Aaron Beczkiewicz, The Ohio State University, who will analyze data to help design microbial testing programs; Colette Nickodem, Texas A&M University, who will focus on bacteria-eating viruses as a potential strategy to control Salmonella in beef cattle; and Ilya Slizovskiy, University of Minnesota, who will identify genetic risk factors for antimicrobial resistance in disease-causing microorganisms.

Learn more about FSIS research priorities here.