The University of Maryland-based Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have entered a five-year, $41 million cooperative agreement that will expand JIFSAN’s work to increase the scientific knowledge required to mitigate foodborne illness and inform food safety policy.

Established in 1996, the Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN) is an FDA Center of Excellence, combining the expertise of the agency with that of UMD researchers. It promotes research, education, and outreach in food safety, food security, and applied nutrition. JIFSAN has also fostered partnerships with industry, government, and other stakeholders in support of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

The new award will augment several programs, including one that supports FDA in regulating shrimp imports to the U.S. as mandated by Congress. The institute will also conduct multi-institutional, multidisciplinary research projects and develop mechanisms for the exchange of technical information and scientific concepts. Additionally, JIFSAN will continue to advance the development of innovative education and outreach programs that enhance FDA’s efforts with other nations to improve U.S. and global health.

The renewal of funding comes at favorable time, as JIFSAN is preparing to move its offices and facilities to a new location. The new facility includes a cutting-edge microbiology laboratory to meet the needs for research and training in whole genome sequencing, as well as other advanced technologies for detecting and tracing the source of foodborne pathogens.