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Bugs in my Food: Research and Professional Development in Food Safety for Undergraduates from Non-Land Grant Institutions

Dudley, Edward
Pennsylvania State University
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The goals are to provide research training and professional development opportunities to prepare students for graduate school and careers in the agricultural sciences, focusing on food safety. Fellows will be recruited from 10 collaborating institutions, including two that primarily train students from underrepresented groups (Lincoln University, and University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez). Three primary mentors and three graduate student/postdoc mentors will be directly involved, providing a mentor:Fellow ratio of 1:2. No more than three Fellows will be selected from Penn State.Specific objectives to achieve these education goals are:1) Train students in hypothesis generation, experimental design, and critical evaluation of data, which will be assessed through student-focused evaluations;2) Provide training in the isolation of pathogens, phage, and characterization of bacteria by genome sequencing;3) Expose students to careers in academia, government, and industry, with a focus towards careers in the agricultural sciences which they may be unaware of;4) Provide professional development opportunities through the presentation of their scientific data at the International Association of Food Protection (IAFP) meeting;5) Provide opportunities for students to continue their academic development between the two summer sessions held at Penn State.Research will be performed at Penn State, and will train Fellows to isolate and characterize microorganisms, to isolate bacteriophage that kill these pathogens, and to use genome sequencing to determine possible source(s) of Salmonella. Fellows will gain professional experience through presenting their data at local and national meetings, and by visiting government laboratories and food processing facilities. We will assess gains in knowledge surrounding scientific method, awareness of opportunities in graduate school and professional careers, and personal growth routinely during the program. Results from this and the Fellow's research will be reported in peer-reviewed journals
Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
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Natural Toxins
Viruses and Prions
Bacterial Pathogens
Chemical Contaminants