Along with being the Acting Director of CFS3, Dr. Meng is a Professor within the Department of Nutrition and Food Science and the Director for the Joint Institute for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition (JIFSAN), at the University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland. Dr. Meng received his veterinary medicine degree in China, and Master of Preventive Medicine and Ph.D. from University of California, Davis. His research interests focus on food safety microbiology. He has extensive research experience in the identification and characterization of food-borne pathogens and bacterial antimicrobial resistance.
Dr. Meng is a member of the American Society for Microbiology, American Society for the Advancement of Science, Institute of Food Technologists, and International Association of Food Protection, and has served on the Editorial Board of the Journal Protection and Applied & Environmental Microbiology. By appointment of the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Dr. Meng has been a member of the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria of Foods (NACMAF) since 2005. He also serves on the National Academies’ Committee on Review of Risk-Based Approach to Public Health Attribution. He is a Chang Jiang Scholar at the Northwest A&F University of China. Dr. Meng has published more than 90 papers and book chapters on food microbiology and safety.
Dr. Robert L. Buchanan, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Nutrition and Food Science, CFS3
On October 1, 2016, Dr. Robert Buchanan stepped down as Director of the Center for Food Safety and Security Systems (CFS3) and resumed duties as Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science.
From July of 2008, through September 2016, Dr. Robert L. Buchanan served as the Director for the Center for Food Safety and Security Systems.
Dr. Buchanan comes to the Center from the Food & Drug Administration, where he spent 10 years as Senior Science Advisor for the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.
Dr. Buchanan received his B.S., M.S., M.Phil, and Ph.D. degrees in Food Science from Rutgers University and post-doctoral training in mycotoxicology at the University of Georgia. His scientific research interests include extensive study in predictive microbiology, quantitative microbial risk assessment, microbial physiology, mycotoxicology and HACCP systems. He has served on a wide range of national and international committees on food safety including serving as a permanent member of the International Commission on Microbiological Specification for Foods, as a six-term member of the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Food and as the U.S. Delegate to the Codex Alimentarius Committee on Food Hygiene.
Dr. Buchanan is published on a broad range of topics related to food safety, and is one of the co-developers of the USDA Pathogen Modeling Progam, a widely used program which advises on temperatures and other conditions needed to prevent bacteria growth.
With 30 years of experience teaching, conducting research in food safety, and working to make strides in both science and public health policy, Dr. Buchanan brings a range of experience and networks to the Center for Food Safety and Security Systems. Buchanan hopes to use his experience working with academia, industry and government into pragmatic research, education, and outreach programs that address priority food safety and security. "I believe strongly that food safety and security solutions can only be obtained through the combination of resources, experiences and capabilities supplied by academia, government and industry."
In 2016, Dr. Buchanan resigned as Center director to return to the professoriate of the Department of Nutrition and Food Science.
Dr. Abani Pradhan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Food Science & the Center for Food Safety and Security Systems (CFS3) at the University of Maryland, College Park. Prior to joining us, Dr. Pradhan was working as a Research Associate at the Quality Milk Production Services in the Department of Population Medicine and Diagnostic Sciences at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where he also received his post-doctoral training. He received his Ph.D. in Biological Engineering from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, his Master of Technology (M. Tech.) in Agricultural and Food Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur, India, and his Bachelor of Technology (B. Tech.) in Agricultural Engineering from Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology in Bhubaneswar, India. Dr. Pradhan is a recipient of the German Academic Exchange Service scholarship, through which he had conducted his master’s research at the Institute of Process Engineering, Federal Research Center for Nutrition in Karlsruhe, Germany. His research interests include quantitative microbial risk assessment, predictive microbiology, food safety engineering, and molecular epidemiology. Some of his recent research projects focused on quantitative risk assessments for Listeria monocytogenes contamination in foods, and molecular epidemiology and dynamics of endemic infectious diseases on dairy farms. He is affiliated with multiple professional societies and has presented his research work at a number of professional meetings and conferences. Dr. Pradhan has several publications in peer-reviewed journals relevant to his research areas. He also serves as a reviewer for several journals relevant to his research interests and has chaired a number of meeting sessions.
Dr. Shirley Micallef is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture and the Center for Food Safety and Security Systems (CFS3) at the University of Maryland, College Park. Prior to this, Dr. Micallef was engaged as a Research Associate at the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Health. Here she conducted post-doctoral research on the pre-harvest contamination of tomatoes with Salmonella and enterococci. Her main interests include the survival, persistence and propagation of foodborne enteric bacteria in the agro-environment, the influence of cropping practices on bacterial contamination of fresh produce and how pathogens interact with specialty crops. She is also interested in rhizobacterial and epiphytic bacterial communities associated with plant species and how plant genetics may influence bacterial colonization and diversity in the rhizosphere and phyllosphere, and how these processes relate to food safety of fresh produce. She received her Ph.D. in microbial ecology from the University of Massachusetts Boston, and her Master of Science (M.Sc.) in plant biology and Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in biology and chemistry from the University of Malta. She also worked as an Environmental Biologist, carrying out environmental impact assessments, for six years at Malta University Services Ltd., providing consultative services in terrestrial and marine plant ecology and liaising with consultants in various fields.
Dr. Debabrata Biswas is an Assistant Professor in the Center for Food Safety and Security Systems (CFS3) & the Department of Animal and Avian Sciences at the University of Maryland, College Park, MD. Dr. Biswas has received his Ph.D. in Bacteriology and Zoonotic Infection from the Department of Animal Resource Sciences at the University of Tokyo, Japan where his research focused the host-foodborne bacteria (Campylobacter jejuni) interactions. Following the completion of his Ph.D., he worked as a postdoctoral fellow for two years at Washington State University School of Molecular Biosciences, Pullman, WA. During this postdoctoral training, Dr. Biswas worked on the purification and characterization of bacterial (C. jejuni) secreted proteins and defined the function of the proteins in adherence, invasion and survival in intestinal cells. Then Dr. Biswas joined as a Research Associate at the Vaccine and Infectious Diseases Organization (VIDO), University of Saskatchewan, Canada. At VIDO, his works focused on the factors involved in the colonization of food-borne bacterial pathogens including C. jejuni, enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (0157:H7) in the intestinal epithelial cells and the development of antigenic components to prevent the colonization of these bacterial pathogens in agricultural animals.
Prior to moving to the University of Maryland-College Park, he worked as a Research Associate at the Center for Food Safety, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR. His research there focused on the construction of a novel Salmonella enteric serovar Typhimurium and C. jejuni vaccine against chicken colonization to make safer poultry products and the role of orange citrus oil, blueberry juice and some other natural products in control of foodborne bacterial colonization in animals.