SPHHS Professor Appointed to Federal Food-Safety Panel

Lance Price now serves on the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods, which advises the president’s cabinet.

February 11, 2013

Lance Price, a professor in the School of Public Health and Health Services, has been appointed to the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods, a panel that advises President Barack Obama’s cabinet on food-safety issues.

As a member of the panel, Dr. Price, who is also an associate professor at the Translational Genomic Research Institute (TGen) in Flagstaff, Ariz., will counsel members of the president’s cabinet, including Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius.

“This appointment is a tremendous opportunity for the work that we’ve been conducting at TGen and GW to be translated into a safer food supply for the American public,” said Dr. Price, a faculty member in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health.

Dr. Price is hailed by colleagues as “one of the leading scientists in his field.” He and a team of researchers are currently pioneering a technique known as “genomic epidemiology.” The team uses the genetic codes of food-borne bacteria and human bacterial infections to document how often the bacteria make people sick. They’re currently researching a type of E. coli found on poultry that may cause antibiotic-resistant urinary tract infections.

Members of the advisory committee, which was established in 1988 and is chartered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety Inspection Service, are scientists from academia, industry and federal and state government. The committee, whose work assists the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Departments of Commerce and Defense, assesses the microorganisms that show whether foods have been processed properly.

SPHHS doctoral student Susan Grooters, a research and policy associate at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, is also a member of the committee.