International Symposium on Problems of Listeria and Listeriosis (ISOPOL) 2019

Speakers

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Lucia Anelich
Lucia Anelich has spent 25 years at Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa as Head of Department Biotechnology and Food Technology and Associate Professor. In 2006, joined the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa and established a food safety body for the food industry, a first for the country. In 2011, she started her own successful national and international food safety consulting and training business, Anelich Consulting.

Professor Anelich provided regular updates and opinions on the Listeriosis outbreak in SA to stakeholders since early January 2018. She was interviewed over 40 times for printed media, radio and television and has spoken at 12 workshops / conferences nationally and internationally and organized three workshops on this topic. She accompanied industry as technical expert to meetings with government, including with the South African Minister of Health and Minister of Agriculture.

Professor Anelich is the • President of SAAFoST, Adjunct Professor at Central University of Technology, Member of ICMSF, Immediate Past Chair of Scientific Council of IUFoST , Fellow of International Academy of Food Science and Technology, Chair of Food Hygiene Committee at SA Bureau of Standards, Co-editor of new book “Present Knowledge in Food Safety”, and the technical expert and consultant for FAO and UNIDO.

Professor Anelich served 4 years as Food Hygiene Expert for the African Union (IBAR), authored/co-authored a number of publications and chapters in books and presented over 140 talks nationally and internationally.
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Gregor Anderluh
Prof. dr. Gregor Anderluh has obtained his PhD from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. He is a full profesor at the University of Ljubljana. He was a head of the Department of Biology, Biotechnical Faculty, University of Ljubljana (2010-2011) and the Laboratory for Molecular Biology and Nanobiotechnology at the National institute of Chemistry (2011-2015). Since 2015 he is the director of the National Institute of Chemistry, Ljubljana, Slovenia. He is studying interactions of proteins with cellular membranes in bacterial pathogenesis, plant-pathogen interactions and human immune system. He is associated member of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts and member of Academia Europaea.
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Effie Bastounis

Effie Bastounis is a Research Scientist/Engineer in Julie Theriot’s lab at the University of Washington. She was an American Heart Association (AHA) postdoctoral fellow at Stanford from 2017 to 2018. In 2018, she was awarded the 3-year AHA Career Development Award to continue her studies on how mechanical forces influence the interactions between vascular endothelia and intracellular bacterial pathogens. During her postdoc at Stanford, Effie worked on developing rigorous and reproducible culture-based methods to investigate host-pathogen interactions, drawing on biophysical, cell biological and computational approaches. 

Effie grew up in Athens, Greece and earned her B.S./M.Sc. in Electrical and Computer Engineering and then pursued her Ph.D. in Bioengineering at UCSD making seminal contributions in the cell motility field.

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Helene Bierne
Dr. Hélène Bierne received a M.S. in Biochemistry and Ph.D. in Microbiology from the Paris-Diderot University (Paris, France). In 1994, she was recruited as a Research Associate at the French National Institute for Agronomical Research (INRA) and in 1997 she joined the Pasteur Institute of Paris, where she studied the molecular bases of Listeriosis in the Bacteria-Cell Interaction Unit headed by Pr. Pascale Cossart. In 2006, Dr. Bierne was named Research Director of INRA and directed a subgroup in the Cossart lab. In 2014, she started the team “Epigenetics and Cellular Microbiology” at the Micalis Institute of INRA (Jouy-en-Josas, France) associated with Paris-Saclay University. Her team focuses on the long-term effects of Listeria monocytogenes on mammalian hosts, by studying how bacteria and host cells reprogram phenotypically, genetically and epigenetically, to allow Listeria to persist in host in the long term.
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John Brumell
Dr. Brumell completed undergraduate studies at the University of Western Ontario with a major in Biochemistry. He completed his PhD in Biochemistry at the University of Toronto in 1997. His postdoctoral studies were at Mt. Sinai Hospital (1997-1998) and the University of British Columbia (1998-2002). In 2002 Brumell returned to Toronto where he established a laboratory at the Hospital for Sick Children.  He is now Head of the Cell Biology program and a Co-Director of the SickKids Inflammatory Bowel Disease Centre.  In 2014 Dr. Brumell was awarded the Pitblado Chair in Cell Biology. Dr. Brumell’s research examines host-pathogen and how defects in these interactions can impact the development of chronic diseases such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Arthritis.
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Didier Cabanes
Didier Cabanes, PhD, is a molecular microbiologist. He is the leader of the Molecular Microbiology Group and the Coordinator of the Host Interaction and Response Integrative Program of the Institute for Research and Innovation in Health (i3S, Porto), and the Coordinator of the Infection and Immunity Unit of the Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology (IBMC, Porto).
After a PhD studying genes of nitrogen-fixing bacteria specifically regulated during symbiosis, DC moved to pathogenic interactions in the P. Cossart lab. There he performed the first comparative analysis of Listeria surface proteins. In 2015, he created his own lab at the Institute for Molecular and Cellular Biology of Porto, and performed the first in vivo transcriptome of Listeria infecting deeper mouse organs. Since, his lab identified a large number of new Listeria virulence factors and significantly contributed to the characterization of subversion mechanisms of host signaling pathways during cellular invasion.
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Trinad Chakraborty
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Yuhuan Chen
Dr. Yuhuan Chen is an Interdisciplinary Scientist at FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. She provides interdisciplinary expertise as a microbiologist and risk modeler in the Division of Risk and Decision Analysis, Office of Analytics and Outreach.
Yuhuan provides leadership and coordination for multidisciplinary risk assessment activities, including approaches to integrating molecular subtyping and quantitative baseline data for assessing risk from L. monocytogenes, the applications of the FDA-iRISK® tool and risk assessments in support of FSMA implementation.

Yuhuan is an active member of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP), having served on the IAFP annual meeting Program Committee and other committees. She is past chair of the IAFP Microbial Modelling and Risk Analysis Professional Development Group, and past chair of the Technical Committee of the Interagency Risk Assessment Consortium for U.S. government agencies.

Yuhuan graduated from Peking University with a B.S. in Biology, earned her M.S. in Nutrition from Eastern Illinois University and Ph.D. in Food Microbiology from Rutgers University.
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Atin Datta

Dr. Atin Datta is a  Senior Science Advisor in the Office of Food Safety, CFSAN, FDA. Dr. Datta earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and did post-doctoral training in NIH, and University of Maryland, College Park, MD. Dr. Datta joined FDA in 1986 and was in-charge of the development of DNA-based detection and sub-typing methods for Listeria monocytogenes. Dr. Datta’s experience, expertise and interest include foodborne bacterial pathogens especialy Listeria monocytogenes. Dr. Datta, a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology serves as a Listeria subject-matter-expert in CFSAN/FDA and is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Food Protection.

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Catherine Donnelly
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Sarah D’Orazio
Sarah E.F. D’Orazio, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, KY. As a graduate student, Dr. D’Orazio studied transcriptional regulation of bacterial urease genes with Carleen Collins at the University of Miami School of Medicine. She then did post-doctoral work with Michael Starnbach at Harvard Medical School examining the CD8+ T cell response to intracellular bacterial pathogens. Dr. D’Orazio is a Senior Editor at mSphere. Her research lab is focused on understanding host pathogen interactions in the gut using a mouse model of foodborne listeriosis.
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Mingzhen Fan
Mingzhen Fan is a third-year PhD candidate in the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. Before moving to Switzerland, she completed her bachelor study in Bioengineering at Jiangnan University in China, and holding a master’s degree in Applied Food Safety from Wageningen University, the Netherlands. Her current research is exploring the interactions between Listeria monocytogenes and free-living protozoa Acanthamoeba castellanii.
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Jeff Farber
Dr. Jeff Farber is currently employed as a Full Professor in the Department of Food Science at the University of Guelph, in Guelph, Ontario, where he is head of the Master’s Program in Food Safety and Quality Assurance (FSQA) and is also the Director of the Canadian Research Institute for Food Safety. He currently leads a team of about 10 researchers including graduate students, FSQA students, a post-doc and a research associate, who all do research on various aspects of microbial food safety.

Dr. Farber previously worked at Health Canada, most recently as Director of the Bureau of Microbial Hazards, in the Food Directorate of Health Canada, where he led a group of about 60 people working in the areas of food safety research, risk assessment, policy, risk management and risk communication. Dr. Farber has over 150 publications, plus numerous Book Chapters and has edited 4 books. He was Associate Editor of the International Journal of Food Microbiology for many years and has been on a number of Journal Editorial Boards.

Dr. Farber has been instrumental in advancing the development of policy approaches on emerging microbial food safety issues in Canada and at a global level. Dr. Farber is a Past-President of the International Association for Food Protection, and a member and Treasurer of the International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods (ICMSF). He is also a member of the Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Working Group of the New York Academy of Sciences. Dr. Farber also has extensive experience working at the international level with organizations such as Codex Alimentarius, WHO and FAO.

Dr. Farber has received numerous personal and team awards, the most recent being a Science and Technology award from the Canadian Meat Council. He won one of the highest awards presented to Federal Public Health Officials, the Prime Minister’s Outstanding Achievement Award, for his work as the lead scientist for Health Canada on the deli-meat listeriosis outbreak.
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Felix Benjamin
Benjamin Félix graduated from Paris VI University. He has been working for more than 11 years in the area of bacterial characterization, in the framework of the European Reference Laboratory (EURL) for Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) program. His working field for reference activity is the harmonisation of molecular typing method applied to Lm surveillance at EU level. His research activities deals with evaluation of Lm genetic diversity in Food, Food process contamination for the purpose for a better understanding of Lm adaptation to food production environments.
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Nancy Freitag
Nancy Freitag is a Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine. She received her Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry at UCLA and trained as a postdoctoral scientist way back when in the laboratory of Dr. Daniel Portnoy at the University of Pennsylvania. Her lab's research has focused on understanding how Listeria monocytogenes transitions from a soil organism to an intracellular pathogen, and more recently on infections during pregnancy as well as protein secretion in Gram positive bacteria.
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Donna Garren

Dr. Donna Garren is currently Executive Vice President of Science and Policy for the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI). She leads the Scientific and Regulatory Affairs and Legislative Affairs programs for AFFI. Her extensive background and expertise in food safety, food science, nutrition, and regulatory affairs are instrumental in building and enhancing strong and effective regulatory programs for the food and beverage industry.

Prior to joining AFFI, Dr. Garren held positions with NSF Agriculture, a business unit of NSF International, the Consumer Goods Forum, the National Restaurant Association, United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association and Boskovich Farms, Inc. Dr. Garren graduated from Clemson University with a B.S. in food science and nutrition, with a minor in microbiology. She earned her doctorate degree in food science and technology with an emphasis in food microbiology from the University of Georgia.

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Mathew Gilmour
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Jonathan Hardy
Jonathan Hardy, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Michigan State University. He is originally from Wyoming, and has a lifelong interest in bacteria. Dr. Hardy has a B.S. from the University of Washington and a Ph.D. from Stanford, and first began working with Listeria in 1998 in the laboratory of Daniel Portnoy at UC Berkeley. Dr. Hardy currently studies bacterial infections that affect children, including Listeria as well as Pseudomonas and Staphylococcus. The Hardy laboratory uses techniques of whole animal imaging to monitor bacterial infection and its effects on the host over time, non-invasively. In vivo bioluminescence imaging (BLI), in which pathogens are genetically tagged with luciferase for light production, is a mainstay of the laboratory, and has been used to reveal unsuspected growth patterns of Listeria in mice. In the prenatal infection model, BLI can be used to image placental infection in the live pregnant mouse and also to localize and quantify Listeria in excised samples for image-guided analyses. Dr. Hardy has been at Michigan State since 2017, and loves the snow.
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Anat Herskovits

Anat A. Herskovits is an associate professor at the School of Molecular Cell Biology and Biotechnology at Tel Aviv University, Israel. She received her Ph.D. from the Weizmann Institute of science in Rehovot, Israel, in 2003, where she investigated the bacterial signal recognition particle pathway in E. coli. She carried out postdoctoral research at University of California Berkeley, USA, working on Listeria monocytogenes and its interaction with the mammalian innate immune system. She joined Tel Aviv University at 2008, and research in her lab focuses on the understanding of host-pathogen and host-pathogen-phage interactions using L. monocytogenes and its lysogenic phages.

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Darren Higgins
Dr. Higgins is a Professor of Microbiology at Harvard Medical School. His laboratory is focused on understanding host-pathogen interactions that lead to virulence and the development of cell-mediated immunity to intracellular bacterial pathogens. Dr. Higgins has led projects on antigen discovery and vaccine development for the New England Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases, Boston Children’s Hospital, and the Dana Farber Cancer Center. Dr. Higgins also co-founded and served on the Scientific Advisory Board of Genocea Biosciences, a company that aims to commercialize key breakthroughs in vaccine discovery and development with a focus on intracellular pathogens and cancer.
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Keith Ireton
Keith Ireton obtained his PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1993. His PhD work, supervised by Prof. Alan Grossman, focused on the role of cell density and cell cycle signals in controlling the initiation of the developmental process of spore formation in the bacterium Bacillus subtilis. From 1995-1998, Keith did post-doctoral studies in the laboratory of Prof. Pascale Cossart at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, France. Keith’s post-doctoral work focused on the molecular mechanism of entry of Listeria monocytogenes into human cells. A major finding was the identification of type IA phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3-kinase) as a host signaling protein that is activated by Listeria in order to stimulate bacterial entry.

Keith is currently an Associate Professor in the department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Otago in New Zealand. He has held previous academic appointments at the University of Toronto and the University of Central Florida. Keith’s research has focused on the molecular mechanisms of entry and cell-to-cell spread of Listeria. Some major findings on entry have been the identification of the tyrosine kinase Met as a host receptor that mediates InlB-dependent entry of Listeria, and the recent demonstration that entry involves bacterial exploitation of host exocytosis. Keith’s work on cell-to-cell spread has focused on the roles of the secreted Listeria protein InlC and its host receptor Tuba in promoting the formation of protrusions that mediate spread.
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Jorgen Johansson
Jörgen Johansson is Professor in Molecular Microbiology at the Department of Molecular Biology and Laboratory for Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS) at Umeå University in Sweden. The Johansson group uses Listeria monocytogenes as a model system to study RNA-biology, stress-regulation and to identify novel antivirulence compounds.
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Jon Kaletka
Jon Kaletka is a third year PhD student at Michigan State in the department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. He is from Mount Horeb, Wisconsin and received a B.S. in microbiology from University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research focuses on understand how Listeria infection changes the extracellular vesicle production in host cells, and how those regulate the immune response.
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Sophia Kathariou
Sophie Kathariou works at North Carolina State University, where she has been since 2000. She is a citizen of Greece and originally started working with Listeria in Werner Goebel’s lab, and in close collaboration with Herbert Hof and Juergen Kreft. In recent years she has been involved in environmental adaptations of Listeria, including those mediating tolerance to heavy metals, disinfectants and antibiotics, and is increasingly interested in natural reservoirs and transmission trajectories for emerging clones of Listeria.
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Sylvia Kleta
Sylvia Kleta studied Agricultural Ecology at the University of Rostock, Germany and received her PhD in Microbiology from the Humboldt University of Berlin. Since 2008, she’s been working at the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) in the area of food safety with the focus on molecular diagnostics and genotyping of Listeria monocytogenes. She is the head of the National Reference Laboratory for Listeria monocytogenes at BfR.
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Juergen Kreft
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Jeroen Koomen
Jeroen Koomen is finishing his PhD under the supervision of Tjakko Abee and Marcel Zwietering at Wageningen University, The Netherlands.
Jeroen received his BSc in laboratory engineering from the Saxion University of Applied Science, The Netherlands. He worked on the predictability of evolution towards antibiotic resistance in the group of Arjan de Visser at Wageningen University, and received his MSc in biology from Wageningen University with a specialization in Evolution and Biodiversity.
He is currently using experimental evolution, and various -omics techniques, to investigate the link between stress resistance and mutations in ribosomal genes in multiple stress resistant variants of Listeria monocytogenes.
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Becky Lamason
Dr. Lamason is the Robert A. Swanson (1969) Career Development Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at MIT. The Lamason lab studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms used by intracellular bacterial pathogens to hijack host cells. They combine genetic screening approaches with in-depth cellular, molecular, and biochemical techniques to understand how diverse bacterial pathogens such as Listeria and Rickettsia disseminate through host tissues using a process called cell-to-cell spread. Ultimately, their goal is to elucidate the mechanisms controlling these dynamic and intricate host-pathogen interactions in order to gain fundamental insights into pathogenesis and host cell biology. Dr. Lamason is the recipient of the NIH K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award, the James H Ferry Jr. Fund, and the Surdna Junior Faculty Research Award.
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Peter Lauer
Pete Lauer earned his BS in Biology in 1991 from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2000 exploring the pathogenesis and genetics of Listeria monocytogenes under the guidance of Dan Portnoy. As a post doc, he studied the function of vaccine candidates from Streptococcus agalactiae with Rino Rappuoli at Chiron Vaccines in Siena, Italy. Since 2004, Pete has worked in the biotechnology industry, most recently at Aduro. He led the molecular development of L. monocytogenes as a vaccine vector for human clinical translation in oncology, focusing on approaches to rapidly engineer vaccine candidates to express high level of antigen to induce cellular immune responses.
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Alice Lebreton
Alice Lebreton is a group leader in the Institute of Biology of École normale supérieure (Paris, France), and a researcher at the French National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA). During her PhD (2002-2006), she trained in RNA biology, protein biochemistry and yeast genetics, studying the molecular mechanisms and dynamics of the assembly of eukaryotic ribosomes. As a post-doc (2006-2008), she unravelled a novel endonucleolytic activity within the eukaryotic RNA exosome. She then joined the fields of listeriology and cellular microbiology in the laboratory of Pascale Cossart (Pasteur Institute, Paris), where she worked for six years with Hélène Bierne on the characterisation of a nucleomodulin from Listeria that interferes with a human chromatin repressive complex. Since 2015, her team has been investigating how the gene expression of epithelial cells is reshaped within the first hours of Listeria infection, with a primary focus on post-transcriptional regulation. Her group is also developing tools to improve the specific detection of bacterial secreted virulence factors in infected cells.
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Marc Lecuit

Marc Lecuit, MD, PhD, is a microbiologist and an infectious diseases physician. He is the director of the Biology of Infection Unit at Institut Pasteur and Inserm, and the director of the Department of Cell Biology and Infection. He is Professor at University of Paris and deputy head of the Department of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine at the Necker-Enfants Malades University Hospital. ML research is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the ability of microbes to target host cells, cross host barriers, and disseminate systemically and within tissues, as well as on how host responses affect infection outcome. His laboratory focuses on pathogens that have the ability to induce maternal-fetal and central nervous system infections. ML has made important contributions to the understanding of the biology of infections caused by Listeria monocytogenes, but also on emerging viruses such as chikungunya and Zika viruses. It is also involved in research projects in the international network of the Institut Pasteur. ML is supported by the European Research Council, is an appointed Fellow of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) and an elected Member of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO).

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Sam Light
Sam Light received his PhD in biochemistry at Northwestern University in 2013. He currently is a postdoctoral fellow in Prof. Dan Portnoy’s lab at UC Berkeley. His research interests include the molecular basis of microbial metabolism and have recently focused on the role of Listeria energy metabolism in pathogenesis.
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Martin Loessner

Martin Loessner studied Biology at the University of Freiburg, Germany, and Wayne State University, Michigan, USA. He received his PhD from Technical University of Munich, Germany, and was a visiting researcher at University of Nottingham, UK, Ben-Gurion-University, Israel, and the University of California, Berkeley, USA. Since 2003, he is Professor of Food Microbiology at the Institute of Food, Nutrition & Health, ETH Zurich, Switzerland.

His research centers around the molecular biology of foodborne pathogenic bacteria and their bacteriophages, focusing on the cell wall and its interaction with phages and the host, and development of novel applications for detection and control of pathogens. The group has many active international research collaborations, and maintains fruitful contacts with industry.

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Jennifer McEntire

Jennifer McEntire, PhD, is Vice President of Food Safety at the United Fresh Produce Association. A food microbiologist by background, she has always worked in the Washington, DC area, bringing the scientific perspective to food safety regulatory issues. She was previously Vice President of Science Operations at the Grocery Manufacturers Association. She has also had roles as Chief Science Officer at The Acheson Group and Senior Staff Scientist at the Institute of Food Technologists. McEntire earned a PhD from Rutgers University as a USDA National Needs Fellow in Food Safety where she did her doctoral research on Listeria monocytogenes.

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Nora Mellouk

Nora Mellouk studied biochemistry, molecular biology and infectiology at the University of Paris 7. At that time, Nora did an Erasmus internship with Elzbieta Glaser at the Stockholm University where she investigated the import pathway of the amyloid-beta peptide into mitochondria. In 2009, Nora joined Jost Enninga’s group at the Institut Pasteur for her Master’s and PhD thesis developing high-content and high-throughput workflows to decipher the intracellular localization of invasive pathogens. Nora joined the laboratory of John Brumell at The Hospital for Sick Children in 2015, where she is currently a postdoctoral fellow exploring host-pathogen interactions, with a focus on studying host cell responses to bacterial pore-forming toxins.

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Celine Nadon
Celine Nadon is the Chief of Enteric Disease Surveillance, Outbreak Detection and Response at Canada’s National Microbiology Laboratory. She has a PhD from Cornell University (New York) and completed post-doctoral studies at the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service’s Office of Public Health Science (Washington, DC). She specializes in the practical application of science and technology to solve public health problems, is a champion for the development of globally accessible and standardized foodborne disease surveillance tools, and is passionate about communicating science. Dr. Nadon is also an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at the University of Manitoba’s College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences
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Franco Pagotto
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Dan Portnoy
Portnoy received a B.A. in bacteriology from UCLA in 1978 and a Ph.D. in 1983 under the tutelage of Stanley Falkow at the University of Washington and Stanford. After postdoctoral training at the Rockefeller University he moved first to Washington University where he started working on Listeria monocytogenes and then to Penn. In 1997, Portnoy moved to UC Berkeley where he currently has joint appointments in Molecular and Cell Biology and Plant and Microbial Biology, and holds the Edward E. Penhoet Distinguished Chair in Global Public Health and Infectious Diseases. His lab has worked on Listeriolysin O, actin based motility, discovery and role of c-di-AMP and most recently the discovery that Listeria is electrogenic
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Lilliana Radoshevich
Dr. Radoshevich completed her Ph.D at the University of California, San Francisco. There her work in the Debnath laboratory identified novel substrates of the ubiquitin-like protein, ATG12, and demonstrated that the ATG12-ATG3 complex alters mitochondrial morphology. As a post-doctoral researcher under Pascale Cossart at the Institut Pasteur, she identified an early Interferon-independent induction of the ubiquitin-like protein ISG15. Her research also established that ISG15 could act as antibacterial effector following Listeria monocytogenes infection through a conjugation-dependent mechanism that correlated with increased cytokine secretion. Presently, at the University of Iowa she directs her own laboratory that uses cutting edge proteomics to study the effect of intracellular bacterial pathogens on ubiquitin-like proteins.
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Jeanine Rismondo
Dr. Jeanine Rismondo studied biology at the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, where she graduated in 2012. From there she came to the Robert Koch Institute in Germany and completed her PhD in Microbiology in June 2016. During her PhD she focused on the cell division protein GpsB and its function in the human pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. Since July 2016 she has been working as a Post doc in the laboratory of Angelika Gründling at Imperial College London, where she currently investigates the role of multiple FtsW/RodA enzymes for cell viability, cell division and antibiotic resistance of L. monocytogenes
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John- Demian (JD) Sauer

JD Sauer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has had an interest in host-microbe interactions since his graduate training with Dr. Michele Swanson at the University of Michigan and moved to Listeria monocytogenes as a model system during his postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Dan Portnoy at University of California, Berkeley.  The current focus of the Sauer Lab is to understand how L. monocytogenes survives and thrives in the cytosol of host cells, how the host protects the cytosol from bacterial invasion, and how bacterial innate immune recognition in the cytosol influences CD8+ T-cell priming.

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Walter Schlech
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Juno Thomas
Juno Thomas heads the Centre for Enteric Diseases at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases of the National Health Laboratory Service in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her areas of expertise include communicable disease epidemiology, surveillance and outbreak response. Juno and her team lead syndromic and laboratory-based surveillance activities for priority enteric bacterial and viral pathogens (including typhoid fever, salmonellosis, cholera, listeriosis, shigellosis and rotavirus). She also oversees the food- and water-borne disease outbreak investigation and response activities of the centre, providing key epidemiological and laboratory support to the South African National Department of Health as well as neighbouring southern African countries. Her research activities focus on identifying opportunities for locally relevant public health interventions for endemic enteric diseases and foodborne disease.
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Jose Vazquez-Boland
José Vázquez-Boland qualified in veterinary medicine, spent time in clinical practice and obtained a PhD in microbiology (Madrid, 1990). After postdoctoral studies at the Institut Pasteur with Pascale Cossart he established at Complutense University one of the first research groups into bacterial pathogenesis in Spain (1993). In 2002 he took up a chair of veterinary molecular microbiology at the University of Bristol, UK. Since 2007 he is chair of infectious diseases at the University of Edinburgh. His research interests lie in the mechanisms and evolution of virulence of facultative intracellular pathogens with a focus on Listeria and the soil-borne multihost actinobacterium Rhodococcus equi.
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Martin Weidman
Martin received a veterinary degree and a doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, and a Ph.D. in Food Science from Cornell, where he currently is the Gellert Family Professor of Food Safety. His research interests focus on farm-to-table microbial food quality and food safety and the application of molecular tools to study the transmission of Listeria monocytogenes well as other foodborne pathogens, and spoilage organisms. His team has published > 350 peer reviewed publications, which have been cited >10,000 times. He received the Young Scholars award from the American Dairy Science Association in 2002, the Samuel Cate Prescott Award from Institute of Food Technologists’ in 2003, the International Life Science Institute North America Future Leaders Award in 2004, the American Meat Institute Foundation Scientific Achievement Award in 2011, and the International Dairy Foods Association Research Award in Dairy Foods Processing in 2019. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), a fellow of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology (AAM), and a member of the International Academy of Food Science and Technology.
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Matthew Wise
Matthew Wise is currently serving as the Deputy Branch Chief for Outbreak Response in CDC’s Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases. His group is responsible for coordinating epidemiologic investigations into complex, multistate foodborne and zoonotic outbreaks caused by Salmonella, Shiga-toxin producing E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and other pathogens. He joined CDC in 2008 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer working in the area of healthcare-associated infections. He has a PhD in epidemiology from the University of California at Los Angeles and completed his undergraduate degree at Pomona College where he studied social and behavioral determinants of health.
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Mathieu Tourdjman
Mathieu Tourdjman is an epidemiologist and infectious diseases physician. He is leading the French listeriosis surveillance program at the French Public Health Agency (Santé Publique France) since 2012, in collaboration with the National Reference Center for Listeriosis at the Pasteur Institute in Paris.
He has been involved in various foodborne outbreaks investigations. Prior to this position, he worked at the Oregon Public Health Division as a CDC Epidemic intelligence Service Officer, and in Saint-Louis University Hospital in Paris as a infectious diseases physician.
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