Bacteriophage Engineering for Rapid Pathogen Detection

The development of pragmatic rapid detection methods benefit the food manufacturer, retailer and consumer. It has been estimated that cost of foodborne illness from sickness, hospitalizations and deaths reaches $152 billion annually in the United States. Although the United States has one of the safest food supplies, there exists significant potential for improvement. The rapid detection of bacteria in foods and food processing environments could provide clear advantage in combating foodborne illness and food recalls. The goal of this project is to develop a method which can rapidly identify viable bacteria (E. coli) in several hours without pre-enrichment, which could ultimately lead to improved food safety.

Institution: University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Principal Investigator: Sam Nugen, PhD
Year Awarded: 2015

The IAFNS Future Leader Award, given annually to promising nutrition and food scientists, allows new investigators the opportunity to add to an existing project or to conduct exploratory research that might not receive funding from other sources or add to an existing project. Consideration is given to individuals proposing research in the areas of experimental nutrition, nutrition and toxicology, and nutrition and food science. Grants extend for a period of 2 years at a funding level of $15,000 USD per year. Funds may not be used for overhead or to support the investigator’s salary.

View all Future Leader Award Recipients.