Food Safety and Nutrition
Crystal Rasnake is a nutritionist in the Office of Nutrition, Labeling, and Dietary Supplements (ONLDS), Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), Food and Drug Administration. She works on health claims and policy related to the Nutrition Facts Label. Prior to joining FDA in 2005, Crystal worked as a Research Associate at the Institute of Medicines’ Food and Nutrition Board on the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs). Crystal was also an Extension Agent with Virginia Cooperative Extension, where she taught educational programs in nutrition and food safety. Crystal holds a B.S. and M.S. in Human Nutrition, Foods and Exercise from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech).
Dr. Patrick McCarthy
Dr. McCarthy is an epidemiologist and works in the Office of Food Defense, Communication, and Emergency Response, at the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN). Dr. McCarthy earned his
Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and an M.P.H. degree at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
He is a registered Medical Technologist (MT ASCP) and a Registered Dietitian (RD). Dr. McCarthy worked in the Indian Health
Service on the Navajo Indian Reservation before joining the FDA in 1994. While at the FDA, Dr. McCarthy has completed
detail assignments at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), US Customs Service, and at the FDA Office of
Field Programs, Buffalo Imports Office, Baltimore District Office, Office of International Programs, Division of Emergency
Operations, and at the Office of the State Training Branch. His recent duties include coordinating FoodNet activities
between CFSAN and the CDC, developing a Foodborne Illness Outbreak Surveillance Database, mentoring interns, co-teaching a
foodborne illness outbreak course to State Health Department personnel, participating in farm investigations, and researching the Regulatory role of FDA in the management of listeriosis in the US.
Dr. Sufian Alkhaldi
Dr. Alkhaldi is a Research Microbiologist at the DNA Microarray Laboratory in the
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at the Food and Drug Administration
in College Park, Maryland. He graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1992 with
a Masters degree in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics. He completed his Ph.D.
in 1998 in the field of Microbiology, Cell, and Molecular Biology also at Oklahoma
The objectives of his research are (1) to develop a DNA chip for the identification
of foodborne bacteria and (2) to develop novel label-free DNA chips for bacterial
gene detection by infrared micro-spectroscopy. Some common techniques which are
used in his laboratory include: DNA isolation, PCR amplification, Restriction enzyme
analysis, DNA fluorescent PCR labeling, DNA Microarraying, Chip hybridization, Chip
fabrication, laser scanning, data analysis using bioinformatic programs, and many
general molecular biology techniques.
Sherri A. McGarry
Ms. McGarry is a Foodborne Outbreak Coordinator on the Emergency Coordination and
Response Staff in the Office of Compliance, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition,
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. She has over 15 years of experience in working
at the FDA and most currently investigates and responds to emergencies, including
terrorism events, involving food and cosmetic products regulated by FDA. These activities
involve coordination with other federal agencies, industry, states, foreign governments,
and other stakeholders. Ms. McGarry is involved in developing Emergency Response
Plans and Procedures for both the Center and Agency, planning and implementing bioterrorism
exercises, and providing microbiological expertise in ongoing foodborne outbreaks
and food defense activities. To prevent future produce-related outbreaks, Ms. McGarry
has developed and trained domestic and international officials in Good Agricultural
Practices and served on teams investigating fruit production and packing.
Earlier in her career at FDA, she evaluated domestic and international laboratories
and conducted wastewater disinfection research. She earned a Master of Science degree
in Microbiology from the University of Rhode Island. She is a member of the International
Association for Food Protection, American Society for Microbiology, and the AOAC
Camille E. Brewer
Ms. Brewer joined FDA in 1992 and was immediately assigned to the drafting team
responsible for the development of the Nutrition Facts label. She was lead drafter
of the calories, calories from fat, sodium, and potassium sections of the final
rule on nutrition labeling. As Team Leader for Regulations Policy Development at
CFSAN’s former Office of Food Labeling, Ms. Brewer was the principal author of the
proposed and final rule updating the list of Daily Values, nutrient content claims
for dietary supplements, and structure function claims for dietary supplements.
She joined the Food Safety Staff as International Activities Coordinator for Food
Safety in 1996. In 2004, she became the Associate Director of the Office of Nutrition,
Labeling, and Dietary Supplement Programs.
Ms. Brewer is the recipient of the 1998 United States Public Health Service Award
and a two-time winner of FDA’s Award of Merit, the agency’s highest honor award.
She earned her Masters Degree in Public Health Nutrition at the Case Western Reserve
University in Cleveland Ohio and has a Bachelor's degree in political science from
Shawn Eblen has a MS degree in Bioscience and Biotechnology from Drexel University
and a BS degree in Microbiology from Auburn University.
He served nine years conducting research with the U.S Department’s of Agriculture’s
Agricultural Research Service before joining FDA six years ago. During this time,
Shawn worked extensively with the bacteria Listeria monocytogenses and Clostridium
botulinum to support CFSAN’s counter terrorism and retail food research programs.
Currently Shawn is a program manager for research coordination within the Office
of Science. Shawn also coordinates the FDA lab tours.
Mimi Cooper is currently the Senior Middle Level Facilitator for the Science and
Our Food Supply Professional Development Program. She has served in this role since
the beginning of the program in 1999. She was also a member of the NSTA Expert Panel
that was part of the team that developed the curriculum - Science and Our Food Supply.
Mimi was a middle level classroom teacher in Peabody Massachusetts for twenty-eight
years. For five years she was a partner in the consulting firm - Northeast PALMS,
Inc. where she worked with elementary and middle level science and mathematics teachers
in their classrooms to implement inquiry-based curricula and with school systems
to align their curricula with state and national standards. Mimi received her undergraduate
degree from Wilkes University and her graduate degree from Boston College. She is
a member of the Massachusetts Hall of Fame of Science Teachers.
Elena Stowell is currently an assistant facilitator for the Science and our Food
Supply Professional Development Program. Elena teaches AP Biology at Kentwood High
School in Covington, Washington. She has been teaching high school science for fifteen
years. Elena received a BS in Biology from Washington State University and an MS
in Animal Science, also from WSU. Her graduate work in beef cattle nutrition included
the enzymatic characterization of the cellulolytic ruminal anaerobe Neocallimastix
frontalis EB188, a fungus she discovered. In 2000 Elena received the Outstanding
Biology Teacher Award for Washington state (by NABT) and her National Board Certification
(AYA Science) in 2001. In addition to her work with the Science and our Food Supply
Program, Elena is also a Science Education Partner in biotechnology with the Fred
Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Seattle, WA), a teacher mentor, basketball coach
Ken is currently in his 44th year of teaching. He is in his sixth year of teaching
Honors and AP Biology at Blue Valley High School in Overland Park, KS. Ken is the
High School Facilitator for the FDA/NSTA Science and Our Food Supply Program. He
was a member of the steering committee (1999) and the field tested the original
materials in 2001. Ken has been active in the development of educational programs
for thirty years. He has worked with NSTA, FDA, National Institutes of Health, Biological
Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS), National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT),
JMH Education, New York, and the Kansas Board of Education. He was a committee member
to develop the National Science Education Standards and the Kansas Science Education
Standards. He was a Presidential Award Winner for Excellence in the Teaching of
Science in 1984. He was a Fulbright Memorial Fund Fellow to Japan in 1999. He was
named National Biology Teacher of the Year in 1998.
Ken has traveled to 25 countries as a delegation leader for the People to People
Student Ambassador Program. He was inducted into the Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame
in 1998. During the Kansas evolution controversy, Ken was featured in Time Magazine,
Globe Mail, and the Asahi Shimbum, a daily newspaper in Tokyo and he was on talk
programs on PBS, NPR, and MSNBC.
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