AFS doctoral candidates earn fellowships with French food safety agency
Two doctoral students with Texas Tech's Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Hattie Webb from Amarillo and Josh Ison from Batavia, Ohio, have earned the opportunity to do food safety research in France. The two standouts were recently honored with Chateaubriand Fellowships and will head to Maisons-Alfort (near Paris) in January to work on research projects in a collaborative effort between Texas Tech and a French food safety agency.
Webb will spend nine months in France while Ison will be there for six months. "It is a tremendous honor to be selected to receive the Chateaubriand Fellowship," Ison said. "I'm very excited for the opportunity to study at (the French Food Safety Agency) and spend some time in Paris."
The Chateaubriand Fellowship is a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) grant offered by the Office for Science and Technology and the embassy of France to the United States. Its goal is to "initiate or reinforce collaborations, partnerships or joint projects by encouraging exchange at the doctoral level," according to the fellowship's website.
All applicants for the fellowship must be doctoral students at a U.S. university. All research during the fellowship must be performed in a French university, engineering school, national laboratory or private enterprise with a link to a doctoral school. During the fellowships, students receive a monthly allowance of up to 1,400 euros per month with travel and insurance support.
Ison said the focus of his project for the fellowship will be surveillance of antimicrobial resistance within food production systems in an effort to provide an early warning system of salmonella outbreaks or a new variety of salmonella.
"I hope to learn about valuable tools for antibiotic resistance that I can bring back to the U.S. and apply to our food production systems to improve food safety and public health," Ison said. Webb's research will deal with the mechanisms regarding resistance of salmonella to colistin, the antibiotic that has become the last drug available to individuals who have become resistant to almost all other antibiotics.
"This research is critical and will further our understanding of this public health threat," said Guy Loneragan, a veterinary epidemiologist and professor of food safety and public health at Texas Tech.
Written by George Watson
CONTACT: Michael Orth, chairman, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Tech University at (806) 834-5653 or firstname.lastname@example.org