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Using Modern Molecular Approaches to Combat Age-old Agricultural Problems
Start Date: 3/11/2020Start Time: 4:00 PM
End Date: 3/11/2020End Time: 5:30 PM

Event Description
BIOMED Seminar

Using Modern Molecular Approaches to Combat Age-old Agricultural Problems

Cheryl Armstrong, PhD
Research Microbiologist
US Department of Agriculture ARS ERRC

As the population and diversity of the United States continues to grow, so does both the volume and variety of food consumed, which has resulted in a steady expansion of agricultural imports over the past two decades. The United States is currently second largest for agricultural trade in the world, with marketing statistics demonstrating that not only is the frequency in which goods are being transported on the rise but so is the distance that these goods travel. Along with the many benefits of a global economy come the associated dangers, such as the introduction of invasive or exotic pathogens. Pathogen introduction into naïve areas can result in rapid, uncontrolled spread, and ensuing agricultural epidemics. Therefore, mitigation of these introductions is highly important because of the threat they present to the safety and security of our food supply.

Mitigation approaches can range from detection and differentiation for new pathogens to the employment of integrative management strategies for more established pathogens. Despite all the advances that have been made, there is a constant need for novel approaches to this problem, especially for those that can be applied without the requirement of an axenic culture. In this presentation, creative methodologies for sample preparation, biomarker development, and live pathogen detection will be discuss as well as innovative pathogen management strategies.

Cheryl Armstrong, PhD, is a Research Microbiologist at the United States Department of Agriculture-Agriculture Research Service (USDA-ARS). She received her PhD in Molecular Microbiology from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, TX for work performed on virulence gene regulation of the Group A Streptococcus. Immediately after receiving her PhD, she joined USDA-ARS.

Over her 10 year career with USDA-ARS, Dr. Armstrong has worked at three different locations (including Pullman, WA, Ft. Pierce, FL and Wyndmoor, PA) on projects that have encompassed a wide variety of agricultural issues such as enhancing abiotic stress tolerance in wheat, decreasing the incidence of vitamin A deficiency through the production of an edible fungus, and identifying novel management strategies for bacterial diseases of citrus. She is currently a member of an interdisciplinary research team at the Eastern Regional Research Center whose focus is on food safety and the development of rapid detection methods for foodborne pathogens.
Contact Information:
Name: Ken Barbee
Phone: 215-895-1335
Email: barbee@drexel.edu
Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building (PISB), Room 120, located on the northeast corner of 33rd and Chestnut Streets.
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