UC Davis/Mars Inc. team named as a finalist in the FDA Food Safety Challenge

MAY 11, 2015
We are thrilled to announce the five Challenge finalists in the 2014 FDA Food Safety Challenge! The finalists will each receive $20,000 and advance to the Field Accelerator to refine their concepts with coaching and mentorship from FDA experts in food safety and pathogen testing.

Finalists will also participate in an in-person boot camp with FDA experts on May 13, 2015 to help strengthen their concepts and increase their applicability to FDA’s testing process. Demo Day will be held on July 7, 2015, giving the finalists the opportunity to present their improved concepts to the judges and a live audience. Stay tuned for more details for this exciting event, which will take place at FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition headquarters in College Park, MD.

Congratulations to the finalists, and thank you to everyone who participated in the Challenge. With a $500,000 total prize purse, the Challenge seeks to achieve revolutionary improvements in the speed of the FDA’s detection methods for Salmonella in fresh produce. Each of the selected finalists offers a promising approach to achieving this goal.

Auburn University
Method which combines magnetoelastic biosensors and a surface-scanning detector used directly on food surfaces.

Team Members:

Bryan Chin, Professor, Auburn University
Steve Best, TES Engineer, Auburn University
Shin Horikawa, Postdoctoral Researcher, Auburn University
I-Hsuan Chen, Research Associate, Auburn University
Dr. Bart Weimer/U.C. Davis/Mars, Inc.
Method that captures and concentrates Salmonella from large, complex samples using antibodies and host receptors for detection with solid phase ELISA, DNA and RNA.

Team Members:

Bart Weimer, Professor, U.C. Davis
Azarene Foutouhi, Student, U.C. Davis
Dylan Storey, Postdoctoral Fellow, U.C. Davis
Bob Baker, Senior Scientist, Mars, Inc.
Peter Markwell, Senior Scientist, Mars, Inc.
Pronucleotein, Inc.
DNA aptamer-magnetic bead sandwich assays used to detect foodborne pathogens with a handheld fluorescence reader.

Team Members:

John Bruno, Ph.D., VP and CTO, Pronucleotein, Inc.
James Byron, CEO, Xgenex
Purdue University
Physical method for concentrating Salmonella to detectable levels using automated microfiltration.

Team Members:

Michael Ladisch, Distinguished Professor and Director, Purdue University
Eduardo Ximenes, Bioprocess Research Scientist, Purdue University
Kirk Foster, Senior Research Engineer, Purdue University
Seockmo Ku, Graduate Student, Purdue University
Amanda Deering, Research Assistant Professor, Purdue University
Thomas Kreke, Lab Tech IV, Purdue University
University of Illinois/Purdue University
Portable system for multiplexed detection of foodborne pathogens in microfluidic biochips through isothermal DNA amplification and electrical detection.

Team Members:

Rashid Bashir, Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Michael Ladisch, Distinguished Professor and Director, Purdue University
Arun K. Bunhia, Professor, Purdue University
Carlos Duarte-Guevara, Graduate Student, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Eric Salm, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Read the submission abstracts to learn more about the finalists’ concepts.

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