Whole Genome Sequencing

Dear Food Safety Professional,

Dear Food Safety Professional,
The Arkansas Association for Food Protection (AAFP) and the OKAFP are excited to announce that during the joint 2017 conference we will have sessions and speakers to cover WHOLE GENOME SEQUENCING.   As some of you may have read in a previous email, the Oklahoma Association for Food Protection (OKAFP) will join the Arkansas Assoc. for Food Protection (IAFP Chapter) for a joint Conference Sept 19-21.  

We are honored to have Dr. Matthew Wise of the CDC as our keynote speaker to kick off our Whole Genome Sequencing presentations.   Dr. Matthew Wise is the current CDC Outbreak Response Team Lead within the CDC’s Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases.  Please make sure you arrive at the venue for our kickoff mixer and Dr. Wise’s keynote address Tuesday Sept 19th from 5-7pm. 

We will be adding and updating the speaker’s bios on our website soon.   The following speakers will present various elements of WGS during the conference: 

  • Dr. Wise will lead with the Federal level response with WGS
  • Dr. Dirk Haselow of the ADH will cover the response from a state perspective with WGS
  • Dr. Haley Oliver of Purdue University will present WGS support for retail FSQA
  • Dr. Li Maria Ma of Oklahoma State University will present WGS and Next Generation sequencing technologies
  • Food Industry Council Attorney Shawn Stevens will speak about the Pros & Cons of Genomic Evidence
  • Neogen will present the science & technology that drives WGS and Next Gen Sequencing Diagnostics




CDC Presentation

Dr. Matthew Wise
Title/Overview: Dr. Wise’s presentation will focus on how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) uses epidemiologic, traceback, and food and environmental testing data collected by federal, state, and local partners to investigate and solve multistate foodborne outbreaks. Specific topics will include the process CDC uses to identify and investigate outbreaks, the impact of new technologies like whole genome sequencing, reasons why CDC takes actions during outbreaks such as warning the public when a food item is linked to illness, and a review of recent noteworthy foodborne outbreaks.

CDR Matthew Wise is currently serving as the Outbreak Response Team Lead in CDC’s Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases.  His team is responsible for coordinating epidemiologic investigations into complex, multistate foodborne disease outbreaks caused by Salmonella, Shiga-toxin producing E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and other pathogens.  He joined CDC in 2008 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer assigned to the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion. He has a PhD in epidemiology from the University of California at Los Angeles and completed his undergraduate degree at Pomona College where he studied social and behavioral determinants of health. 

ADH Presentation

Dr. Dirk Haselow
Title/Overview:  Whole genome sequencing from a state public health department’s perspective.  The Arkansas Department of Health is in the process of implementing WGS.   The presentation will focus on the potential of the technology, challenges in data interpretation, and what has been learned from other state public health departments.

Dr. Haselow serves as the State Epidemiologist and Medical Director for Outbreak Response at the Arkansas Department of Health.  He is a board-certified pediatrician and doctorally-trained infectious disease epidemiologist.  He holds the rank of Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Pediatrics at UAMS and regularly contributes to the training of graduate students, medical students, and residents.  He has taught infectious disease epidemiology at the College of Public Health since its inception in 2002.  He is the principal investigator of the CDC Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity grant, which funds most of the health department’s infectious disease surveillance activities, including work relating to enteric disease epidemiology and whole genome sequencing.

Purdue University Presentation

Dr. Haley Oliver of Purdue University
Title: WGS support for Retail FSQA

Dr. Oliver, teaches food microbiology and food plant sanitation courses for Purdue University’s College of Agriculture, also earned the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Agriculture Science Excellence in Teaching Award for New Teachers in 2014 and the Larry Beuchat Young Scientist Award in 2016.  Since 2012, Oliver and her colleagues have been working on a USAID-sponsored project to develop a food technology undergraduate program at Herat University in Afghanistan that is designed to improve food safety, quality, and security.    Her research has focused upon persistence, prevalence, and transmission of foodborne pathogens in retail food systems; development of intervention strategies to improve food safety in retail food operations.   Elucidation of stress response and virulence mechanisms of foodborne pathogens using molecular methods, tissue culture, and animal models; application of RNA-Sequencing technology to map transcriptional profiles of foodborne pathogens.  

Oklahoma State Presentation

Dr. Li Maria Ma Department Entomology and Plant Pathology
Title: WGS and Next Generation Sequencing technologies

Dr. Li Ma joined the Oklahoma State University faculty in 2009 as an assistant professor of food safety and biosecurity. She earned her bachelor’s in food engineering at the Dalian Light Industry Institute in Dalian, China, and her doctorate in food microbiology at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. She completed a post-doctoral appointment at the University of Georgia Center for Food Safety in 2009. She also served as a guest researcher at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Ga. from 2004-2009. At OSU, she works with the National Institute for Microbial Forensics & Food and Agricultural Biosecurity. Along with the Institute’s other researchers, Ma explores issues related to human pathogens and food safety and biosecurity. Her current research interests include: • Metagenomic studies of microbial ecology related to foodborne pathogens in fresh produce, animals, and the environment • Development of rapid molecular detection methods for foodborne pathogens in diagnostic and forensic investigations • Development of novel control strategies for foodborne pathogens

Neogen Presentation (Scientific)

Title/Overview:  NGS opportunities beyond WGS: metagenomics case studies and applications for fighting food spoilage and ‘plant mapping’.  Next generation sequencing has the power to transform how we understand food production. A better understanding of the bacteria present in a food production environment can help improve food quality, food sanitation, and improve shelf life. The case study presented covers 16s metagenomics and a unique application to identify contamination in the product, and be able to locate it in the facility.

Food Industry Council Presentation

Attorney Shawn Stevens
Title: Pros & Cons of Genomic Evidence in Food Safety litigation

Shawn K. Stevens is the founding member of Food Industry Counsel LLC, the only law firm in the world that represents food industry clients exclusively. Mr. Stevens works throughout the country and abroad with food industry clients (including the world’s largest growers, food processors, national restaurant chains, and food distributors and grocery chains) helping them protect their brand by reducing food safety risk, complying with FDA and USDA food safety regulations, managing recalls, and defending high-profile foodborne illness claims.   Mr. Stevens also speaks regularly to national and international audiences on a wide variety of emerging scientific, regulatory and legal food safety trends, authors columns for Meatingplace, The National Provisoner and Food Quality and Safety Magazine, and is quoted regularly by national media publications such as TIME Magazine, the New York Post, and Corporate Counsel Magazine.  Specialties: USDA and FDA Food Safety Regulatory Compliance, FDA Audits, FSA, NOIE, Warning Letter and 483 response, Risk Assessment and Avoidance, Crisis Management and Recall Planning, Corporate Leadership Food Safety Culture Training, Brand Protection Assessments, High-Profile Foodborne Illness Outbreak Litigation Management


The agenda speaking times will be finalized shortly.  We will send an announcement when the agenda is finalized and the information will also be available at the following registration link:


The Arkansas Association for Food Protection (AAFP) and the OKAFP are excited to announce that during the 2017 conference we will have sessions and speakers to cover topics such as FSMA with sanitary transport, Whole Genome Sequencing, Food Defense, Pet food, Animal Health, Emerging Issues, etc. Speakers will be from the FBI, CDC, Arkansas Dept of Health, National Chicken Council, Academic institutions, etc. 

We have our impressive group of vendors that will also present their technology or service.   In addition, the Arkansas Food Innovation Center will be presenting their new food products and technologies developed in their Incubator.   Our conference will provide visibility to over 20 AFIC companies with over 70 products.   Please check out their new website: https://afic.uark.edu/

With this conference and other workshops, we make an effort to keep our food safety professionals informed of their impact at home and beyond Arkansas and Oklahoma.  Last year was a great conference with about 300 in attendance, so be sure to register today for this amazing line up of speakers and presentations.
Karen Beers
Brian Umberson
Vice President
Li Maria Ma