Appointments, honors and activities

July 17, 2015  

Faculty and staff honors:

- Two teams of Purdue University researchers will advance to the final round of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration 2014 Food Safety Challenge.

The event, now in its second year, challenges innovators to develop advanced methods of detecting Salmonella, a key foodborne pathogen. Judges from the FDA, Center for Disease Control and the U.S. Department of Agriculture evaluated submissions based on several criteria, speed of detection being the most crucial. Current detection methods can take 72 hours.

The teams, one of which included collaborators from the University of Illinois, were among five finalists selected from 49 groups to present their methods on "Demo Day" on July 7 in College Park, Md.

Each finalist team received $20,000 and advances to the next stage of the challenge. The winning team will receive $400,000 and will be announced in late July.

The Purdue team led by Michael Ladisch, director of the Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering and Distinguished Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, developed a method of concentrating Salmonella bacteria to detectable levels using a technology known as automated microfiltration. This method can identify the bacteria in produce in eight hours or less.

Ladisch's team members include Eduardo Ximenes, Tommy Kreke, Kirk Foster, Seockmu Ku, Linda Liu, Dayane Morais, Haley Roos, Carla Carie, Winnie Chen, Oren Darling, Amanda Deering, Rashid Bashir, Andrew Gehring, Jaycey Hardenstein, Tom Huang, Xuan Li, Jim Lindsey, Richard Linton, Lisa Mauer, Alysa Tungare and Hunter Vibbert.

The University of Illinois/Purdue University team was led by Rashid Bashir, the Abel Bliss Professor of Engineering and Department Head of Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and doctoral student Carlos Duarte. Their team developed a miniaturized bio-detection system that uses technology known as dielectrophoretic concentration and electrically-detected DNA amplification to identify pathogenic bacteria in food products. This method can pinpoint Salmonella in about eight hours.

- Marianne Boruch, professor of English, is the winner of the National Author prize given by the 2015 Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award. The Eugene & Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award is a program of The Indianapolis Public Library Foundation and is funded through The Glick Fund, a fund of Central Indiana Community Foundation. Boruch will receive a $10,000 cash prize, and she will be honored at the seventh annual Indiana Authors Award Dinner on Oct. 10 in Indianapolis.

The National Author award is for a writer with Indiana ties, but whose work is known and read throughout the country. They are evaluated on their entire body of work. Boruch’s work includes “The Book of Hours,” for which she received the 2013 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Her work includes seven collections of poetry, two books of essays on poetry, and a memoir. Her poems and essays have been published in such places as The New Yorker, Poetry, The Nation, Poetry London, The Paris Review, and the American Poetry Review. She has received numerous awards, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts

More information is available online.  

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