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Dr. Dickson is currently a Professor in the Department of Animal Science at Iowa State University and the Professor in Charge of the Iowa State Component of the Food Safety Consortium. Dr. Dicksons research focuses on the control of bacteria of public health significance in foods of animal origin. He has a courtesy appointment with the Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition. Prior to his appointment at Iowa State University in 1993, he was employed by USDA-ARS as a Research Food Technologist and lead scientist of the Meat Safety Assurance Program, located at the Roman L. Hruska U.S. Meat Animal Research Center, Clay Center, NE. Dr. Dickson was employed in the food industry for three years before joining USDA-ARS. He is a Fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology, and is a Past President of the International Association for Food Protection. He is also active in the American Society for Microbiology and the Institute of Food Technologists.
General research interest is the microbiological safety of foods of animal origins. Within that area, research interests focus on the growth and physiological activity of bacteria of public health concern, especially the Gram negative bacteria, as they are affected by animal production practices, food processing methods and storage. Predictive microbiology, which includes the development of computer models to estimate bacterial growth under specific conditions, is used as a method of studying this growth and activity. I am interested in the area of I currently participate as a member of a multi-disciplinary team which follows salmonellae from animal production to processing. Additional research has been conducted on bacterial attachment to food and food contact surfaces, and in characterizing this attachment and determining the mechanisms responsible for both phases of attachment. In the Fall odf 2009, I took a 6 month faculty improvement leave to focus on risk assessment. I have participated as a team member in the development of three risk assessments, and served as a reviewer for 6 additional risk assessments.
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