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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

2007 News
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 In the News

June 1-October 26, 2007 - USDA Farmers Market

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!  Local farmers from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia selling fresh fruits, vegtables, herbs, baked goods, cut flowers, and more.  Live entertainment every Friday!!

For more information click here to view the flyer.

September 26, 2007 - Beltsville Area: Celebration of Excellence 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!  The Beltsville Area Celebration of Excellence will be held at the U.S. National Arboretum on Wednesday, September 26, 2007.  A reception will follow the awards ceremony, and refreshments will be served.

For more information click here to view the flyer.

Mini ANRI Reorganization - Welcome ABBL & FSL

On June 10, 2007 a mini reorganization became effective in the Animal and Natural Resources Institute (ANRI).  ANRI's previous Biotechnology and Germplasm Laboratory (BGL) combined with the Growth Biology Laboratory (GBL) to create the new Animal Biosciences and Biotechnology Laboratory (ABBL) which is under the direction of the Research Leader John McMurtry.  In addition, the previous Food Safety Technology Laboratory (FTSL) combined with Instrumentation and Sensing Laboratory (ISL) to create the new Food Safety Laboratory (FSL) under the direction of the Acting Research Leader Morse Solomon.

To see ANRI's complete lab listing, click here.

ANRI Honorees for the 2007 BA Awards - Congratulations ANRI Winners!

These winners will be formally recognized at the 2007 Beltsville Area Celebration of Excellence!

Dr. Yakov Pachepsky of EMSL, was recognized for research and international leadership in the development and application of models in agricultural hydrology

Dr. Wade Crow of HRSL, was recognized for enhancing the value of remote sensing observations for agricultural applications through the development of data assimilation and land surface modeling techniques.

Dr. Wesley Garrett of ABBL, was recognized for outstanding performance in advancing the research objectives in support of ANRI laboratories.

Mr. Robert Parry of HRSL, was recognized for exemplary computer and network support critical for maintaining the high research productivity and technology transfer capabilities of the laborator

Scientist Awarded Research Grant from Fresh Express - FSLs Manan Sharma

Dr. Manan Sharma, Research Microbiologist of FSL, was awarded a research grant on developing "a novel approach to investigate internalization of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in lettuce and spinach."  This project involves three objectives: (1) developing a strain of E. coli O157:H7 from the 2006 lettuce and spinach outbreaks that contains the gfp gene inserted into the bacterial chromosome; (2) determine the survival and growth of gfp-labeled wild type and rpoS-deficient E. coli O157:H7 populations in internalized tissues; and (3) determine differences in the expression of virulence factors in E. coli O157:H7 in produce commodities and ground beef.  Dr. Sharma can be contacted at:

ANRI Scientist Recognized by Chestnut Hill College - APDLs Joan Lunney

On May 2, The Chestnut Hill College Alumnae and Alumni Association announced that alumna Dr. Joan K. Lunney, class of 1968, is the recipient of the 2007 Distinguished Achievement Award for her singular contributions to science research and service to her profession.  The Chestnut Hill College Achievement Award recognizes graduates of the college who have a history of accomplishment in their business or profession or in civic, philanthropic, or other volunteer activities.  Dr. Lunney graduate from Chestnut Hill College with honors in chemistry and holds a Ph.D in biochemistry from Johns Hopkins University, with associated research at the National Institutes of Health.  For the past 24 years, Dr. Lunney has served in various research capacities at BARC.  Dr. Lunney is a Research Chemist in APDL, she can be reached at

Nanoparticle Based Identification of Food Pathogens - ISL & FTSL

The development of rapid and routine identification methods for food borne bacteria is of considerable importance due to concerns regarding bio/agro-terrorism, public health, and economic loss.  The traditional techniques are time consuming and are not sufficiently rapid to assure the safety of read-to eat products.  Recently developed biosensors for rapid and specific detection of bacteria tend to have time requirements and rates of false negatives/positives that limit their usefulness for rapid screening of bacteria.  Fast microbial detection requires minimal sample preparation, permits the routine analysis of large numbers of samples with negligible reagent costs, and must be easy to operate.  Researchers our own Instrumentation and Sensing Laboratory, in collaboration with scientists at our own Food Technology and Safety Laboratory, have developed silver colloidal nanoparticle based surface-enhanced Raman scattering  spectroscopy as a potential lable-free tool for the rapid, simultaneous, qualitative, and routine screening of Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella typhimonium at a large scale.  This method has several outstanding merits:  (1) silver nanoparticle colloids are easy and inexpensive to prepare and their lifetime has been found to be much longer than that of vacuum-deposited nanoparticle films, (2) incubated bacterial cultures are directly mixed with silver colloids in tubes, requiring no other procedures and reducing the likelihood of cross-contamination, (3) exclusive bands based simple algorithms are more useful in determining bacterial species, and (4) data collection and interpretation can be completed in timeframes as short as 5 minutes.  For more information, contact Dr. Kevin Chao at

Cows in Space - BGLs Neil Talbot

John W. Kennedy Consultants, Inc. has requested the assitance of Dr. Neil Talbot, Research Animal Scientist, in our own Biotechnology and Germplasm Laboratory, in a project to test the effects of space flight the early development of bovine embryos.  Dr. Talbot will ac as a preflight and post-flight consultant to the project in the preparation of bovine embryos after their return to Earth.  Bovine zygotes and culture materials will be provided by BoMed, Inc., Madison, WI, and Dr. Peter Hansen, University of Florida, Animal Sciences Department, Gainesville, FL.  In flight incubation and culture robotics equipment will be provided by Astrotech Space Operations, Titusville, FL.  The propossed flight time is August 2007.

Embrex Fundamental Science Award -  Congrats Dr. Hyun Lillehoj!

Dr. Hyun LillehojDr. Hyun Lillehoj, Research Immunologist in our Animal and Parasitic Diseases Laboratory, has been selected to receive the first Embrex Fundamental Science Award at the upcoming Poultry Science Association meeting to be held in San Antonio, Texas.  This award was established last year by Embrex, Inc (now Pfizer).  The Embrex Fundamental Science Award recognizes outstanding achievement in basic disciplines (genetics, genomics, immunology, molecular, cellular, and developmental biology, physiology, poultry health, and proteomics).

Genetic Improvement of Solanceous Crops, Vol. 2: Tomato - SASLs Autar Mattoo!

A long-felt need to have comprehensive information on the genetic improvement of tomato in one place has come to fruition with the publication of a 637-page book on Genetic Improvement of Solanaceous Crops, Volume 2: Tomato, which has been co-edited by Dr. Autar Mattoo and Dr. M.K. Razdan, University of Delhi, India. This book has been published by Science Publishers, Enfield, NH, 2007 (ISBN: 978-1-57808-179-0).  Dr. Mattoo is a Plant Physiologist within ANRI's own Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory, he can be contacted at:

Administrative Professionals Workshop

In celebration of Administrative Professionals Day (Secretaries Day) the Beltsville Area Administrative Support Advisory Council teamed up with Headquarters Advisory Council for Administrative Professionals, and the National Agricultural Library Support Staff Advisory Council to present the 2007 Administrative Professionals: Balancing Work and Family Life Workshop.  The workshop was held from 8:45-noon Wednesday April 18 in the Building 003 Auditorium.

For more information see the flyer: click here

Annual BARC Poster Day

The Annual BARC Poster Day was held all day at the National Visitors Center.  Over 50 posters from newly hired and post doctoral scientists were on exhibit.  Additionally, students from Eleanor Roosevelt High School presented posters on research being performed with BARC mentors.  The student presentations are supported by FAR-B (Friends of Agricultural Research - Beltsville).  FAR-B is a non-profit organization dedicated to promote research, educational and outreach programs.  For more information, contact Ron Korcak, Associate Director, at

For more information see the flyer: click here

Special Congratulations to Cathryn Simon, a student working with Cathleen J. Hapeman in the Environmental Mangement and Byproducts Utilization Laboratory, for winning 2nd prize in the BARC Poster Day's Student Poster Contest.

AAAS Fellow Induction -  Congratulations Dr. Krizek!

Dr. Donald T. Krizek, Plant Physiologist, in the Sustainable Agricultural Sytems Laboratory, was inducted as a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) at the Society's Annual Meeting in San Francisco on February 17, 2007.  Dr. Krizek has retired from USDA in January 2007 after 45 years of Federal Service however he continues to collaborate with ARS. 

ANRIs Glenn Welch Works with Local Citizen's Group on Watershed Clean Up

The year old Beaverdam Creek Watershed Group (BCWWG, based in Greenbelt, Maryland, bagged up about 1,000 pounds of trash on Saturday, February 24, 2007.  George Meyers, a member of BARC's Research Support Services unit, assisted with the trash removal.  The trash was collected from the roadside along Sunnyside Avenue at Indian Creek.  Also Prince George's County Public Works removed mattresses and lumber.  BARC would like to extend a big "thank you" to all of those who helped on this worthwhile project.  Glenn Welch, Chair for BARC's Ecology Commitee co-organized the cleanup.  For more information, contact Glenn at

ANRI, Institute Office Employee Kenneth Buckholdt Retires

Kenneth Buckholdt, retired on February 3, 2007 after serving two years with the ANRI Institute Office.  Ken was a huge support not only the Institute Office but many of the ANRI Labs.  Ken currently serves as unaffliated member of the Beltsville Area Animal Care and Use Committee here on BARC.

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Last Modified: 4/16/2008