Charlene R. Jackson
ARS Scientist Wins Early Career Award
Durham February 9, 2005
WASHINGTON, Feb. 9Charlene R. Jackson, a microbiologist
with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), has been named an "Outstanding Early
Career Scientist of 2004" by the agency. ARS is the
U.S. Department of Agricultures chief
scientific research agency.
Based at the agencys
Resistance Research Unit in Athens, Ga., Jackson was honored for leading
research on the microbe Enterococcus, particularly on how the bacteria
develops resistance to antibiotics.
At a 1 p.m. ceremony today at USDA headquarters here, Jackson will
receive a plaque, a cash award and additional research funding. The "Early
Career Scientist" awards are given to ARS scientists who have been with the
agency seven years or less, and who earned their highest academic degree within
the past 10 years.
Jackson also provides leadership in research on Enterococcus
for the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) and has assumed temporary
responsibility for oversight of the newly created VetNet program. Collectively,
this research provides information vital to producing meat and meat products of
the highest microbiological quality.
In addition, Jackson designed polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers
for detecting and identifying all 25 enterococcal species. This was the first
genus- and species-specific multiplex PCR for identification of this organism
and has replaced previous methods of identification. It is also being used at
the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration as part of the NARMS program and at other university
Jackson also identified and characterized aminoglycoside resistance in
enterococci isolated from poultry carcasses. Her study show that these
resistant organisms in poultry contained some of the common aminoglycoside
resistance genes, but some strains also harbored resistance genes that were not
detected by standard molecular methods. This research helped researchers to
better characterize and understand antimicrobial resistance in poultry and its
potential transfer to humans.
Jackson earned a bachelors degree in 1990 and a masters
degree in 1992 in biology from Georgia Southern College, and a
doctorate in microbiology from the University of
Georgia in 1998. Jackson is the daughter of Fred Jackson and the late
Carlene Jackson, both of Collins, Ga.