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Speaker Information

Joe Boison
Joe Boison, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist (retired)
Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Dr. Boison retired after 31 years of service from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) in early 2018 as a Senior Research Scientist, and holds two Adjunct Professor Faculty positions; one in the Chemistry Department and the other in the Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences at the University of Saskatchewan. In 2003, he was appointed a Fellow of the World Innovation Foundation (FWIF), was awarded the CFIA President’s National Award for Leadership Excellence in 2010 and in 2012, he was appointed a Fellow of the AOAC International.

Dr. Boison’s research activities in the Canadian Federal Government were centred on the development and validation of sensitive analytical methods for the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies of veterinary drugs in food animals, the development and validation of hyphenated and tandem mass spectrometric methods for regulatory monitoring of the use of veterinary drugs in foods of animal origin to facilitate international trade and the use of the results from those initiatives by risk assessors to inform regulatory decisions to protect human and animal health and ensure food safety.  Dr. Boison was the subject matter expert for the Canadian Delegation to the Codex Committee on Residues of Veterinary Drugs in Foods (CCRVDF), a member of the Joint WHO/FAO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) and travelled extensively auditing and inspecting meat and poultry slaughter establishments and laboratory facilities of Canada’s trading partners.

Dr. Boison has provided voluntary services to the AOAC since 1991 when he first accepted an appointment as an Expert Reviewer for Rapid Test Kits at the inception of AOAC Research Institute (AOACRI). He has since held positions of General Referee/Process Expert, Topic Advisor, Study Director, Expert Reviewer, Scientific Editor and member of the AOAC RI Board of Directors. He received the 2011 AOAC Process Expert General Referee Award and was awarded AOAC International’s highest scientific award, the Harvey W. Wiley Award for Research Excellence in 2015.

In 2007, Boison was appointed Section Editor for Veterinary Drug Residues for the Journal of AOAC International. Since accepting an appointment as an Expert Reviewer for veterinary drugs in 2007, Boison has served on and chaired several Expert Review Panels (ERPs) and provided scientific leadership directing/chairing the ERP meetings that have resulted in two methods for Official Method Final Action Status and 3 methods for Official Method First Action Status. Dr. Boison is currently co-chairing an AOAC International initiative for targeted testing procedures and methods in food authenticity and is the Chair-Elect for the AOACI Official Methods Board (OMB).

Julian Braybrook
Julian Braybrook, Ph.D., UK Government Chemist
Director of Measurement Science
LGC, Teddington, United Kingdom

Julian is the UK Government Chemist, with the statutory function of referee analyst (most frequently for the agrifood sector but also other cited legislative areas) and the wider advisory function across measurement science to assist UK Government in its policy-making and regulation.

He is also Director of Measurement Science, leading LGC’s National Measurement Laboratory roles in chemical and bio-metrology that help underpin the UK National Measurement System.

He has a proven track record in national and European collaborative research innovation and exploitation, and holds the position of Visiting Professor in Metrology for Biomanufacturing Engineering at Loughborough University. He holds several national, European and international roles informing documentary and reference standards generation and application.

Robert L. Buchanan
Robert L. Buchanan, Ph.D., Professor
Center for Food Safety and Security Systems, Department of Nutrition and Food Science
University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland  USA

Dr. Buchanan, Director of the University of Maryland’s Center for Food Safety and Security Systems, received his B.S, M.S. M.Phil, and Ph.D. degrees in Food Science from Rutgers University, and post-doctoral training in mycotoxicology at the University of Georgia. Since then he has 30 years experience teaching, conducting research in food safety, and working at the interface between science and public health policy, first in academia, then in government service in both USDA and FDA, and most recently at the University of Maryland. His scientific interests are diverse, and include extensive experience in predictive microbiology, quantitative microbial risk assessment, microbial physiology, mycotoxicology, and HACCP systems. He has published widely on a wide range of subjects related to food safety, and is one of the co-developers of the widely used USDA Pathogen Modeling Program. Dr. Buchanan has served on numerous national and international advisory bodies including serving as a member of the International Commission on Microbiological Specification for Foods for 20 years, as a six-term member of the National Advisory Committee for Microbiological Criteria for Foods, and as the U.S. Delegate to the Codex Alimentarius Committee on Food Hygiene for 10 years.

Spencer Carter
Spencer Carter, Ph.D., Senior Vice President
Dyab Labs, Salt Lake City, Utah  USA

Spencer Carter received his PhD from the University of Alberta in Analytical Chemistry.  He conducted bioanalytical work for 15 years in the pharmaceutical industry, including Lab Director at Covance in Salt Lake City.  He currently serves as Senior VP at Dyad Labs.  Dyad Labs is an independent contract lab testing samples in the nutraceutical industry in Salt Lake City.


Mike Clark
Mike Clark, Global Marketing Manager
Molecular Food Diagnostics, Bio-Rad Laboratories
Hercules, CA  USA

Mike joined Bio-Rad in 2012 after 13 years as a Microbiologist, Laboratory Director, and Director of Business Development for a large food testing laboratory in the United States.  His expertise includes food microbiology, method development, and method validation.  In his current role with Bio-Rad, Mike is responsible for developing and strengthening Bio-Rad's position in key markets; government and regulatory affairs; and worldwide product and marketing strategy for PCR and droplet digital PCR for food diagnostics.  Mike holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Master’s in Business.

Valnei Smarçaro da Cunha
Valnei Smarçaro da Cunha, Ph.D., Deputy Director
Directorate of Scientific and Technology
Head of Chemical and Thermal Metrology Division
National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Dr. Cunha received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, PAM/PEQ/COPPE Department in 2001. His research focused on the use of polymeric membranes to separate organic mixtures. He holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from the Federal Rural University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRRJ / 1994). Realized specialization in gas metrology at the French Institute of Metrology (LNE) (2013) and in the US National Institute of Technology and Standards (NIST) (2017).

Started his carrier in Metrology in June of 2001 at Inmetro (National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology) serving as head of Gas Analysis Laboratory (Lanag) and deputy head of Chemical Metrology Division. Since 2008 he has been the head of the Chemical and Thermal Metrology Division and in March 2019 started as Deputy Director of Scientific and Technology Directorate. Dr. Cunha has experience in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, focusing on analytical chemistry, gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, metrology, chemical metrology and quality. He is accreditation assessor for ISO 17025 and 17034.

In 2014 he was elected chairman of the Chemical Metrology Working Group of the Inter-American Metrology System (SIM) and represents Inmetro on the Consultative Committees of Amount of Substance: Chemistry and Biology (CCQM / BIPM).

Todd DeKryger
Todd DeKryger, Ph.D., North American Regional Manager
Supplier Development
Nestlé Infant Nutrition, Fremont, Michigan  USA

Todd DeKryger is North American Regional Manager for Supplier Development for Nestlé Infant Nutrition in Fremont, Michigan.  Amongst other things, his duties include developing agricultural policy for Gerber and providing technical assistance on infant food contaminants and agricultural sustainability issues. He joined the company in 1993.

Todd is a three-time Michigan State Spartan, earning a BS from the Department of Horticulture, a MS from the Department of Entomology and a PhD from the Department of Community Sustainability. 

Melanie Downs
Melanie Downs, Ph.D., Assistant Professor
Food Allergy Research and Resource Program, Department of Food Science and Technology
University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska  USA

Melanie Downs is an Assistant Professor affiliated with the Food Allergy Research & Resource Program in the Department of Food Science and Technology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her research primarily focuses on the proteomics of allergenic foods, including the identification, characterization, and detection of food allergens using mass spectrometry. In addition to research, Dr. Downs also works with the food industry on a number of aspects of food allergen management.

Maria Whaley
Maria Fernandes-Whaley, Ph.D., Section Head, Organic Analysis
NMISA Reference Material Programme Manager
National Metrology Institute of South Africa (NMISA), Pretoria, South Africa

Dr. Maria Fernandes-Whaley is Head of the NMISA Organic Analysis Section, and Research Manager of the NMISA Reference Materials Programme. Since 2011, she has led the Organic Analysis Section to successfully maintain ISO 17025 accreditation for wet chemistry assays and expanded the laboratory’s technical scope to include chromatographic and mass spectrometric techniques for the accurate quantification of organic contaminants in food and the environment. The section is also ISO 17034 accredited to produce reference materials and ISO 17043 for provision of proficiency testing scheme. The section has grown from providing 2 PT schemes in 2009 to 18 PT schemes in 2019 predominantly in support of food safety measurements.

Dr. Fernandes-Whaley has initiated several food safety projects at NMISA including: the development of multi-mycotoxin, melamine and pesticide reference analyses applying chromatographic techniques coupled to isotope dilution-mass spectrometry; the development and production of a matrix reference materials; and establishment of NMISA’s purity assignment capability for organic calibrators using diverse analytical techniques, most recently quantitative nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (QNMR).

Since 2009, Dr. Fernandes-Whaley has also served as guest lecturer at the University of Pretoria, presenting a short course to 4th year Chemistry students on Quality Assurance in chemical measurements, measurement traceability and the estimation of measurement uncertainty.  She obtained her PhD in Analytical Chemistry, from the University of Pretoria in 2008, and currently represents South Africa on the International Consultative Committee for Quantity of Material – Organic Analysis Working Group, the IMEKO Technical Committee 23 for Food and Nutrition and the IAEA Africa Food Safety Network (AFoSaN).

Stefan Gafner
Stefan Gafner, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer
American Botanical Council, Burlington, Vermont  USA

Stefan Gafner received his degree in pharmacy at the School of Pharmacy, University of Berne, in Berne, Switzerland. He obtained a PhD in pharmaceutical sciences, with a focus on the chemistry of medicinal plants, from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, and conducted postdoctoral research on cancer chemopreventive natural products at the University of Illinois – Chicago in the College of Pharmacy’s Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy. 

For over a decade, Dr. Gafner has served as a director of analytical chemistry in the R&D department of natural personal care products company Tom’s of Maine. He is currently Chief Science Officer of the American Botanical Council, an independent, nonprofit research and education organization. He is also technical director of the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program, a large-scale collaborative program initiated by the American Botanical Council (ABC), the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP), and the National Center for Natural Product Research (NCNPR) at the University of Mississippi to educate members of the herbal and dietary supplement industry about ingredient and product adulteration.

Eric Garber
Eric A. E. Garber, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist
Center for Food Safety & Applied Nutrition
Food and Drug Administration, College Park, Maryland  USA

Dr. Garber has been a research scientist with the FDA since 2002. He oversees the application and development of immunodiagnostic methods for the detection of food allergens. Recently, this has included the development of a novel xMAP-based multiplex assay for the simultaneous detection of 15 food allergens plus gluten with built-in confirmation based on the use of multiple assays per analyte and two extraction protocols. Major advantages of this novel approach include an ability to distinguish between homologous cross-reactive analytes, normally indistinguishable using the currently used commercial ELISA test kits, and more efficiently respond to growing needs associated with the high prevalence of people with multiple food allergies. While with the FDA, Dr. Garber also developed antibody-based methods adopted by the Food Emergency Response Network (FERN) for the reliable detection of proteinaceous select agents (i.e., abrin and ricin) in food. Prior to joining the FDA, Dr. Garber worked on the development of immunodiagnostic assays for infectious agents, the detection of endocrine disruptors in the environment, and arsenic biochemistry. His training is in protein biochemistry, kinetics-thermodynamics, and redox biochemistry. Prior to joining the government, Dr. Garber worked in industry, was a professor of biochemistry at a small liberal arts college, and briefly worked in academic administration overseeing the establishment of a master’s degree program in biotechnology.  Dr. Garber received his B.S. in Biochemistry from The City College of New York, Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Brandeis University, and conducted post-doctoral research at Northwestern University.

Scott Hegenbart
Scott Hegenbart, Manager of Scientific Affairs
Food Protection and Regulatory Affairs Group
Conagra Brands, Omaha, Nebraska  USA

Scott Hegenbart is Manager of Scientific Affairs for Conagra Brands. Scott works in the company’s Food Protection and Regulatory Affairs group where he leads corporate food safety programs for food allergens, sensitive food ingredients and physical hazards. With degrees in both Chemistry and Speech Communication from Iowa State University, Scott has held several quality assurance, food safety and product development positions over more than 30 years in the food industry. He also has extensive experience in the food industry media where he has authored more than 200 articles about product development, ingredient technology and food safety.

Holly E. Johnson
Holly E. Johnson, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer 
American Herbal Products Association, Silver Spring, Maryland  USA

Holly E. Johnson Ph.D. is the Chief Science Officer for the American Herbal Products Association. She previously served as Laboratory Director for Alkemist Labs, an ISO 17025 accredited natural product testing lab specializing in botanicals.  Dr. Johnson took her Ph.D. in Pharmacognosy and was awarded an NIH Fellowship for training at the University of Illinois-Chicago NIH Center for Botanical Dietary Supplements.  She did a postdoctoral research fellowship at the Institute for Ethnomedicine in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and worked for Waters Corporation doing technical training and natural products applications. Holly is currently active in standards setting activities with AOAC for foods and dietary supplements, is a member of the United States Pharmacoepia’s Medical Cannabis Expert Panel, serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of AOAC International, and also the Advisory Boards of the American Botanical Council and the American Herbal Pharmacoepia.  Holly has over 20 years experience in the lab and in the field with natural products & botanicals and spent many happy years conducting research and giving courses at the University of Hawaii.

Simon Kelly
Simon Kelly, Ph.D., Food Safety Specialist
Joint Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture
United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Vienna, Austria

Dr. Simon Kelly is a Food Safety Specialist in the Joint United Nations FAO/IAEA Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, Vienna, Austria.  He is actively involved in applied and adaptive research with stable isotope and elemental analyses to determine the geographical and production origin of foods and exploring the links between environmental factors and food composition.  He coordinates several international projects to build food authenticity research and technical capacity in developing countries and has previously held positions at the UK’s Food and Environment Research Agency and the Institute of Food Research. Dr. Kelly is a member of the Editorial Board of the journal ‘Food Chemistry’ and the UK Defra’s Food Authenticity Methodology Working Group. He gained his degree in Chemistry from Anglia Polytechnic in 1992 and completed his PhD in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia in 2002, where he holds an honorary lectureship.  Dr. Kelly is a Chartered Chemist and Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Seon Beom Kim
Seon Beom Kim, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Research Associate
Center for Natural Product Technologies (CENAPT), Program for Collaborative Research in the Pharmaceutical Sciences (PCRPS) and Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (PSCI), University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA

Seon Beom Kim obtained his Ph.D. in Pharmacognosy from Chungbuk National University, South Korea. During his Ph.D., he worked mainly on the isolation and structure elucidation of bioactive constituents from diverse natural sources and the optimization of extraction conditions using statistical analysis. Dr. Kim joined the CENAPT team in 2017. His current research involves the preparation of extracts from authenticated botanical libraries. His focus is on the systematic evaluation of methods for the targeted removal (“sample clean-up”) of promiscuous compounds such as chlorophylls and fatty acids, which are known to interfere with bioassays. He also investigated methods of authentication of plant-derived natural products including the determination of their purity, by modern analytical methods, including qualitative and quantitative NMR. Furthermore, he is also actively involved in the coordination and dissemination of knowledge and innovation that can address challenges and drive future developments in the field of natural products research.

Roger Lawrence
Roger T. Lawrence, Consultant
Corporate Officer and Vice President of Global Quality and Regulatory, McCormick & Company, Inc. (Retired)
Lawrence & Associates Consultants, LLC, Timonium, Maryland  USA

Mr. Lawrence recently retired as an executive of McCormick & Company, Inc. He served as a Corporate Officer and Vice President of Global Quality and Regulatory. 

McCormick is a Global Leader in the manufacturing, marketing and distribution of spices, seasonings, flavors and specialty products to the entire food industry. Customers range from retail outlets to food service and to the food processing industry. They sell product in more than 100 countries and employs over 10,000 people worldwide.

He was responsible for Quality, Food Safety and Regulatory strategic direction and operational guidance as well as functional oversight throughout the corporation’s worldwide operations and supply chain.  He provided functional support to retail, food service and industrial customers.

Prior to this assignment, he held positions as Vice President, Operations and Technology for the Asia-Pacific Zone, Vice President of Technical Services for the US Consumer Products Division, Director of Product Development and Quality Insurance for the International Group and Director of Technical Services for Europe. Mr. Lawrence came to McCormick following several years of plant and corporate headquarters experience with Quaker Oats Company.

Mr. Lawrence is a member of the IFT Board of Directors, IIT IFSH Advisory Board, JIFSAN Advisory Council and the University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Dean’s Global Advisory Council.

During his career, he served as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the International Food Information Council (IFIC), and the President of the Board of Directors for the American Spice Trade Association.  He served on the Executive Committee of GMA (Grocery Manufacturers of America) Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Council, and the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Food Products Association prior to its merger with GMA.

He serves on a number of non-profit Boards including Sister Cities International and Maryland Sister States.

He is a professional member of the Institute of Food Technologists, a senior member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the American Society for Quality. Mr. Lawrence holds a BS degree from DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois.

Hongmei Li

Prof. Hongmei Li, Director

Division of Chemical Metrology and Analytical Science
National Institute of Metrology (NIM), Beijing, P.R. China

Prof. Li is a committee member of CIPM/CCQM, committee member of ISO/REMCO, China’s National Representative of Analytical Chemistry Division (ACD), IUPAC, Chairperson of APMP Food Safety Focus Group (FSFG), etc. She also serves as an editor of Accreditation and Quality Assurance, Journal of Instrumental Analysis.

Her team has made breakthrough in: 1) the ultra-trace impurity identification and targeted removal techniques in high purity organic solvent, and realize industrial production; 2) the key technologies for separation and measurement of micro and trace impurities in pesticides, veterinary drugs and illicit drugs, supporting China’s calibration and measurement capabilities (CMCs) in high-purity primary standard published at BIPM KCDB DATABASE; 3) the separation and measurement techniques for diagnostic markers of major diseases (cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, tumors and diabetes mellitus) and for drugs with complex composition (monoclonal antibodies, peptides and heparin).

In recent years, her group has won 2 Second Prizes for National Science and Technology Progress Award and 27 awards at/above provincial levels. She took part in the development of more than 150 national CRMs and over 10 national standards/technical specifications and was authorized 11 patents for invention. She led 10 national projects like the National Sci-Tech Support Plan and issued 60 SCI/EI papers and 3 monographs.

Stefano Luccioli
Stefano Luccioli, MD, Medical Officer
Office of Compliance, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
US Food and Drug Administration, College Park, Maryland  USA

Dr. Stefano Luccioli is a medical officer specialized in allergy/immunology who is currently the Food Allergen Program Coordinator in the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). He is also on the clinical teaching faculty at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C. His responsibilities include assisting and coordinating FDA activities and scientific policies to manage food allergens in regulated food products and providing subject matter expertise on health hazard and other risk assessments. His research interests are aimed at understanding the epidemiology of consumer adverse events to food allergens and assessing the health impact of allergen thresholds.

Dr. Luccioli completed his medical school and residency training in internal medicine at Georgetown University medical school and his fellowship in allergy & immunology at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Douglas ‘Duffy’ MacKay
Douglas 'Duffy' MacKay, N.D., Senior Vice President
Scientific and Regulatory Affairs
CV Sciences, Las Vegas, Nevada  USA

Douglas ‘Duffy’ MacKay, N.D., is senior vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs for CV Sciences. CV Sciences is a market leader in consumer products that contain hemp extracts with cannabidiol (CBD). Dr. MacKay is responsible for CV Sciences scientific and regulatory affairs, functions that drive product quality, safety, and regulatory compliance. Dr. MacKay comes to CV Science after a ten-year career with the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) where he served as the senior vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs. Dr. MacKay oversaw the scientific and regulatory affairs department, ensuring that the association’s scientific, policy and legislative positions were based on credible scientific rationale.

Prior to joining CRN, Dr MacKay spent eight years working as a medical and nutrition expert for two companies in the dietary supplement industry, including four years as an executive with Nordic Naturals, where he was in charge of clinical research. He previously served as Technical Advisor for Thorne Research. Dr. MacKay has published articles in peer-reviewed journals, and serves on the Editorial Board of the peer-reviewed publications: the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Integrative Medicine: A Clinician's Journal, Current Topics in Nutraceutical Research, and the official publication of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, Natural Medicine Journal. Dr. MacKay serves on the Advisory Board for the American Botanical Council, the NSF International Joint Committee on Dietary Supplements, the National Institute of Standards Technology/National Institutes of Health, Dietary Supplement Laboratory Quality Assurance Program, and Nutritional Outlook. He is also Chair of the Steering Committee for the SIDI Work Group. Dr. MacKay earned his degree in Marine Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz and his naturopathic medical degree from the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon.

Kate Mastovska
Katerina Mastovska, Ph.D., Associate Director
R&D and Innovation
Eurofins Food Integrity & Innovation, Madison, Wisconsin, USA

Dr. Katerina (Kate) Mastovska is an Associate Director of Research, Development and Innovation at Eurofins Food Integrity & Innovation (formerly Covance Food Solutions).  She is also a Technical & Industrial Director for Pesticides within Operational Best Practices Programme at Eurofins Scientific.  Prior joining Covance Laboratories in 2009, she worked at the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) and served as an expert in the United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) panel of the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR).  Dr. Mastovska is a Fellow of the AOAC International. Among other activities at the AOAC Int., she is an Official Methods Board member and a former co-chair of the AOAC Chemical Contaminants and Residues Community. She has authored/co-authored more than 60 scientific publications (journal articles, book chapters, and monographs), mainly focused on chromatographic and mass spectrometric analysis of chemical residues, contaminants and adulterants. Dr. Mastovska received her Ph.D. in Food Chemistry and Analysis from the Institute of Chemical Technology in Prague, Czech Republic.

Pearse McCarron
Pearse McCarron, Ph.D., Research Officer and Team Leader
National Research Council Canada
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Pearse McCarron is a Research Officer and Team Leader with Measurement Science and Standards at the National Research Council Canada in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His research has a metrology focus, including the development of analytical methods and the production of certified reference materials for algal biotoxins, with a particular interest in toxins relevant to seafood and water safety.

Wendy McMahon
Wendy McMahon, General Manager
Silliker Food Science Center, Mérieux NutriSciences
Crete, IL  USA

Wendy McMahon is General Manager for Silliker's Food Science Center in Crete, IL managing contract research studies including method validation, process validation, shelf life, challenge studies, microorganism identification services and other customized services for food industry clients.

A graduate of University of Illinois with a bachelor of science in biology and a master of science in food science, Ms. McMahon joined Mérieux NutriSciences in 1990 as a research microbiologist. During her tenure, her job responsibilities ranged widely including both individual contributor and technical management responsibilities.  She has developed and taught food microbiology short courses, managed a wide range of proficiency and check sample programs for external and internal clients, as well as performed numerous method validations and process validation studies.  She also worked within corporate quality, supporting all of the Mérieux NutriSciences North American laboratories which are ISO 17025 accredited, as well as managed the largest food microbiology routine testing lab within the network.

McMahon has been very active within AOAC and was awarded Fellow in 2014.  She has numerous publications spanning areas such as rapid method validation studies for the detection of Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157:H7 and quantification of Staphylococcus aureus.  She is a co-author of the Salmonella chapter in the Compendium of Methods for the Microbiological Examination of Foods (5th edition). She was appointed to the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF) in 2018, and was awarded Mérieux NutriSciences Scientist of the Year in 2018.

Jesse Miller
Jesse Miller, Ph.D., Director
Applied Research Center, NSF International
Ann Arbor, MI USA

Dr. Jesse D. Miller has 20 years of experience in Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Commercialization and Front-End Innovation.  He holds a Ph.D. in Microbiology from Wayne State University School of Medicine and a B.S. in the same from the University of Michigan.  Dr. Miller’s industrial research focus has been on creation of diagnostics for the food safety and health care industries.  In his role in industry, he has led and trained multiple teams on the tools and principles necessary to create meaningful products and services in todays’ fast-paced product development world. He has authored over 30 publications and holds over a dozen patents (granted and applied for).  In his current role at the Applied Research Center, he oversees research and development activities for the organization with personal specializations in Food Safety and Next Generation Sequencing.

Melissa M. Phillips, Ph.D., Research Chemist
Chemical Sciences Division, Material Measurement Laboratory
National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland  USA

Melissa M. Phillips has been a research chemist in the Chemical Sciences Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) since 2008.  She is involved in the certification efforts for food and dietary supplement Standard Reference Materials (SRMs) and is a coordinator of the Dietary Supplement Laboratory Quality Assurance Program (DSQAP), the Health Assessment Measurements Quality Assurance Program (HAMQAP), the Total Nutrients Quality Assurance Program (TNQAP), and the Food Reference Materials Program.  Her interests include development of new analytical methods for the determination of marker compounds, vitamins, and contaminants in foods and dietary supplements, and improving the measurement capabilities of the food and dietary supplement communities using reference materials and quality assurance programs.  Melissa obtained a B.S. in Chemistry, and M.S. in Forensic Chemistry, and a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from Michigan State University.  Melissa is a member of the AOAC INTERNATIONAL Official Methods Board and is a fellow of AOAC INTERNATIONAL.

Bert Poepping
Dr. Bert Pöpping, Managing Director
Alzenau, Germany

Dr. Bert Pöpping is managing director of the strategic food consulting company FOCOS ( His company advises food manufacturers, start-up companies, not-for-profit organisations and laboratories on strategic food safety solutions and emerging technologies.  He previously worked as Chief Scientific Officer and Director Scientific Development and Regulatory Affairs for multi-national contract laboratories. Dr. Popping has 25 years of experience in the food testing industry and authored over 75 peer-reviewed publications on topics of food allergens, food authenticity, food analysis, validation and regulatory assessments ( Dr Popping is a member of the editorial board of J. Food Additives and Contaminants, J. Food Analytical Methods and Quality Assurance and Safety of Crops & Foods. Earlier this year (2019), the J. AOAC published his and Carmen Diaz-Amigo’s special guest-edited section on mass spectrometric methods for food allergens and food fraud with 12 manuscripts. Dr. Popping is co-chair of the ILSI Food Authenticity Taskforce, and Scientific Advisor to AOAC International on the Food Authenticity working groups. He is also an active member of numerous national and international standardisation organisations including CEN, ISO and several German official method working groups (§64 German Food & Feed Law). He is currently also the president of MoniQA Association (

Catherine Rimmer
Catherine A. Rimmer, Ph.D., Research Chemist
Chemical Sciences Division, Material Measurement Laboratory
National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland  USA

Kate Rimmer is responsible for the dietary supplements reference program at NIST and is also one of the lead chemists for the Health Assessments Quality Assurance Program. She received her Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Florida State University and completed a National Research Council postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) studying stationary phases for liquid chromatography.


Piotr Robouch, Ph.D., Senior Scientist

Directorate F - Health, Consumers & Reference Materials, Food & Feed Compliance Unit
Joint Research Centre of the European Commission, Geel, Belgium

Piotr Robouch is a senior scientist at the European Commission with more than 20 years' experience as an analytical chemist in the field of food and environment. As an operating manager of the European Union Reference Laboratory for Food and Feed, until 2017, he coordinated the network of National Reference Laboratories of the EU Member States and assessed their measurement capabilities related to a wide range of measurands (analyte/matrix combinations).

Presently, Mr. Robouch coordinates and/consultant for the proficiency test rounds organised in the field of Genetically Modified Organisms, Food Contact Materials, Feed additives and allergens.

As a member of several Eurachem working groups, Piotr contributed to the drafting of three guides:   Selection, Use and Interpretation of Proficiency Testing (PT) Schemes by Laboratories (2011); - Quantifying Uncertainty in Analytical Measurement (2012) and - The Fitness for Purpose of Analytical Methods (2014). Similarly, he contributed to three international standards: ISO 17043:2010 (conformity assessment -- General requirements for proficiency testing) and ISO 13528:2015 (Statistical methods for use in proficiency testing by inter-laboratory comparison) and the CEN/TS 17174 (Performance criteria for single laboratory validated and ring-trial validated methods of analysis for the determination of heavy metals in animal feeding stuff).

Christopher Smith
Christopher Smith, Director of Quality
The Coca-Cola Company, Atlanta, Georgia,  USA

Christopher Smith is a director in the quality area at the corporate laboratory of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, GA.  His responsibilities include support to Coca-Cola facilities and bottlers in North and South America. In his work at Coca-Cola they employ a wide range of analytical techniques such as ICP-MS, UHPLC-MS/MS, GC-MS/MS, isotope ratio MS and NMR.    Christopher has been with The Coca-Cola Company for 15 years. He has authored publications on diverse topics such as atomic physics, mass spectrometry, agricultural residue analysis and biomonitoring/toxicology.  Dr. Smith received his B.S. in Chemistry from Drake University and a Ph.D. in physical chemistry in the NIST JILA laboratories at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Darryl Sullivan
Darryl Sullivan, Director - Industry and Regulatory Affairs
Eurofins Food Integrity & Innovation, Madison, Wisconsin  USA

Darryl Sullivan is the Director of Industry and Regulatory Affairs for the Food Integrity and Innovation Division of Eurofins.  Mr. Sullivan acts as the primary liaison with food, nutritional and dietary supplement companies as well as providing expertise on designing comprehensive testing programs to meet scientific and regulatory requirements. In this role he is often called upon as an expert witness for litigation and dispute resolution. He has managed numerous different departments at Covance including lab operations, research and development, client services, sample management, sample preparation and study direction, as well as a satellite laboratory in Michigan. 

Mr. Sullivan received his BS from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has more than 35 years of experience in laboratory testing of food and dietary supplements. He is considered to be an expert in the field of validation of analytical methods, having served for three years as Chair of the AOAC INTERNATIONAL Official Methods Board. Mr. Sullivan was a member of the Task Force that redesigned the AOAC Standards Development Process. He is currently the Past President and Secretary of the AOAC INTERNATIONAL Board of Directors, and the Chair of the AOAC Stakeholder Panel on Infant Formula and Adult Nutritionals. He is also the Chair of the AOAC Stakeholder Panel on Dietary Supplements. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the AOAC Research Institute. Mr. Sullivan is the Chair of the IFT Nutraceutical and Functional Foods Division. He is the Chair of the Analytical Laboratories Committee of the American Herbal Product Association, a member of the USP Expert Committee for Dietary Supplements, and is a member of the Joint Committee on Dietary Supplements of NSF. He is a member of the CRN Regulatory Affairs Committee and the NPA ComPLI Committee. Mr. Sullivan has developed and validated hundreds of analytical methods in the areas of nutrient and residue testing, and is the author of more than 75 publications and 100’s of scientific presentations. In addition, he is the Past Chair of the AOAC Presidential Task Force on Dietary Supplements and co-editor of the book Methods of Analysis for Nutrition Labeling. He is also the co-editor of the book Improving Import Food Safety.

John Szpylka
John Szpylka, PhD., Scientific Affairs Director
Chemistry N.A.
Mérieux NutriSciences, Chicago, Illinois  USA

Dr. John Szpylka is an analytical chemist with over 25 years experience in the food industry and food testing arena.   Currently John is the Scientific Affairs Director, Chemistry N.A. with Mérieux NutriSciences where he interfaces with scientific organization, regulatory agencies, & the food industry, and is a technical expert for chemistry testing in North America.  John joined Mérieux NutriSciences after 20 years with General Mills as a Principal Scientist.

John is an active representative to key scientific organizations and regulatory agencies to identify and contribute to food testing standardization for nutritional needs and arising issues.  John Szpylka serves on the AOAC International Board of Directors, is a Fellow of AOACI, and is a past chair of the Official Methods Board.  He currently chairs the Non-Targeted Testing Working Group for the AOACI Food Authenticity Initiative, chair of the Allergens by Mass Spec Expert Review Panel, and as a member of Stakeholder Panels and ERPs for Food Testing, Infant Formula, and Dietary Supplements.  John is also active in other organizations including Amer. Assoc, of Cereal Chemists (chair of Carbohydrates & Fiber Technical Division), AOCS, AAFCO (Methods Committee consultant), DSQAP, ASTA, and GMA. 

John received his doctorate in analytical chemistry from the Ohio State University after receiving a B.S. in chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Pamela Wilger
Pamela Wilger, Senior Corporate Microbiologist and Food Safety Specialist
Minneapolis, Minnesota  USA

Pamela received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison where she also worked at the Food Research Institute. 

After graduating she worked for Quest International as the facility microbiologist and lab supervisor and then as a researcher in product development of fermented Hydrocolloids. 

In January of 2001, Pamela joined Cargill’s Corporate Food Safety, Quality & Regulatory Affairs department as a Global Food Safety and Microbiology Specialist. Most recently she is a regional Senior Applied Food Safety and Quality Microbiologist and Food Safety Expert working more closely with the Cargill businesses’ manufacturing facilities and laboratories, customers, and governments. 

Pamela is a very active member of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) including being actively part of the program committee for the past two years and AOAC International including being a voting member of the International Stakeholder Panel on Alternative Methods (ISPAM).  Pamela represents the United States through ANSI on the ISO Technical Committee 34/Sub-Committee 9 Microbiology TAG including Working Group 3 for Method Validation, Working Group 19 for Challenge Studies, and Working Group 29 on Spores to name a few.  Pamela is a delegate on the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene - which is currently working on the revision of the General Principles of Food Hygiene (CAC/RCP 1-1969) along with its HACCP Annex and the Code of Practice on Food Allergen Management for Food Business Operators.  

Pamela is the 2018 recipient of the Harold Barnum Industry Award from IAFP. This award recognizes her outstanding service to IAFP, the public and the food industry.

Jon Wong
Jon Wong, Ph.D., Research Chemist
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Office of Regulatory Science
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, College Park, Maryland  USA

Jon Wong is currently a Research Chemist affiliated with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration since 2002 and was a Chemist with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms from 1997-2002.  He obtained B.S. degrees in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry from the University of California, Davis and a M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University.  He is a member of the American Chemical Society and AOAC, a Board Member of the North American Chemical Residue Workshop (NACRW, formerly the Florida Pesticide Residue Workshop), a Co-Editor for the American Journal for Enology and Viticulture, and member of the Editorial Advisory Board for the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.  For most of his career, Dr. Wong has been developing multiresidue procedures of pesticides in food using chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry.  He is currently interested in developing liquid chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry workflows for screening and analyzing small chemical residues and contaminants in food.

Jupiter Yeung
Jupiter Yeung, Ph.D., Principal Scientist
Global Food Safety
Nestle Nutrition, Fremont, Michigan  USA

Jupiter is a Principal Scientist for Global Food Safety for Nestle Nutrition. He joined Nestle in 2008. Jupiter has more than 20 years of food safety experience in physical, chemical and food allergen risk analyses and management to ensure safe and nutritious food supply to all stakeholders. Prior to joining Nestle, Jupiter served in different leading capacities in Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), academia and government. He holds a BSc in Pharmacy and PhD in Chemistry. He published over 120 manuscripts and book chapters on a wide range of subjects related to food safety, and health and wellness.

Created March 8, 2019, Updated October 8, 2019