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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Food

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Science and Our Food Supply Careers: Anisha M. Williams-Campbell, Ph.D.

Careers in Food Science Main Page

"To investigate a mystery, a good detective always starts with the questions of 'how' and 'why'? These questions can be applied to microbiology."

Career Title:
Research Microbiologist
USDA, ARS, ANRI, Food Technology and Safety Laboratory
Beltsville, Maryland

Fields of Expertise:
Biology
Food Microbiology
General Biology/Microbiology

Academic Studies:
Johnson C. Smith University
Charlotte, North Carolina
Bachelor of Science in Biology

Wayne State University
Detroit, Michigan
Ph.D. in Food Microbiology (Biological Sciences)

Employment History:
Receptionist
(while in high school)

School Bus Driver
(while in high school)

Research Assistant, Microbiology
(while in college)

 

"If I hadn't become a scientist, I would have become . . . a basketball player."

 

Q: What do you do in your current job?
A:
The objective of the Food Technology and Safety laboratory is to develop alternative technologies to improve the quality of meat. As a microbiologist in the group, I determine the effects the technologies will have on natural microorganisms found in meat products, such as poultry, beef, and pork.

Q: What led you to become a scientist?
A:
Science was always a mystery to me. To investigate a mystery, a good detective always starts with the questions of "how" and "why"? These questions can be applied to microbiology. For instance, "How does E. coli cause disease?" or "Why was the bacterium able to cause the disease?" The goal of bacteria is to survive by any means necessary. The goal of the food industry is to try to get rid of harmful pathogens (disease-causing bacteria).

Q: What's the most interesting or exciting project you've worked on?
A:
I'm currently working on an exciting project where we're using an explosive to create pressure. My job is to find out what the pressure does to bacteria in meats, such as ground beef and steak. I am a co-inventor on a pending patent on the development of this pressure technology.

Q: What advice would you give to students who are interested in pursuing a career in science?
A:
If you want a career in science, you must be prepared to make sacrifices.

 

 

May 2001