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  6. James M. Hungerford, Ph.D.
  1. Commissioner's Fellowship Program

Picture of James M. Hungerford, Ph.D.

Applied Technology Center, PRL-NW
FDA Office of Regulatory Affairs (ORA)
Bothell, WA


  • Ph.D., University of Washington, Seattle, WA (Analytical Chemistry)
  • BS, MS, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA (Organic)

My studies in graduate school and post-doc dealt with rapid tests and automated analytical chemistry (microfluidics and FIA work for Ph.D.) and in my MS work I was studying organic and organometallic synthesis. I have worked for FDA since 1987 as a research chemist


Research Interests:

Rapid tests for onsite testing of seafoods, cytotoxicity assays for ciguatoxins in fish, detection of histamine in fish, algal shellfish toxins by HPLC and cell assay, automation of chemical methods (FIA)

Proposed Research Project for FDA Fellow:

New strategies for onsite testing of food contaminants - to allow more rapid screening of imports and to provide new tools to chemist/CSO inspection teams, emerging instrumentation and test kits will be explored. This is already being pursued for histamine in fish using rapid test kits and novel sample extraction methods for use onsite. Other contaminants can be detected at trace levels using rapid immunoassay strategies such as surface plasmon resonance (SPR). Due to the emergence of commercially available, portable SPR instrumentation, a rapid, onsite testing approach can now be developed, with a wide range of accessible analytes ranging from ciguatoxins in fish to bacterial toxins and even viruses. Comparison and reference methodology would be based on LC, mass spectrometric methods and cytotoxicity assays where applicable (cytotoxicity work performed offsite by collaborator and former FDA science advisor Ron Manger of FHCRC). Another emerging technology is WiFi-enabled handheld NIR spectrometers which can be useful for detecting bulk changes in composition. These technologies have become available in portable format in recent years. SPR will be the primary focus of the work and would include co-PI Clement Furlong at the University of Washington (see attached reference PDF for portable SPR which illustrates the sensitivity and versatility of the instrument). The portable SPR is available in the US from Seattle Sensors, Seattle, WA.

Applicant Requirements:

A Ph.D. in chemistry is required (analytical preferred). Applicants applying for this project should also have knowledge and experience in analytical chemistry, including chromatographic methods, also understanding of spectroscopy and immunoassays.

Selected Recent Publications:

Hungerford, J. 2010 Scombroid Poisoning: A Review. Special Issue on Seafood Toxins. Toxicon, 56, Issue (2): 231-243.

Hungerford, J., and Wu, W.-H. 2011. Comparison Study of the BiooScientific MaxSignal Enzymatic Assay and Neogen Veratox ELISA for Histamine. Laboratory Information Bulletin, June, #4484, FDA. pp 1-21.

Hungerford, J., and Wu, W.-H. 2012. Comparison Study of Three Rapid Test Kits for Histamine in Fish: BiooScientific MaxSignal Enzymatic Assay, Neogen Veratox ELISA, and the Neogen Reveal Histamine Screening Test. Food Control 25, 448-457.

Hungerford, J.M. 2013. Seafood Toxins. In R. G. Labbe, J. Santos Garcia (eds.) Guide to Foodborne Pathogens, 2nd Ed. Wiley, New York, N.Y., pp. 377-398.

Manger, R., Woodle, D., Berger, A., Dickey, R.W., Jester, E., Yasumoto, T., Lewis, R., Hawryluk, T., Hungerford J. 2014. Flow cytometric-membrane potential detection of sodium channel active marine toxins: Application to ciguatoxins in fish muscle and feasibility of automating saxitoxin detection” JAOAC.

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