Scientific Advisory Board
Christina Baxter, Ph.D.
Dr. Baxter has greater than 20 years of experience in the hazardous materials/CBRNE response community and was the CBRNE Program Manager for the Department of Defense’s Combating Terrorism Technical Support Office where she was responsible for identifying capability gaps in the combating terrorism CBRNE mission space, illuminating or developing innovative solutions, and delivering them to military, interagency, and law enforcement operators in the field as rapidly as possible. Dr. Christina Baxter is the CEO of Emergency Response TIPS, LLC which provides practical, evidence-based solutions for emergency response through the development of next-generation tools for enhanced situational awareness and responder safety; instructional design materials for instructor-led and web-based programs in the areas of CBRNE, hazardous materials, and clandestine laboratory response; technology transition guidance for emerging technologies; and, emergency planning for hazardous materials and emergency response. Dr. Baxter holds B.S. degrees in Chemistry and Environmental Science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Philip Berger, Ph.D.
Dr. Philip Berger retired from the USDA, where he served for 11 years as the Executive Director of the USDA APHIS PPQ, Science and Technology. As Executive Director, Dr. Berger led overall scientific support for PPQ programs, policies, and actions and served as a member of the PPQ Management Team. Dr. Berger served in the PPQ program since 2003 when he became the program’s National Science Program Leader for Molecular Diagnostics and Biotechnology. He received his B.A. and M.S. from the University of Minnesota, before receiving a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from Texas A&M University. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Kentucky before joining the faculty at the University of Idaho, where he served as the Chair of the Plant Pathology Division and Associate Director of the Idaho Experiment Station prior to joining APHIS. He has authored more than 90 research papers, books, and book chapters and received both the Phi Kappa Phi Distinguished Faculty Award from the University of Idaho and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Minnesota for his research on virus-resistant plants.
Ron Brlansky, Ph.D.
Dr. Ron Brlansky received his Ph.D. in Plant Pathology/Plant Virology from Louisiana State University using serologically electron microscopy (immuno-specific electron microscopy) for the detection of various plant viruses. His research has focused on plant diseases caused by plant viruses and fastidious prokaryotes such as Citrus tristeza virus, Citrus leprosis virus, Xylella fastidiosa and Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus affecting citrus. Specifically this work has been on detection of causal agents in plants and insect vectors using novel serological and molecular methods as well as light and electron microscopic methods. In addition, he has done considerable work in insect transmission of plant viruses and fastidious prokaryotes. Recent work includes work on virus-vector interactions and management of exotic citrus diseases especially citrus greening or huanglongbing, Citrus leprosis virus, and citrus blight. Dr. Brlansky has been an active member of the American Phytopathological Society (APS), Southern Division of the American Phytopathological Society and the Caribbean Division of APS. He was Associate and Senior Editor of Plant Disease, Editor of the Proceedings of the 11th Conference of the International Organization of Citrus Virologists, Secretary/Treasurer of the APS Caribbean Division and President of APS Caribbean Division.
Beth Carroll, Ph.D.
Dr. Carroll has most recently served as Senior Stewardship Manager at Syngenta. Prior to that, she was Manager of Food Quality and IPM initiative at Novartis Crop Protection and Manager, Study Resource at CIBA Crop Protection / Novartis Crop Protection. Dr. Carroll has a deep experience base in agricultural production, EPA and USDA regulations, and agricultural policy especially in relation to the interpretation of pesticide policy, risk assessments, and regulations with potential to affect growers, packers and processors. Specialties include Plant Pathology, Horticultural Science & Food Microbiology, Agricultural Regulations and Policy. Dr. Carroll is an alumni of North Carolina State University where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Horticultural Science, Master’s degree in Food Sciences, and a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology.
Andrew Flannery, Ph.D. – Board Chairman
Dr. Flannery is responsible for overseeing biosensor production, quality control, and developing new biosensor lines. As the project director for several grants and contracts, Dr. Flannery also manages the scientific team for new product development. Since joining PathSensors in 2014, he has developed new biosensors to detect Campylobacter, Ebola viruses, and Abrin. Dr. Flannery serves as Director of New Product Development, Biosafety Officer, and Chair of the Company’s Scientific Advisory Board. Before joining PathSensors, Inc., Dr. Flannery was a research assistant professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he discovered and characterized key components of the iron acquisition pathway in the human parasite, Leishmania. He is a member of The American Phytopathological Society, The American Society for Microbiology, and The American Society of Cell Biology. Dr. Flannery received his Ph.D. from the University of Oregon. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Yale University’s School of Medicine, in the Department of Microbial Pathogenesis.
Jacqueline Fletcher, Ph.D.
Dr. Fletcher is a 32 year member of the faculty of the Oklahoma State University Department of Plant Pathology, where she most recently held the title of Sarkeys Distinguished Professor. Dr. Fletcher’s team at OSU is recognized internationally for their work on molecular biology, genetics, and host-pathogen interactions of plant pathogenic bacteria known as phytoplasmas. Dr. Fletcher is also the director of the National Institute of Microbial Forensics and Food and Agricultural Biosecurity (NIMFFAB) and has served on the American Phytopathological Society Council for 10 years, including four years as president. Dr. Fletcher holds a B.S. in Biology from Emory University, an M.S. in Botany from the University of Montana, Missoula, and a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from Texas A&M University.
Mr. Grim has 30+ years of experience in quality assurance/food safety for the food services and manufacturing industries. He was formerly the Vice President of Quality Assurance and Food Safety for Marriott International (more than 3,000 food service locations worldwide) and developed a Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) plan that has been implemented in 7,500 properties. Mr. Grim oversaw the activities of 25+ outside food safety auditors and over 1,000 third party audits annually. He was also former Vice President of Quality Assurance and Food Safety for Avendra, LLC (a $3 billion procurement company), and served in executive QA and food safety positions for Morton Frozen Foods, Hanover Brands, and a national provider of frozen egg and egg products. Currently Mr. Grim owns his own consulting business and is Senior Consultant for Seneca Corporation, a software company dedicated to crisis management.
David Hodge, Ph.D.
Dr. David Hodge is happy to be a member of the PathSensors Scientific Advisory Board. He is currently an Affiliate member of the Pathogen and Microbiome Institute (PMI), at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. Prior to joining the board, he was employed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the Science and Technology Directorate, Chemical-Biological Defense Division, Research and Development Branch, as the Senior Program Manager for Basic Research and Assay Development. He also served as the Laboratory and Quality Assurance Manager for the National Bio-Forensic Analysis Center (NBFAC), National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC) at Fort Detrick, Maryland. Prior to joining DHS, Dr. Hodge performed research at the National Institutes of Health for 17 years in the fields of Virology and Inflammation Signal Transduction. He is an author or co-author of over one hundred publications and peer-reviewed research articles and posters. He was also an adjunct professor in the Johns Hopkins University Graduate Program for Biotechnology and Biodefense for ten years. Dr. Hodge is a graduate of the University of Maryland (B.S. Microbiology/Biochemistry, cum laude) and received his Doctor of Philosophy (Virology/Molecular Biology) from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Prior to entering the scientific research and development field, he worked as a police officer for ten years in the Baltimore area.
Florian Krammer, Ph.D.
Dr. Krammer is an Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology at The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital. The Krammer laboratory studies cross-reactive antibody responses to the surface glycoproteins of antigenically variable RNA viruses. His main focus is in influenza viruses with a special focus on antibody responses to hantaviruses, filoviruses, and other emerging RNA viruses. Work done in the laboratory includes the expression and characterization of viral glycoproteins, generation of glycoprotein-directed monoclonal antibodies, and the characterization of the interaction between antibodies and surface glycoproteins; his lab as specific interest in analyzing conserved epitopes and – through detailed studies – aim to elucidate the mechanisms by which these antibodies protect the host from viral infection and disease. The final goal is to translate these findings into novel vaccines and therapeutics. (PC: Sebastian Krammer)
Gregory Lamka, Ph.D.
Dr. Lamka has 22 years at Dupont Pioneer Hi-Bred International. During that time, he held positions including Global Seed Treatment Strategy Manager, Global Phytosanitary Regulatory Manager, and Global Quality Assurance Manager. Dr. Lamka has been recognized for his efforts through the DuPont Engineering Excellence Award, ASTA President’s Distinguished Service Award, Iowa Seed Association Distinguished Service Award, and the American Phytopathological Society’s Excellence in Industry Award. He is currently teaching a couple classes in the Graduate Program in Seed Technology and Business at Iowa State University.
Li Maria Ma, Ph.D.
Dr. Li Maria Ma is an Associate Professor in food safety and biosecurity at the National Institute for Microbial Forensics & Food and Agricultural Biosecurity (NIMFFAB) at Oklahoma State University (OSU). She received her B. S. in Food Engineering from Dalian Polytechnic University, P. R. China, and her Ph. D. in Food Microbiology from Purdue University. Dr. Ma has over 20 years of working experience with a variety of foodborne pathogens including Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, Salmonella, Shigella, Listeria monocytogenes, Campylobacter jejuni, and Clostridium botulinum. Her current research areas include the development of rapid molecular detection and DNA fingerprinting methods for foodborne pathogens, ecological studies of foodborne pathogens in plant/animal environments through conventional and metagenomic and meta-transcriptomic approaches, and development of novel control measures against foodborne pathogen contamination of foods. She has published over 30 peer-reviewed scientific articles and holds 3 U.S. patents. Dr. Ma also currently serves as the president of the Oklahoma Association for Food Protection (OKAFP), an affiliate of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP).
Paul Silber, Ph.D. – Adjunct SAB member and member of the PathSensors Board of Directors
Dr. Silber was the former President/CEO and is founder of In Vitro Technologies, Inc. (IVT), a bioscience company that provides products and services to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Dr. Silber currently serves as chair of the GBTC Biotech Roundtable. In addition, he serves on the boards of the Biotechnical Institute of Maryland, the TechCenter at UMBC Business Advisory Board, and the Dean’s advisory board of the UMBC College of Natural Sciences. He is also on the Leadership team of the Open Society Institute and an active mentor of other local entrepreneurs and is a member of the Chesapeake Emerging Opportunity (Angel) Fund and a founding member of BLU Venture Investors. Dr. Silber has a B.S. in Biology (Carleton College), a M.S. in Public Health (Univ. Alabama), and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology (Univ. Arizona). He is the holder of two patents and the recipient of various business awards and recognition awards from the State of Maryland.