Lee-Ann Jaykus, PhD
William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor & NoroCORE Scientific Director
Department of Food, Bioprocessing, and Nutrition Sciences, and Department of Microbiology
North Carolina State University
Dr. Lee-Ann Jaykus is a William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing, and Nutrition Sciences at North Carolina State University, with an associate appointment in the Department of Microbiology. Dr. Jaykus received a Ph.D. (1993) in Environmental Sciences and Engineering from the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. She previously earned B.S. (1979) and M.S. (1982) degrees in Food Science from Purdue University. Her current research efforts are varied and focus on: (1) food virology; (2) development of molecular methods for foodborne pathogen detection; (3) application of quantitative risk assessment in food safety; and (4) understanding the ecology of pathogens in foods.
Over the years, Dr. Jaykus has collaborated on many large, multi-institutional projects dealing with a variety of foodborne pathogens. However, she is best known for her work in Food Virology, focusing on developing methods to detect human enteric virus contamination in foods and environmental samples, and better understanding the dynamics of virus transmission through the food chain. As such, Dr. Jaykus is currently serving as the scientific director of the USDA-NIFA Food Virology Collaborative. Also called NoroCORE, the Collaborative is a large consortium of academic institutions with representation from researchers and regulators affiliated with state and federal governments, as well as members from relevant industrial sectors.
Her professional memberships include the International Association for Food Protection (for which she served as president from 2010-2011), the American Society for Microbiology, the Institute of Food Technologists, the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology, and the Society for Risk Analysis. Dr. Jaykus has previously served as a member of the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods, and the Institute of Medicine (IOM)-National Research Council’s Committee on Review of the Food and Drug Administration’s Role in Ensuring Safe Food. She currently works closely with the FDA Office of Foods in facilitating the implementation of risk-based food safety management. She is also a member of the IOM’s Food and Nutrition Board and the Food Forum.
Over her academic career, Dr. Jaykus and her collaborators have secured over $45 million in extramural funding. She has taught food microbiology/safety on the undergraduate and graduate levels, has mentored over 20 graduate students and 10 post-doctoral research associates and/or visiting scientists, and authored or co-authored over 150 publications.