Jennifer Cannon, PhD
Assistant Professor of Food Virology
Center for Food Safety
University of Georgia
Dr. Cannon is an Assistant Professor of Food Virology at the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2008 with a Ph.D. from the department of Environmental Science and Engineering. During her graduate studies, she was a member of the National Calicivirus Laboratory at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Cannon’s past and present research interests are largely focused on improving methods for detecting viral pathogens in foods, understanding environmental persistence of foodborne viruses, and developing strategies for prevention and control of foodborne illnesses. Improved methods for detecting foodborne viruses in foods, water, and food contact surfaces are essential for identifying outbreak sources and routes of food contamination and establishing which foods/processes/settings represent the greatest risk for contamination by foodborne viruses. An understanding of virus survival and the likelihood of virus transfer to and from food surfaces is also important for assessment of risk. Development and evaluation of virucidal agents or disinfection technologies that can be applied directly on foods, in the food processing environment, or on the hands of food handlers is an area of research necessary for effective prevention and control. Dr. Cannon’s research program is applied in nature. Many of her research projects have been designed to have direct and tangible benefits to the food industry and to public health.
Cannon is a regular Guest Lecturer for courses in food microbiology, Toxicology, Seafood Technology, Soil Microbiology, Introduction to Public Health, and Environmental Health Science at UGA and GA State University. She has research publications in the Journal of Food Protection, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, the Journal of Virology, and PLoS Medicine and has written a book chapter on Foodborne Viruses. Cannon is a graduate advisor for 1 PhD and 3 MS students, serves on graduate committees for two additional PhD students and supports undergraduate research for students majoring in Microbiology and Biology. Since 2008, Cannon has graduated 3 MS students at UGA.