Meet Our 2019 Stand Up To Superbugs Ambassadors

Individuals will gather in DC to urge sustained funding to fight antibiotic resistance

Meet Our 2019 Stand Up To Superbugs Ambassadors
Superbugs
People from across the country gather in Washington as part of the Stand Up to Superbugs initiative.
The Pew Charitable Trusts

A team of people from around the country will travel to Washington from March 5 to 7 as part of the Stand Up to Superbugs movement to meet with members of Congress and policymakers. These individuals are part of The Pew Charitable Trusts’ network of survivors, farmers, doctors, researchers, and others with a personal connection to the issue of antibiotic resistance. They are sharing their unique experiences and perspectives to help raise awareness about the growing public health and national security threat posed by drug-resistant bacteria. Together, our ambassadors are working to ensure the responsible use of antibiotics in veterinary and human medicine, spur a robust pipeline of new drugs, and increase funding across the federal government to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria. 

David Andes (Verona, Wisconsin)

David Andes, M.D., is head of the division of infectious diseases at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a professor in the departments of medicine, medical microbiology, and immunology. He also directs the Wisconsin Antimicrobial Drug Discovery and Development National Institutes of Health (NIH) Center of Excellence. He has been an editor of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy since 2013 and is on the editorial boards of several other infectious disease journals. He served as president of the International Society of Antimicrobial Pharmacology, was elected as a fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American Academy of Microbiology, and has been a member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America’s program committee. He received a medical degree from the University of Missouri School of Medicine.

Ritu Banerjee (Nashville, Tennessee)

Ritu Banerjee, M.D., Ph.D., is an associate professor in the division of pediatric infectious diseases and director of the antimicrobial stewardship program at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital. She provides clinical care for children with complicated infections; teaches medical students, residents, and fellows; and conducts clinical research related to the surveillance of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and strategies to optimize appropriate antibiotic use. She has seen firsthand the devastating outcomes of drug-resistant infections and has been frustrated by the limited number of antibiotics available to fight superbugs. She received doctoral and medical degrees from Washington University in St. Louis, and completed a pediatric residency and pediatric infectious diseases fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. 

John Barlow (Charlotte, Vermont)

John Barlow, D.V.M., Ph.D., is a veterinary infectious disease researcher and an associate professor in the department of animal sciences at the University of Vermont, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses, including one in global animal health and zoonotic disease. His research is focused on mastitis control on conventional and organic dairy farms, Staphylococcus epidemiology on dairy farms, antimicrobial resistance of staphylococci, and improved methods for disease control in dairy cattle. He received a bachelor’s degree in pathobiology from the University of Connecticut, a veterinary medicine degree from the University of Illinois, and a doctorate in infectious disease mathematical and molecular epidemiology from the University of Vermont.

Janet Briscoe (Nitro, West Virginia)

Janet Briscoe, R.N., B.S.N., M.B.A., C.I.C., is the director of epidemiology and threat preparedness at the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department, the first West Virginia health agency to achieve national accreditation. Briscoe has served in public health nursing administration positions at state and local health agencies, and has worked in infectious disease management since 2008. She is responsible for the coordination of major planning and response activities with regard to public health emergencies and infectious disease investigations/outbreaks. She holds a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Marshall University and a master’s in business administration from West Virginia University College of Business and Economics.

Thomas Coon (Stillwater, Oklahoma)

Thomas Coon, Ph.D., has been vice president, dean, and director of the Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at Oklahoma State University (OSU) since 2014. He is responsible for integration of the Oklahoma Agricultural Experiment Station, the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, and the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. Before joining OSU, he was director of the Michigan State University (MSU) Cooperative Extension and a professor of fisheries and wildlife at MSU for 25 years. Previously, he served on the faculty at the University of Missouri. He received a doctorate in ecology from the University of California, Davis.

Jeffrey Duchin (Seattle, Washington)

Jeffrey Duchin, M.D., is the health officer for Public Health—Seattle & King County and chief of its communicable disease epidemiology and immunization section. Duchin holds appointments as professor of medicine, division of infectious diseases, and adjunct professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Washington. He also serves on the board of scientific counselors to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Infectious Diseases. He worked for CDC’s Division of Tuberculosis Elimination and the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention’s Special Studies Branch. He serves on the board of directors for the Infectious Diseases Society of America and chaired its public health committee and bioemergencies task force. He received a medical degree from Rutgers University.

Richard Ebright, (North Brunswick, New Jersey)

Richard Ebright, Ph.D., is a professor of chemistry and chemical biology at Rutgers, the state university of New Jersey, and laboratory director at the Waksman Institute of Microbiology. He conducts research on the structure, mechanism, and regulation of bacterial transcription complexes and on development of antituberculosis drugs and broad‑spectrum antibacterial drugs that target bacterial transcription. He is a member of the institutional biosafety committee at Rutgers, the antimicrobial resistance committee of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He received a bachelor’s degree in biology and doctorate in microbiology and molecular genetics from Harvard University.

Christina Fuhrman (Columbia, Missouri)

Christina Fuhrman is a survivor of Clostridioides difficile (C. diff.), which nearly ended her life. Three years after her infection, her 2-year old daughter developed the same condition. As a Peggy Lillis Foundation advocate and through her personal website (www.mygijourney.org), she works to increase awareness of C. diff. and connect patients with resources. She is a stay-at-home mom to two children after working 15 years in banking and lending.

Tejal Gandhi (Ann Arbor, Michigan)

Tejal Gandhi, M.D., is an associate professor in the division of infectious diseases at the University of Michigan. She is medical director of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at Michigan Medicine and chair of the antimicrobial subcommittee. Gandhi also leads a Blue Cross Blue Shield-sponsored antimicrobial stewardship initiative for the Michigan Hospital Medicine Safety Consortium, which includes 43 hospitals in Michigan and encourages hospitalists throughout the state to appropriately use antibiotics for hospitalized patients with pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and asymptomatic bacteriuria. She received a medical degree from Northwestern University Medical School.

Donald Hoenig, (Belfast, Maine)

Donald Hoenig, V.M.D., founded MIM Consulting in 2013 (specializing in farm animal health and welfare, food safety, and public health) and is co-owner of One Health Veterinary Consulting LLC. He has been working for the past five years as the American Humane Association’s senior veterinarian adviser in its farm animal welfare certification program. In a veterinary career spanning four decades, he has been a U.S. Department of Agriculture veterinary medical officer, the state veterinarian and state public health veterinarian in Maine, and an American Veterinary Medical Association congressional fellow in the office of Senator Susan Collins (R-ME); has taught at the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine; and has worked in mixed animal practice. Over the past three years, he has completed three development missions with the World Organization for Animal Health to Tanzania, Ghana, and Gambia. He received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Bowdoin College and a veterinary medicine degree from the University of Pennsylvania.

Seth Housman (Northampton, Massachusetts)

Seth Housman, Pharm.D., M.P.A., is a clinical assistant professor of acute care in the department of pharmacy practice at Western New England University. He maintains a practice site at Baystate Medical Center as an infectious diseases pharmacy specialist and assistant residency program director for the second-year postgraduate infectious diseases pharmacy residency. His research interests include optimizing antimicrobial dosing to overcome antimicrobial resistance. He received master’s of public administration and doctor of pharmacy degrees from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

Lourdes Irizarry (Santa Fe, New Mexico)

Lourdes Irizarry, M.D., is an infectious disease physician and a health care-associated infections medical epidemiologist at the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) Epidemiology and Response Division. In this capacity, she conducts research, identifies quality-improvement opportunities for the reduction of health care-associated infections, and supports antimicrobial stewardship programs. She is the principal investigator for three Emerging Infections Program protocols. Irizarry also is one of the medical directors of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes project, a collaboration between the NMDOH and the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center (UNMHSC). Before joining the NMDOH, Irizarry served as chief of staff at the Albany Stratton Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Albany, New York, for 11 years. Previously, she was a professor of medicine at the UNMHSC Department of Medicine and served as the New Mexico VA Health Care System infectious diseases section chief. Irizarry received a medical degree from the Universidad Central del Caribe School of Medicine in Bayamón, Puerto Rico, served a residency at New York Infirmary-Beekman Downtown, and completed an infectious disease fellowship at the University of New Mexico.

Grace Kubin (Austin, Texas)

Grace Kubin, Ph.D., lost her father due to complications from a C. diff. infection in June 2015. The uncontrollable infection was caused by improper prescription of antibiotics following surgery. She directs the Texas Department of State Health Services’ laboratory services section, which received funding the following year from CDC to become a regional lab for the CDC’s new national Antibiotic Resistance Laboratory Network, which continues to provide capabilities to rapidly detect antibiotic resistance. Since 2016, she has also been a member of the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists/CDC antimicrobial resistance surveillance task force. She studied immunology, focusing on gene regulation, at the University of Texas, Austin, where she received bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees.

Kerry LaPlante (East Greenwich, Rhode Island)

Kerry LaPlante Pharm.D., F.C.C.P., F.I.D.S.A., is a tenured professor of pharmacy at the University of Rhode Island, an adjunct professor of medicine at Brown University, and director of the antimicrobial stewardship clinical research program and fellowship at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Providence, Rhode Island. She is the president of the Society of Infectious Diseases Pharmacists, vice chairperson of the Rhode Island Department of Health’s Antimicrobial Stewardship and Environmental Cleaning Task Force, and technical expert for the Joint Commission’s Leading Practices in Antimicrobial Stewardship panel. She received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Canisius College and a doctor of pharmacy and postdoctoral fellowship in infectious diseases/pharmacotherapy at the Anti-Infective Research Laboratory, Wayne State University.

Nate Leedahl (Fargo, North Dakota)

Nate Leedahl, Pharm.D., is a board-certified pharmacotherapy specialist and a lead pharmacist for Enterprise pharmacy services with Sanford Health. He serves as coordinator for the Enterprise Antimicrobial Stewardship Program and Health-System Drug Formulary. He researches systemwide interventions to reduce unnecessary antibiotic use in hospital and community settings. In his role, he develops guidelines to help clinicians optimize antimicrobial therapy and tools for pharmacists to review patients on active treatment. He also designs reports to track antibiotic use and provides feedback to prescribers. His team’s work in combating resistant bacteria and hospital-acquired C. diff. infections resulted in Sanford being awarded a National Healthcare Safety Network Antimicrobial Use and Resistance grant from the South Dakota Department of Health. He holds a doctor of pharmacy degree from North Dakota State University and completed his pharmacy residency at Sanford Health in Fargo, North Dakota.

Christian Lillis (Brooklyn, New York)

Christian Lillis lost his mother, Peggy, to a C. diff. infection in April 2010 after she was unnecessarily prescribed a broad-spectrum antibiotic. The loss of his mother led Lillis to advocate for better antibiotic use policies and the building of a more robust drug pipeline, as treatments for C. diff. are limited. He is executive director of the Peggy Lillis Foundation and a member of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s Safety Program for Antibiotic Stewardship technical panel. He is also a member of Patient and Family Advisory Council of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Partnership for Patients. In 2013, he received the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Excellence in Partnership award for domestic advocates and organizations.

Daniel Lowery (Lansing, Michigan)

Daniel Lowery is a unit manager for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, covering counties in central, eastern, and southeastern Michigan. He acts as the Interstate Communication Control Record coordinator, maintaining a roster of state and project area contacts that is used to confidentially share domestic public health information. In this role, Lowery works to reduce the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases in Michigan while promoting and expanding local, state, and federal partnerships. In his 14-year career in public health, he has served as a health educator in senior wellness for the Central Michigan District Health Department, worked in HIV partner services with the Michigan Department of Community Health, and provided technical assistance to local health departments, private providers, HIV case management agencies, and laboratories in 62 of Michigan’s 83 counties. He is a certified disease intervention specialist and received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Alma College.

Dustin Loy (Lincoln Nebraska)

Dustin Loy, D.V.M., Ph.D., is an associate professor in the School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln and faculty supervisor for the bacteriology and molecular diagnostics sections of the Nebraska Veterinary Diagnostic Center. His research focuses on ocular and respiratory diseases of cattle with a specific interest in the development of tools and diagnostic strategies to assist veterinarians with disease prevention and the judicious selection and use of antimicrobials. He is a member of the board of health for Lincoln/Lancaster County, Nebraska, and a member of the board of governors and committee chair for the American College of Veterinary Microbiology. He received a bachelor’s degree in animal science, doctorate in veterinary microbiology, and doctor of veterinary medicine degree in food animal medicine from Iowa State University, and is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists.

Dana Mirman (Naples, Florida)

Dana Mirman survived a life-threatening infection in December 2011 and credits her recovery to her doctors’ prompt diagnosis and the efficacy of the antibiotics they used to treat her. She is a writer, television producer, and public relations executive. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Binghamton University; was an associate producer for ABC’s “20/20”; and has developed content for TLC, Animal Planet, National Geographic Wild, Discovery, and “The Montel Williams Show.” She is a member of the board of directors of Sepsis Alliance, the national nonprofit devoted to raising awareness of sepsis.

Dana Nguyen (Vancouver, Washington)

Dana Nguyen, B.S.N., R.N., C.I.C., is an infection-control practitioner for the infectious disease program at Clark County (Washington) Public Health. Nguyen helps health care facilities assess infection prevention practices and develop and implement antibiotic stewardship programs. She also disseminates educational resources for different health care settings and believes that education is both a great enabler and a critical foundation from which a community of practitioners delivers care. She has over 30 years of nursing experience, including 24 years of nursing leadership, and has spent the past three years performing assessments of infection control and response throughout Washington state. She is the National Association of County and City Health Officials’ liaison representative on the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee and is the 2019 president-elect of the Oregon Southern Washington chapter of the Association for Professionals in Infection Prevention and Control. She received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Washington State University.

Mark Pandori (Oakland, California)

Mark Pandori, Ph.D., directs Laboratory Services for the Public Health Department of Alameda County, California, where he was previously the chief microbiologist. He is associate clinical professor of laboratory medicine at the University of California, San Francisco and was director of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. His research focuses on tracking resistance of hospital-acquired infection (using next generation sequencing) and has studied rapid, real-time methods of tracking drug resistance in sexually transmitted diseases. He received a bachelor’s degree in genetics from UC Berkeley and a doctorate in biomedical sciences from UC San Diego, where he studied the structure and biology of HIV.

Sarah Parker (Denver, Colorado)

Sarah Parker, M.D., is a pediatric infectious diseases physician and medical director of the antimicrobial stewardship program at Children’s Hospital Colorado, where she fights antibiotic resistance by supporting the judicious use of antibiotics. Her program, which involves making appropriate choices for antibiotics, dosage, and duration, as well as reducing unnecessary prescriptions, has successfully cut antibiotic use and improved care at her institution. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a medical degree from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

Nate Powell-Palm (Bozeman, Montana)

Nate Powell-Palm raises grass-fed organic cattle, farms certified organic grains and pulse crops on 875 acres, and works as an organic farm, livestock, and processing inspector, contracting with certification agencies around the United States to inspect all aspects of organic agriculture. In 2017, he joined the International Organic Inspectors Association as an instructor, training new inspectors and developing a curriculum to help improve their education. He has served as both the vice president and president of the Montana Organic Producers Coop, a 22-member certified organic, grass-fed beef marketing cooperative, and serves on the governing council of the Organic Farmers Association. He holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Montana State University.

Michelle Protani-Chesnik (Willards, Maryland)

Michelle Protani-Chesnik has owned and operated a family commercial poultry farm with her spouse on Maryland’s Eastern Shore for the past 30 years. She strongly believes in the need to use antibiotics responsibly, and for 13 years has raised chickens for Mountaire Farms, a Certified Responsible Antibiotic Use company that uses medically important antibiotics only when the birds are sick. She hopes to help others understand the welfare issues that arise when birds are left ill. She has also worked with Perdue Farms as a poultry producer to help write a welfare manual for poultry from the perspective of the hatchery, breeder, and farm. She has studied hatchery and poultry production processes around the world, including in Egypt and France, as well as the United States. She is the chair of the Maryland Agricultural Commission, is affiliated with the Maryland Farm Bureau, is certified by the Farm Stewardship Certification and Assessment Program as an agricultural conservation steward, and was awarded Outstanding Poultry Producer in 2008 by Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc. She received a bachelor’s degree in business management from Antioch University and completed a flock supervisor course at the University of Georgia.

Jennifer Rakeman (Douglaston, New York)

Jennifer Rakeman, Ph.D., serves as assistant commissioner for the New York City Public Health Laboratory (NYC PHL) and has led the city’s laboratory responses to Ebola, the largest Legionella outbreak since the disease was discovered, Zika virus, and the current measles outbreak. Previously, she was associate director of microbiology at the NYC PHL and has several years of experience in leadership positions at clinical hospital laboratories. Rakeman is active with the Association for Public Health Laboratories (APHL), chairing the Infectious Disease Committee from 2013 to 2018 and serving as the APHL liaison to the Advisory Committee for the Elimination of Tuberculosis and on the APHL-CDC Advisory Group for Fellowships. In 2018, Rakeman received the APHL Emerging Leader Award. She has also served on National Academy of Sciences panels on the national BioWatch program and is chair of the executive leadership council Training Framework Laboratory Workgroup. She received a doctorate in microbiology from the University of Washington, Seattle, where she studied transcriptional regulation of virulence in Salmonella

Shannon Ross (Vestavia Hills, Alabama)

Shannon Ross, M.D., M.S.P.H., is an associate professor of pediatrics and microbiology in the division of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Alabama, Birmingham (UAB), and has been a faculty member in the UAB’s department of pediatrics since 2006. Ross is an active clinician and researcher, with her lab work focusing on congenital infections. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Infectious Diseases Society of America, and the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, and an elected member of the Society for Pediatric Research. Since 2015, she has been the medical co-director of the Children’s of Alabama-Benjamin Russell Hospital’s antimicrobial stewardship program and leads a team that works to implement guidelines and policies on appropriate antimicrobial use to improve patient care. She received a medical degree from the UAB School of Medicine and completed a pediatric residency and pediatric infectious diseases fellowship from UAB. During her fellowship training, she also received a master’s degree in public health, in clinical research, at the UAB School of Public Health. To learn more, watch “My Worst Fear: A Doctor Faces Antibiotic Resistance” and read “One Doctor’s Fight to Stop Superbugs and Save Lives.”

Laura Sage (Willamette Valley, Oregon)

Laura Sage and her husband are co-owners of Red Bird Acres, a first-generation pasture-based livestock farm in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. They raise laying hens, broiler chickens, and pigs exclusively on pasture, and their products are certified Animal Welfare Approved. On their farm, she and her husband work to prevent antibiotic resistance through the judicious use of antibiotics. They never give their animals prophylactic antibiotics and through good husbandry practices are able to raise animals that stay healthy and thrive on pasture without the use of medical interventions common on other livestock farms. When necessary, they will provide an individual sick animal with antibiotics at a therapeutic dose under the supervision of their veterinarians. As a very small-scale farm, they rely on these medications to work when they need them. She has a bachelor’s degree in women’s studies and adventure education from Prescott College. 

Hayden Schwenk (Burlingame, California)

Hayden Schwenk, M.D., M.P.H., is a clinical associate professor of pediatrics in the division of pediatric infectious diseases at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He is the co-clinical chief of the division and chairs the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford’s pharmacy and therapeutics and integrated infectious disease program committees. As medical director of the hospital’s first antimicrobial stewardship program, he is responsible for identifying and implementing strategies that improve antimicrobial utilization. He has a particular interest in the diagnosis and management of C. diff. infections, antifungal stewardship, and approaches to the stewardship of antimicrobial use in medically complex, critically ill children. He received a master’s degree in public health from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and a medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. 

Mike and Katie Stonnington (Perkinston, Mississippi)

Mike Stonnington, M.D., and Katie Stonnington, Ph.D., founded and manage Stonnington Farm, where they raise grass-fed cattle on close to 400 acres. Their farming approach places stewardship of the Earth, humane treatment of animals, and the health of consumers at the cornerstone of the agricultural business. Stonnington Farm uses antibiotics only when an animal has a life-threatening illness. After 15 years in the Air Force Reserve, Mike Stonnington is also a senior partner at Southern Bone and Joint Specialists in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, one of the largest orthopedic surgery groups in the state and is chief of staff at Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg. Katie Stonnington founded and is president of the Stone County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Wiggins, Mississippi.

Mike Stonnington received a bachelor’s degree in archaeology from the University of Virginia and a medical degree from Duke University School of Medicine, and completed orthopedic surgery residency at the University of Florida. Katie Stonnington received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Virginia and master’s and doctoral degrees in material science engineering from North Carolina State University. 

Melissa Stundick (Crofton, Maryland)

Melissa Stundick, Ph.D., is executive director of strategic alliances at Spero Therapeutics, where she leads its efforts to partner with other pharmaceutical companies, not-for-profit organizations, and government agencies. At Spero and in her former role as the broad-spectrum antimicrobials program chief with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), she has advocated for policy changes to promote innovation in antibacterial research and development and increase economic incentives for companies engaged in this important therapeutic area. She received a doctorate from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Bates College. She also holds a certificate in intelligence analysis from the University of Maryland.

Shauna Swanson (Chapel Hill, North Carolina)

Shauna Swanson, Ph.D., spent 10 years working to understand the mechanisms of antibiotic resistance and to develop new therapeutics for pathogens that the CDC categorizes as "urgent" or "serious" antibiotic resistance threats. She left antibiotic development when the startup for which she was working was unable to maintain funding. She then worked on diagnostics that could promote antibiotic stewardship by more accurately diagnosing infections and has recently changed fields to work as a regulatory scientist, helping clients to navigate the drug development process. Although no longer directly involved in the research and development of new antibiotics, Swanson follows innovations in this area closely and is happy to serve as an advocate for responsible antibiotic use to prolong the utility of existing therapeutics. She received a doctorate in microbiology and immunology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

A.J. Tarpoff (Westmoreland, Kansas)

Anthony John (A.J.) Tarpoff, D.V.M., M.S., is an assistant professor and beef extension veterinarian at Kansas State University. He spends most of his time working with beef cattle producers and veterinarians with continued education and practical skills in beef cattle production. He educates students and producers on the importance of antibiotic resistance. He received a bachelor’s degree in animal science, a master’s degree in biomedical science, and a doctor of veterinary medicine degree, all from Kansas State University.

John Tarpoff (Edwardsville, Illinois)

John Tarpoff is vice president of fresh beef at Niman Ranch. His start in the beef business was influenced by his family. Both of his grandfathers were shepherds—one started a grocery store, and the other raised calves and lambs. Eventually, the harvesting business turned into a family-run packing business. With this experience, and a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Missouri, Columbia, he understands the importance of growing Niman’s niche business with dedicated ranchers and farmers, and maintaining product excellence for consumers.

Jill Taylor (Albany, New York)

Jill Taylor, Ph.D., directs the Wadsworth Center, New York state’s public health laboratory, where she has worked for several decades. She chairs the National Library of Medicine’s board of regents; serves on the CDC’s board of scientific counselors for the Office of Infectious Diseases, co-chairing two work groups; and serves on the CDC biological agent containment work group, which reports to the board of scientific counselors in the Center for Preparedness and Response. Her scientific interests are in the use of molecular and genomic tools to support detection of emerging pathogens and the convergent use of multiple diverse data sets to advance public health preparedness and disease surveillance. She received a doctorate in microbiology from the University of Queensland, Australia.

Valerie Vaughn (Ann Arbor, Michigan)

Valerie Vaughn, M.D., M.Sc., is an assistant professor of medicine and hospitalist at the University of Michigan Medical School and the Ann Arbor VA Hospital. Her research focuses on improving the safety of hospitalized patients by combating health care-associated infections and reducing antibiotic overuse, particularly at hospital discharge. She is the hospitalist lead for the antimicrobial use initiative within the Michigan Hospital Medicine Safety Consortium, a 43-hospital collaborative quality initiative, which has collected data and reduced inappropriate antibiotic prescribing in over 20,000 patients hospitalized with pneumonia and urinary tract infection across Michigan since 2015. She received a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry from Duke University, and a master’s degree in health and health care research and medical degree, both from the University of Michigan.

Erica Washington (Metairie, Louisiana)

Erica Washington, M.P.H., is the health care-associated infections program coordinator at the Louisiana Department of Health. She believes superbugs can be slowed through judicious antibiotic use, provider education, and consumer awareness. She was a 2016-17 Informatic—Training in Place Program antibiotic resistance fellow with Project Strengthening Health Systems Through Interprofessional Education (SHINE). She is a member of numerous epidemiological organizations, including the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, and was a 2013 White House Champion of Change for Prevention and Public Health. She has a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Louisiana State University and a master’s degree in public health in epidemiology from Tulane University.

William Weiss (Double Oak, Texas)

William Weiss, M.S., directs the PreClinical Services group at the University of North Texas System College of Pharmacy, which conducts industry-sponsored research for the discovery and development of new and novel antimicrobial therapies for the treatment of multi-drug resistant bacterial infections. Before that, he was director of drug evaluation at Cumbre Pharmaceuticals Inc., a group leader in infectious disease discovery research at Wyeth Research (Pfizer) and a group leader at Lederle Laboratories and Schering-Plough (Merck). He has participated in numerous antibacterial discovery programs leading to the development of nine marketed antibiotics. He received a bachelor’s degree in microbiology from Rutgers University and a master’s degree in microbiology from Fairleigh Dickinson University.

Gary Wheeler (Little Rock, Arkansas)

Gary Wheeler, M.D., is the chief medical officer at the Arkansas Department of Health. Previously, he was medical director of the state Health Department’s hospital-acquired infection and antimicrobial stewardship programs; a pediatric infectious disease specialist; and a pharmaceuticals and therapeutics chair at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, where he focused on stewardship. His major work has been in advocating for the sustained public health of children, for which he has been cited by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Southern Society of Pediatrics, and the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; master’s degrees in religious studies from the University of Chicago and in public service from the Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas; and a medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine.

Amelia Woolums (Starkville, Mississippi)

Amelia Woolums, D.V.M., Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Pathobiology and Population Medicine in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Mississippi State University. She investigates the factors that influence the development of bovine respiratory disease, the leading cause of sickness and death in U.S. beef cattle. Current areas of research include the effect of vaccines and immune modulators to enhance respiratory disease resistance and the impact of cattle management on the development of multidrug antimicrobial resistance. She is a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and president of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists. Woolums received a veterinary degree from Purdue University and a doctorate from the University of California, Davis, where she studied the immune response of cattle infected by a common respiratory virus.