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April 26, 2022
By Fred MillerU of A System Division of Agriculture@AgNews479
PHOTO of Kristen Gibson: https://flic.kr/p/2ngTpPo
Related PHOTOS: https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjzMcx7
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station has appointed Kristen
Gibson, professor of food safety and microbiology, director of the Center for Food
“The Center for Food Safety coordinates food safety research that is relevant to the
state of Arkansas across the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.
It is committed to disseminating research findings to Arkansas families and food industries,”
said Jean-François Meullenet, senior associate vice president for agriculture-research
and director of the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, the research arm of
the Division of Agriculture.
“Dr. Gibson’s body of work over more than a decade at the experiment station has earned
her a reputation as one of the nation’s foremost experts in microbiology and food
safety,” Meullenet said. “Her expertise is widely sought, and she is a proven research
leader with a successful track record of acquiring research grants to further this
Gibson joined the Agricultural Experiment Station in 2010 as a postdoctoral research
associate. She was promoted to assistant professor in 2012, to associate professor
in 2017 and to professor in 2022.
Her research focuses on the fate and transport of pathogens within food systems, including
food handling and processing. She specializes in investigating human noroviruses and
food safety related to fresh produce and retail outlets. She is also the lead investigator
in a USDA-funded, multi-institutional project to study how safe it is to eat out during
the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I can think of no one better qualified to lead this important center to benefit all
Arkansans,” Meullenet said.
“I’m excited to see what we can do going forward,” Gibson said. “We have new scientists
working alongside veteran researchers to focus on critical food safety issues. I think
it’s exciting to be part of that.
“I’ve been here long enough to see the center’s successes and understand our challenges,”
Gibson said. “Food safety is a constantly evolving issue in agriculture and food industries.
As soon as you solve one problem, another crops up. Food safety is never not going
to be a challenge.”
The center’s scientists include experts in produce safety, virology, low-moisture
food safety, novel processing technologies, mycotoxins in grains, and meat and poultry
safety. “We can leverage that collective expertise to respond rapidly to the food
safety challenges that arise,” Gibson said.
The Center for Food Safety’s mission includes public education and awareness of food
and consumer safety through workshops and training, and collaborating with the Arkansas
Cooperative Extension Service to disseminate information, Gibson said.
“People need to have a place they know and trust to find answers to their questions
about food safety,” Gibson said.
To learn more about Division of Agriculture research, visit the Arkansas Agricultural
Experiment Station website: https://aaes.uada.edu/. Follow us on Twitter at @ArkAgResearch. To learn about Extension Programs in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension
Service agent or visit https://uaex.uada.edu/. Follow us on Twitter at @AR_Extension.
To learn more about the Division of Agriculture, visit https://uada.edu/. Follow us on Twitter at @AgInArk.
About the Division of Agriculture
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen
agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption
of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative
Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work
within the nation’s historic land grant education system.
The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas
System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension
and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity,
sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran
status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative
Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.
Media Contact: Fred MillerU of A System Division of AgricultureArkansas Agricultural Experiment Station(479) firstname.lastname@example.org