Dr. Gary Pederson was recently honored by the American Forage and Grassland Council (AFGC) conference when he received the AFGC Medallion Dr. Gary PedersonAward. This prestigious award is the highest honor presented by AFGC for outstanding contributions in forages and grasslands. Dr. Pederson is the Research Leader and Coordinator of the USDA, ARS, Plant Genetic Resources Conservation Unit located at University of Georgia Griffin. He is the first Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientist to receive this award in the past 25 years and only the fifth ARS scientist to be honored with the award.
Dr. Walid Alali, a food scientist in the Center for Food Safety, has received the University of Georgia’s Creative Research Medal. He was honored for his research on the epidemiology and control of salmonella in the poultry industry. Dr. Alali’s research is extremely significant in GA, the US and globally. His poultry research supports one of GA’s most important commodities that, along with eggs, had a farm gate value of $5.7 Billion in 2012.
Alali is an assistant professor of epidemiology at the UGA Center for Food Safety in Griffin. His research focuses on the epidemiology and control of salmonella in the poultry industry. A significant number of foodborne illnesses caused by salmonella are tracked back to the consumption of poultry.
With funding from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Alali led an international food safety data collection program centered around salmonella on raw poultry sold in retail markets in emerging market countries like China, Russia and Colombia. He also investigated the presence of antibiotic-resistant strains of salmonella in these countries and found high levels of multi-drug resistance. Alali worked with the World Health Organization and local officials to plan and execute a response to this problem.