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October 30, 2003

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future Announces Fellowship Grants

The Center for a Livable Future (CLF), at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, recently named the recipients of the first CLF Doctoral Fellowships. David Colquhoun and Lance B. Price will each receive a grant of up to $50,000 for one year of doctoral study in the School’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences. The awards are given to Johns Hopkins doctoral students who are committed to the discovery or application of knowledge about the environmental, economic, social, and health impacts of industrial animal production practices in the United States or abroad. The grant can be used for tuition, stipend, and research expenses.

Mr. Colquhoun earned his bachelor of science in Microbiology from the University of Sunderland in England and his master of science from Michigan Technological University. His doctoral work will focus on using proteomics to analyze environmental pathogens associated with concentrated animal feeding operations by determining microbial pathogens, their source, and how they move through the environment.

Mr. Colquhoun has been interested in public health aspects of microbiology and environmental microbiology since college, where he was introduced to environmental microbiology. During his master’s program, Mr. Colquhoun investigated characteristics of bacteria that degrade pollutants to learn more about better remediation of contaminated environments. Mr. Colquhoun is interested in linking his interest in environmental microbiology to environmental risk assessment and the protection of human health. He intends to concentrate his doctoral studies on mass spectrometric determination of microbial pathogens as an additional tool to analyze environmental pathogens. This is of particular interest in the negative environmental impact of concentrated animal feeding operations because of the enormous amount of manure produced and disposed of over a small area.

Mr. Price earned his bachelor of science and master of science in biology and microbiology from Northern Arizona University. He plans to study sustainable food production. His doctoral work will focus on the application of molecular and environmental microbiology to study the impacts of industrial animal production. His interest in working on the environmental consequences of concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFO) stems from experiences on his grandparents’ ranch in Texas. The air and water quality of his family’s ranch has been fouled by years of nutrient input from an adjacent dairy CAFO. His goal is to acquire the scientific skills to enable him to uncover the environmental and human health outcomes of modern animal food production and to effectively communicate these connections to the public, policy makers, and consumers.

Since January 2002, Mr. Price has been working to assess the health risks associated with antibiotic use in agriculture and characterizing the mutations associated with high-level ciprofloxacin resistance in Bacillus anthracis. His investigations into the different microbiological flora of chicken purchased in the supermarket from conventional and antibiotic-free poultry producers were reported at the 12th International Workshop on Campylobacter, Helicobacter, and Related Organisms in Aarhus, Denmark, during the summer of 2003.

Public Affairs Media Contacts for the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health: Kenna Brigham or Tim Parsons at 410-955-6878 or paffairs@jhsph.edu.