Julie Haendiges of NSF International’s Applied Research Center won the 2017 PulseStar Award from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention for her work advancing PulseNet whole genome sequencing activities in public health. The award recognizes outstanding achievement in PulseNet, the national molecular subtyping network for foodborne illness prevention, and will be presented at the Integrated Foodborne Outbreak Response and Management (InFORM) conference in Garden Grove, California on November 6-9, 2017.

PulseNet is a laboratory network that uses DNA fingerprinting to analyze bacteria to find similarities in foodborne illness cases to detect outbreaks. Haendiges is the Graduate Fellow in Applied Genomics at NSF International. She works in tandem with the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, using genomic sequencing and phenotypic analyses to investigate the mechanisms by which foodborne pathogens are able to evade preventive controls put in place by food processors and farmers.

Haendiges was previously the Supervisor of the Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory at the Maryland Department of Health, where she initiated and executed the setup of the Maryland GenomeTrakr lab and managed its day-to-day operations. Ms. Haendiges holds a master’s degree in biotechnology from the University of Maryland – Baltimore.