Jesse D. Miller, Ph.D., Director of NSF International’s Applied Research Center

Jesse D. Miller Dr. Jesse D. Miller has over a decade of experience in microbiology, molecular biology, product and service commercialization, and front-end innovation. He holds a Ph.D. in microbiology from Wayne State University School of Medicine and a B.S. in the same from the University of Michigan. Prior to joining NSF International, he was engaged in developing disruptive technology for the clinical and food safety diagnostic markets. In his current role as the Director of the Applied Research Center, he oversees research and development activities for NSF with personal specializations in front-end innovation, food safety and next-generation sequencing. He holds over a dozen patents (granted and applied for), has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications and is an active speaker and presenter at food safety and genomics conferences worldwide.

Nikki Beetsch, MS, Technical Project Manager

Nikki Beetsch Nikki Beetsch is a Technical Manager in NSF’s Toxicology Services group. With over 17 years of experience with NSF International, she has provided toxicology services for NSF’s certification programs, serves as a consultant to the World Health Organization’s Water, Sanitation Hygiene and Health group and currently provides management for special projects that are carried out by NSF’s toxicology staff. She holds a B.S. in biology from Bowling Green State University and a Master of Science in biology with an environmental science/toxicology emphasis from Wright State University.

Christine Greene, MPH, Ph.D., Principal Investigator for Sanitation and Contamination Control

Christine Greene Dr. Christine Greene has 10+ years’ experience in epidemiological and laboratory research. She holds a Ph.D. in environmental health sciences and an MPH in hospital and molecular epidemiology from the University of Michigan. She strives to improve public health in the areas of infectious disease prevention and control in clinical, dental and community settings. Her work serves to improve the accuracy of environmental mediated infectious disease transmission modelling, strengthen current guidelines to control healthcare-associated infections and stimulate innovative approaches to reduce the risk of biofilm-related infections, pathogen transmission and the environmental persistence of infectious agents. She is a member of the NSF 444 Standard Joint Committee on building water health and a co-founder of the Healthcare Infection Transmission Systems (HITS) Consortium.

Julie Vantine, Technical Project Manager

Julie Vantine Julie Vantine brings 17 years of experience to NSF International’s Applied Research Center including project management, special projects testing, and procedure and study organization and drafting. She joined NSF International in 2005 as a microbiologist specializing in food microbiology and food equipment sanitation testing. In 2008 she moved into NSF’s certification program for food equipment and held both project manager and technical reviewer roles. Earlier in her career, Ms. Vantine worked in quality control in beverage manufacturing. She holds a Bachelor of Science in microbiology from Michigan State University.

Paul Anderson, Director of Engineering

Paul Anderson Paul Anderson has more than 20 years of expertise in engineering. For the past five years, he has managed testing and QA initiatives for NSF International. Prior to that, he worked in the automotive sector focusing on global operations, business strategy, engineering and quality initiatives. Mr. Anderson is a member of the American Society for Testing and Materials. He holds a Master of Science in engineering management from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Science in aerospace engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Issac C. Anderson, Project Manager

Issac C. Anderson Issac C. Anderson is a Project Manager for government and professional sectors for the Applied Research Center at NSF International. He previously worked in NSF’s chemistry exposures laboratory, and is currently responsible for management and development of team projects, proposals and service offerings, including those concerning the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. Mr. Anderson holds a Bachelor of Science in astrophysics, astrobiology and evolutionary developmental biology from the University of Michigan, and is currently pursuing his Master of Science in molecular and cellular Biology with a focus in immunology and bacterial pathogenesis from Eastern Michigan University.

Alison Bayley, Senior Geneticist

Alison Bayley Alison Bayley has been a member of the NSF International team for three years. She is involved in all aspects of the lab including running client samples, organizing research projects and introducing process improvements in our DNA laboratory. Ms. Bayley is an alumna of the University of California, Berkeley, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in integrative biology. During her time at UC Berkeley, she assisted in genetic research for various species of mosses, liverworts and hornworts.

Robin Bechanko, Laboratory Manager, Microbiology

Robin Bechanko Robin Bechanko has over 15 years of experience in microbiology with expertise in the areas of water, environmental and food microbiology as well as efficacy testing to support product certification or registration to EPA, FDA, USP and NSF requirements. Ms. Bechanko manages all aspects of accreditation applicable to the NSF International Microbiology Laboratory, provides technical support for clients and program representatives, and acts as a company representative and research presenter at professional conferences. Laboratory design and new method development/validation are also key interests. She holds a B.S. in biology and M.S. in quality management from Eastern Michigan University.

Virunya Bhat, Ph.D., DABT Principal Toxicologist

Virunya Bhat Dr. Virunya Bhat has20 years of experience conducting human health risk assessments for industrial and environmental chemicals in the context of food and drinking water quality and consumer product safety. She also supports the World Health Organization’s food safety and drinking water quality guidelines teams. Her work has been presented at numerous technical conferences and has resulted in several peer-reviewed publications and awards. Dr. Bhat earned a Ph.D. in environmental toxicology at the University of California in Riverside, where she was also a guest lecturer risk assessment classes. She also earned an M.S. in pharmacy from The Ohio State University. Dr. Bhat is certified by the American Board of Toxicology and is an active member of the Society of Toxicology, serving on elected and appointed committees.

Rose Branstrom, Project Manager

Rose Branstrom Rose Branstrom brings seven years of enthusiastic experience at NSF to the Applied Research Center including technical project management, standards interpretation, customer training and communications team experience. Previously supporting both the NSF International toxicology group and the marketing departments, she moved into NSF’s food equipment certification program in 2015 as a technical reviewer. Ms. Branstrom holds a Bachelor of Science in public relations and biology from Eastern Michigan University.

Darragh Clancy, Geneticist

Darragh Clancy Darragh Clancy is involved with ongoing research and development, generating new tests and improving methods to expand and refine genetic capabilities at NSF International. She also conducts laboratory work and data analysis with incoming test samples. She received her Master of Science in ecology, evolution and conservation biology at San Francisco State University, with a research focus on the phylogenetics of a globally invasive marine invertebrate. She holds a Bachelor of Science in chemical biology and a Bachelor of Arts in integrative biology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Stephanie Clark, Project Manager

Stephanie Clark Steph Clark plays an active role in business development, laboratory work and data analysis at NSF International and has recently written and spearheaded the new NSF DNA Authenticated™ program. She is an alumna of Robert Morris University, where she received a Bachelor of Science in biology. During her undergraduate program, Ms. Clark participated in research on the microbial content of soil impacted by acid mine drainage and plant-based cleaning products. She previously worked in quality assurance at a manufacturing plant where she gained valuable auditing experience.

Scott Clipper, Ph.D., Technical Manager, Chemistry Laboratory

Scott Clipper Dr. Scott Clipper has over 27 years of experience in analytical chemistry and instrumental analysis in the pharmaceutical, dietary supplements and environmental areas, including over eight years at NSF International directing and managing various analytical laboratories and functions. He holds a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from West Virginia University and a B.S. in chemistry from California University of Pennsylvania. His areas of expertise include chromatographic analysis and method development for complex matrices including pharmaceuticals and dietary supplements, and GLP and GMP regulatory compliance and project support.

Kevin Cox, Managing Toxicologist

Kevin Cox is a Managing Toxicologist at NSF International working in the area of human health risk assessments. His areas of work have included health effects assessments for drinking water contaminants, dietary supplements, toy products, and pool and spa chemicals. Prior to his current role, he was the Supervising Toxicologist for NSF International’s drinking water additives and dietary supplement certification programs. Mr. Cox received his B.S. in biochemistry and history from the University of Michigan and his MPH in environmental health sciences - toxicology from the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Mr. Cox is currently an associate member of the Society of Toxicology. He also holds a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and is a member of the Michigan Bar Association.

Zachery Geurin, Microbiologist

Zachery Geurin Zachery Geurin has five years of microbiology experience, currently focusing on genomics projects at NSF International. He has participated in many research projects encompassing next-generation sequencing, environmental monitoring, microbial biofilms, molecular biology, food safety and consumer products testing, among other areas. Mr. Geurin has contributed to NSF protocol and method development efforts and provides the laboratory additional computer programming and bioinformatics support. Well-versed in interpreting genomic datasets, Mr. Geurin has presented tutorials and workshops on whole genome sequencing, most recently at the University of Alberta and the International Association of Food Protection. He holds a B.S. in microbiology from Michigan State University.

Savannah Hatt, MPH, Project Manager

Savannah Hatt Savannah Hatt is a Project Manager in the area of sanitation and contamination control for the Applied Research Center at NSF International. Joining the team in March of 2016, Ms. Hatt is primarily responsible for managing client projects and for supporting development of new service offerings for the healthcare industry. She also acts as the conference coordinator for the Healthcare Infection Transmission Systems (HITS) annual conference, which was first held in 2017. Ms. Hatt holds a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and a Master’s of Public Health in epidemiology, and her graduate research focused on reducing healthcare-associated infections.

Julie Haendiges, M.P.S., Research Microbiologist

Julie Haendiges Julie Haendiges is currently working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration investigating genomic reasons behind persistence of strains of Salmonella and E. coli in food sources. She has more than a decade of microbiological and molecular biology research experience, including work at the state health department level dealing with both bacterial and viral outbreaks in cooperation with CDC, FDA and local health departments. She has participated in many research projects including bacterial pathogens, influenza surveillance, Zika surveillance, Legionella testing and food testing. Ms. Haendiges has a B.S. in biology and chemistry from Towson University, and an M.P.S. in biotechnology from the University of Maryland.

Brian Hughes, Ph.D., Senior Principal Toxicologist

Dr. Brian Hughes is a Senior Principal Toxicologist at NSF international working in the area of human health risk assessments. Formerly, he has provided environmental health and safety consulting to businesses involved in the production of industrial chemicals used as food additives, pharmaceutical excipients, electronic materials, amines, oxygenated solvents and intermediates, etc. He has assisted business in fulfilling regulatory requirements for EPA, FDA, EU REACH and different geographies via coordination of studies and other resources. Dr. Hughes has also worked in agriculture as a Pesticide Registration Manager and in the Alabama Department of Public Health as the Director of the Risk Assessment and Toxicology Section. Dr.Hughes earned a Ph.D. in toxicology at Utah State University and an MPH in epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He also earned an M.S. in animal science from Michigan State University. Dr. Hughes is certified by the American Board of Toxicology and is a member of the Society of Toxicology. He is an adjunct professor in the Department of Animal Science at Michigan State University.

Kerri LeVanseler, Ph.D., Director of Chemistry Laboratories

Kerri LeVanseler Dr. Kerri LeVanseler has over 25 years of experience working in analytical test laboratories participating in research and development of new methods and test protocols, coordinating quality assurance efforts, supervising chemistry staff for special projects and resolving special technical issues. Her expertise lies in the application of various instrumental techniques for the analysis of a wide range of analytes (vitamins, heavy metals, pesticides, natural constituents, active ingredients, extractants) in various sample types (dietary supplement ingredients and products, food and food contact materials, sanitizers, pharmaceuticals, detergents and medical devices). She holds a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Wayne State University and a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Michigan.

Jovan Lubardic, Technical Manager

Jovan Lubardic Jovan Lubardic has been a member of the NSF International team for over three years. He formerly worked in NSF’s microbiology lab where he was a supervisor in charge of directing workflow for the certification of water filtration and food equipment products. In his current role as Technical Manager, he oversees operations for day-to-day testing and research projects and providing customer service at NSF’s Petaluma, CA laboratory. Mr. Lubardic received a master’s in molecular and integrative physiology from the University of Michigan where his research focused on defining the tendon and rotator cuff injury and healing process using molecular techniques. He also holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from Oakland University.

Kyle Martin, Project Manager

Kyle Martin Kyle Martin joined NSF in April 2016 as an intern, creating a project pipeline to track proposals and leads, in addition to composing and delivering client quotes. He is currently responsible for projects associated with applied genomics in NSF International’s Applied Research Center. Before joining NSF, Mr. Martin worked in the microbiology lab at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan. He holds a Bachelor of Science from Michigan State University in microbiology and psychology.

Amanda Phelka, Ph.D., Director of Toxicology Services

Amanda Phelka Dr. Amanda Phelka has more than 18 years of experience conducting and evaluating studies assessing chemical exposure and human health risk. She holds Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in toxicology from the University of Michigan. She has published peer-reviewed manuscripts, abstracts and book chapters on toxicology, industrial hygiene and occupational health. Dr. Phelka has served as an invited peer reviewer of the U.S. EPA’s draft Provisional Peer Review Toxicity Values manuscripts and is a full member of the Society of Toxicology. She has authored numerous peer-reviewed human health risk assessments evaluating chronic exposure to unregulated contaminants in drinking water supplies.

Cheaney Seiler, Associate Geneticist

Cheaney Seiler Cheaney Seiler works in NSF International’s Petaluma, CA laboratory where he extracts, amplifies and sequences samples. In addition to his laboratory responsibilities, he is involved with several research and development projects at NSF International. He attended college at Susquehanna University where he received a Bachelor of Science in biology. During his time there, Mr. Seiler spent a semester in the Galapagos Islands assisting on a research project involving blood cells from bullhead sharks, pacific green sea turtles and marine iguanas. While in school he also worked on a genetic research project using RNA-interference to knock down the hedgehog signaling pathway in Drosophila melanogaster.

Kevin Schaefer, Senior Engineer

Kevin Schaefer has 10 years of expertise in testing of commercial water equipment, recreational water equipment and systems, and municipal water treatment equipment and systems. During his tenure at NSF he has participated in method development and test system design for projects ranging from efficacy testing of novel disinfection techniques to long-term chemical resistance of piping materials. He holds a Master of Science in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Western Michigan University.

Bryan D. Schindler, Ph.D., Microbiologist

Bryan D. Schindler Dr. Bryan D. Schindler has over a decade of experience in microbiology and molecular biology. He serves as project lead for method development and non-routine projects in the NSF Microbiology Laboratory. Dr. Schindler has authored 15 publications in the areas of food safety, bacterial physiology and mechanisms of antibiotic resistance. He holds a Ph.D. in microbiology and molecular genetics from Michigan State University and B.S. and M.S. degrees in nutrition and food science from Wayne State University.

John Travis, Senior Research Scientist

John Travis John Travis has 18 years of experience in analysis of target analytes and method development. He specializes in the analysis of dietary supplements, utilizing techniques such as gas and high-performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. His expertise in the analysis of prohibited substances in dietary supplements was instrumental in developing screening methods for NSF’s Certified for Sport program. Mr. Travis has a degree in chemistry from the University of Michigan. He sat on the AOAC Presidential Task Force on Dietary Supplements and on several review panels.

Steve Williams, Senior Specialist Engineering

Steve Williams Steve Williams has 26 years of experience in testing and analysis. He joined NSF in 1990, working in the Engineering and Research Services department, which was similar manner ARC, taking in projects that didn’t fit with NSF’s traditional certification programs. He focused on the fate of disposable products in the waste stream and environment, and also worked with the NSF wastewater program testing residential wastewater treatment systems. Mr. Williams transitioned into protocol development for the ERS department and then moved to the Engineering Lab in 2002, where his primary focus was testing biosafety cabinets to NSF/ANSI 49. He has also been involved in many special testing projects and continues work with residential wastewater treatment systems. He holds a degree in construction technology from Eastern Michigan University.

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