Tom Nordlie (352) 392-0400
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Douglas Archer, a University of Florida professor of food science and human nutrition and former deputy director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, has been named associate dean for research at UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
In announcing the Feb. 1 appointment, Mark McLellan, dean for research, said Archer is an internationally recognized food safety expert with experience in research, public policy and administration.
“Dr. Archer has made many important contributions to the nation’s food safety program, and we are fortunate to have him join our research administration,” McLellan said. “He will help provide greater support to our faculty and strengthen our statewide research programs.”
In his new assignment, Archer will focus on the impact of agricultural research on society, including human behavior issues related to food, natural resources, environment and agriculture. He will help increase research funding through interdisciplinary grants, both within UF and with other institutions worldwide.
“Florida’s subtropical climate makes UF an ideal research partner for other institutions that study agricultural systems in diverse climates,” he said. “Many large federal funding opportunities require interdisciplinary and inter-institutional cooperation. There are also private funding sources that we can take advantage of more effectively.”
Archer’s experience includes research on emerging pathogens, rapid methods of pathogen detection, the effects of food processing on bacteria and government regulations on food safety.
He is currently chairman of the Florida Food Safety and Food Security Advisory Council, a member of the World Health Organization’s Expert Advisory Panel on Food Safety and UF’s lead scientist in the Food Safety Institute of the Americas.
Archer joined the UF faculty in 1994, serving as chairman of the food science and human nutrition department until 2001. Prior to that appointment, he was deputy director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. While at FDA, he was also a commissioned officer with the U.S. Public Health Service and U.S. assistant surgeon general.
He has a bachelor’s degree in zoology and a master’s degree in bacteriology from the University of Maine, and a doctoral degree in microbiology from the University of Maryland.
Archer is the second of three associate deans named by McLellan. In December 2005, Mary Duryea, a professor in UF’s School of Forest Resources and Conservation, was appointed to a similar post, with emphasis on natural resource systems. A search is proceeding for a third associate dean, whose assignment will involve agricultural systems.
The new positions were created to help UF keep pace with changes in science and agribusiness, McLellan said.
“The big research challenges and opportunities today require a multidisciplinary approach, so it’s important that we have a team of administrators dedicated to that approach,” he said. “At the same time, we need strength in individual scientific disciplines, and the dean’s office will continue to stand behind the efforts of all departments.”