Barbara Kowalcyk, PhD, who earned her doctorate in epidemiology and biostatistics in the UC Department of Environmental Health, has been appointed to the Science Board of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Her term runs from June 24, 2013, to Dec. 31, 2016.
Kowalcyk is CEO of the Center for Foodborne Illness Research & Precention in Raleigh, N.C., and assistant research professor in the department of food, bioprocessing and nutrition sciences at North Carolina State University. Her 2-year-old son, Kevin, died in 2001 after contracting an aggressive strain of the bacteria E. coli O157:H7; since then, she has made it her mission to educate others about the genesis and dangers of foodborne illnesses.
Kowalcyk's story was featured in UC Magazine (September 2012) and also the Oscar-nominated 2008 documentary, "Food, Inc." In addition to earning her doctorate at UC, she was a fellow in the environmental health's nationally recognized Molecular Epidemiology in Children's Environmental Health training program sponsored by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.
The Science Board, consisting of 21 voting members, provides advice to the FDA commissioner and other officials on scientific and technical issues. Daniel Acosta, PhD, a professor in the James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy, has been a member of the board since 2012.