Global Food

16 graduate students named MnDRIVE Global Food Ventures fellows

Sixteen University of Minnesota graduate students representing three colleges have been announced as the 2021-2022 cohort of fellows for the Global Food Ventures (GFV) as part of Minnesota’s Discovery, Research, and InnoVation Economy (MnDRIVE) partnership. 

Through this fellowship program, students from the College of Veterinary Medicine; the College of Food, Agricultural, and Natural Resource Sciences; and the School of Public Health will seek solutions to the increasingly evident challenges posed by food insecurity and population growth. MnDRIVE is a partnership between the University of Minnesota and the state of Minnesota that aligns areas of research strength with the state’s key and emerging industries to address grand challenges.

As part of the GFV program, the fellows will participate in activities designed to build their skills in communications, collaboration, and problem solving as well as pursuing individual research projects. These research projects fall under GFV’s three focus areas: precision agriculture, informatics and crop/animal health, and food safety innovations for humans and animals. 

Below is the list of recipients:

Alyssa Dougherty, MS student
Advised by Melissa Laska, PhD, RD.
Project title: “Understanding the role of food co‐operatives in serving lower‐income and marginalized communities”

Mary Jane Espina, PhD student 
Advised by Aaron Lorenz, PhD, and Robert Stupar, PhD.
Project title: “Characterization of candidate gene conferring tolerance to iron deficiency chlorosis in soybean”

Kate Fessler, MS student 
Advised by Emily Hoover, PhD, and Neil Anderson, MS, PhD
Project title: “Assessing the efficacy of a tabletop strawberry system for strawberry production in Minnesota”

Gabriella Furo, PhD student
Advised by Sally Noll, MS, PhD, and Carol Cardona, DVM, PhD
Project title: “Is Turkey's welfare ensured? Validation of footpad scoring systems to improve turkey health, welfare, and the efficacy and profitability of the food industry in Minnesota”

Eduardo Garay Lagos, PhD student
Advised by Fabian Fernandez, MS, PhD
Project title: “Cover crops and living mulches as part of a holistic nitrogen management strategy and its impact on irrigated corn, soybean production systems and the environment”

Kayla Law, PhD student
Advised by Andres Gomez, MS, PhD.  
Project title: “Maternal programming of piglet microbiomes”

Manci Li, PhD student 
Advised by Peter Larsen, PhD.  
Project title: “Enhanced Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) prion detection in venison meat products”

Elizabeth Magnuson, MPH student
Advised by Nancy Sherwood, MA, PhD, and Julie Grossman, MS, PhD.  
Project title: Agroecology for a health Minnesota

Felipe Mosca, PhD student
Advised by Luciano Caixeta, DVM, PhD, and Sandra Godden, DVM, DVSc. 
Project title: “Novel alternatives for mastitis treatment, prevention and diagnosis in dairy farms”

Wes Mosher, PhD student 
Advised by Chi Chen, MS, PhD
Project title: “Metabolomic investigation of low‐cost agricultural byproducts as alternative growth promoters of pigs”

Hannah Murphy, PhD student 
Advised by Yuying Liang, MS, PhD
Project title: “Development of a new vaccine to protect Minnesota pigs against a lethal viral infection”

Guilherme Preis Milanez, PhD student
Advised by Fabio Vannucci, DVM, PhD, MS
Project title: “Evaluation of biosecurity procedures to prevent indirect transmission of Senecavirus A”

Sonali Raghunath, PhD student
Advised by Kumar Mallikarjunan, PhD
Project title: “Non‐thermally treatment of milk protein concentrate using pulsed electric field for enhanced applications in the food systems”

Shania Sanchez, PhD student
Advised by Hinh Ly, MA, PhD.
Project title: “Development of new vaccine to protect pigs against an endemic virus infection in Minnesota”

Tamas Varga, PhD student
Advised by Timothy Griffis, PhD, and Jeffrey Coulter, MS, PhD.  
Project title: “Climate and yield relationships with supplemental irrigation”

Jacob Vitt, MS student
Advised by Steven Bowden , PhD
Project title: “Salad without the Salmonella”