Adjunct Research Assistant / Lab Manager

Image Flow Cytometry

Darrick Gates

Agricultural pathogens are occurring more frequently worldwide as a result of an increasing trend in the use of wastewater. Many of these pathogens produce toxins which are harmful to both animals and humans whom consume them.  In particular, Escherichia coli (E. coli) outbreaks have been increasingly reported in the United States.  Since these pathogens can have significant ecological and human health effects, the ability to rapidly assess and respond to them is critical to protecting human health.  Molecular methods such as quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) offer a great opportunity to identify specific strains of E. coli in a rapid and cost-effective manner. However, a newer method, called imaging flow cytometry (IFCM) combined with molecular tags offers the greatest opportunity for rapid assessment as results can be obtained in minutes rather than hours.

Funded by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development  (MDARD), Darrick Gates is developing rapid IFCM methods to characterize E. coli contamination associated with agricultural production in seconds-to-minutes rather than more conventional methods requiring hours or days.

Web Link: https://www.gvsu.edu/gvnext/2018/researcher-studying-whether-food-production-could-be-safer-10609.htm
Web Link: https://grbj.com/news/new-e-coli-test-could-change-food-production
Web Link: https://www.hollandsentinel.com/news/20180731/gvsu-receives-grant-to-study-e-coli-detection