Title: Consumer Safety Officer
Company: U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Location: Alexandria, Virginia, United States
Robert Merker, Consumer Safety Officer at United States Food and Drug Administration, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Scientists for dedication, achievements, and leadership in food safety consultation and research.
After initially obtaining a Bachelor of Science in microbiology from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1973, Dr. Merker subsequently earned a PhD in microbiology from the University of California, Davis in 1987. He then provided superior service as a researcher for a number of universities before excelling as a supervisory consumer safety officer in the Division of Petition Review for the United States Food and Drug Administration from 2007 to 2020. Since 2020, he has prospered as an independent consultant in the food biotechnical industry. Dr. Merker is also in training to volunteer for the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s Outbreak Exhibit. In addition, after serving for six years as a mentor with the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, he is currently training to volunteer with the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History exhibit titled Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World.
Dr. Merker attributes his success to being a life-long learner and maintains that everything he did contributed to learning something new. He became involved in his profession because he took microbiology in undergraduate school and fell in love with it. He had always been interested in biology and had a microbiology professor who was particularly enthusiastic about the discipline, and Dr. Merker found that he shared his professor’s enjoyment of the subject.
As a career highlight, Dr. Merker cites his appointment as a microbiology reviewer on the first submission on probiotics to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, for which he was integral in helping authorize the addition of microbes to infant formula, as well as his role in improving the consultation program on genetically engineered plants. In the coming years, Dr. Merker would like to do some traveling as well as continue his consulting and mentoring work.
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