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NIAMRRE Welcomes Inaugural Members, Additional Staff

By Erica Baker posted 08-19-2020 11:00 PM


The National Institute of Antimicrobial Resistance Research and Education (NIAMRRE) is pleased to announce ten inaugural members and the addition of two members of the NIAMRRE Operations Center staff, significant steps in transitioning from the organization’s startup phase to serving and engaging its members.

Established in January 2019, NIAMRRE draws on expertise from basic, translational, and applied scientists in veterinary medicine, agriculture, environmental health, public health, medicine, economics, and social sciences to collaboratively lead local, national, and international AMR research and stewardship efforts. NIAMRRE accepted its inaugural members on July 1, 2020. Academic member institutions include (in alphabetical order): Iowa State University, Kansas State University, North Carolina State University, Ohio State University, University of Florida, University of Georgia, University of Illinois, University of Iowa, and University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The State Hygienic Laboratory (Iowa) is an affiliate member.

Serving the NIAMRRE membership is Executive Director Paul Plummer, Administrative Specialist Erica Hellmich, and new additions Melissa Miller and Kris Johansen. A communications specialist position will be filled this fall to complete the NIAMRRE Operations Center team.

Miller joined NIAMRRE on August 10 as the associate director of operations. In this role, Miller will oversee day-to-day activity and development of the Operations Center, including process improvement and work flow development, financial management and budget, and strategic development, implementation, and progress measurement. Miller came to NIAMRRE from the Iowa Water Center, the state’s Water Resources Research Institute, where she led organizational development, brand management, and coordinated interdisciplinary project teams to address local and regional water resource concerns. Miller lives in rural Hardin County, where her family raises corn, soybeans, and hogs.

“Melissa’s enthusiasm is infectious. Combined with her deep experience and proven track record in stakeholder engagement and process development, her addition to the team will help assure that members have a consistent and engaged experience that demonstrates the important role they play in the efforts of NIAMRRE,” says Dr. Paul Plummer, executive director of NIAMRRE. “One of the key goals of NIAMRRE is to encourage collaboration, and Melissa has the skills to help make that happen.”

Johansen, PhD, MBA, began her new role at NIAMRRE on August 17 as the associate director of external relations. Johansen, a microbiologist with expertise in bacterial pathogenesis and molecular biology, will lead NIAMRRE’s external facing efforts and serve as a subject matter expert in antimicrobial resistance (AMR). She will play a key role in developing strong and sustained relationships with academic, professional, and industry stakeholders. Johansen most recently served as both the manager for industry engagement in the Office of Economic Development and Industry Relations as well as Chief Operating Officer of the Iowa State University Startup Factory. Johansen lives in rural Boone county and is a member of the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame.

“Dr. Johansen’s expertise as a microbiologist, coupled with her unique qualifications in economic development, industry relations and entrepreneurship are critically important to breaking down the silos that often exist in academia and industry,” says Dr. Plummer. “This unique skill set will greatly benefit the outreach and external relations efforts of NIAMRRE to build membership across a very diverse group of stakeholders.”

Membership in NIAMRRE is available to academic, industry, and affiliate stakeholders and are accepted year-round.