Barbara Kowalcyk

Barbara Kowalcyk

Barbara Kowalcyk


Associate Professor and Director of Institute for Food Safety and Nutrition Security

Full-time Faculty

School: Milken Institute School of Public Health

Department: Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Environmental and Occupational Health


Office Phone: 608-347-1227
Milken Institute School of Public Health 950 New Hampshire Avenue, NW, Office 217 Washington DC 20052

Barbara Kowalcyk, PhD, MA, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences and Director of the Institute for Food Safety and Nutrition Security. She also has an appointment in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and is a fellow with the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness.

Dr. Kowalcyk’s research spans a range of topics related to food safety and infectious foodborne disease, including their intersection with nutrition security. She is particularly interested in advancing systems-based approaches to food safety that have a strong focus on disease prevention, consider the connections between human, animal and environmental health (i.e., One Health), and promote evidence-based decision from farm to fork to physician. Dr. Kowalcyk has extensively used epidemiologic methods, data analytics and risk analysis to assess food safety risks and potential intervention strategies in both the United States and the Global South. She has led multiple innovative, collaborative and large-scale research projects funded by, among others, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, United Kingdom Food and Commonwealth Development Office, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, USAID, USDA and FDA.

Prior to joining GW in 2023, Dr. Kowalcyk was faculty at The Ohio State University with appointments in the Department of Food Science and Technology and the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, and directed the Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention (CFI), a non-profit organization she co-founded in 2006. Prior to joining OSU, she was a senior food safety and public health scientist at RTI International and a research assistant professor in the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Science at North Carolina State University. In addition to her extensive experience in food safety, Dr. Kowalcyk has more than 10 years of experience as a biostatistician conducting clinical research and providing support to data safety monitoring boards in the pharmaceutical industry.

Dr. Kowalcyk received her BA in mathematics from the University of Dayton, her MA in Applied Statistics from the University of Pittsburgh and her PhD in Environmental Health from the University of Cincinnati. She has served on many national committees, including two National Academy of Sciences committees and her current appointment to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) Science Board. 

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