Director of Graduate Studies

Len Marquart

Len Marquart

Dr. Len Marquart has focused his career on grains/whole grains and their impact on health. His career began at General Mills managing animal, epidemiological, clinical research with academic institutions, and supporting scientific initiatives related to policy and regulatory work. His teaching, research, and outreach have focused on whole grains and health via food systems approaches connecting the food value chain, food environments, and community settings. Dr. Marquart is founder and president of the Grains for Health Foundation, which facilitated communication and integration of science and technology into the grains supply chain designed to help deliver more grain-based foods to consumers that more closely meet dietary guidance.

Faculty

Christine Crincoli

Christine Crincoli, PhD, DABT, is a principal scientist in Scientific and Regulatory Affairs North America Research and Development at Cargill, Inc. She holds a PhD in pharmacology and toxicology with a Board Certification in Toxicology. She provides regulatory and safety expertise to support a variety of innovative food, feed, and industrial ingredients for use in global applications.

Alex Eapen

Alex Eapen, PhD, DABT, is the director of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs North America Research and Development at Cargill, Inc. He holds a PhD in pharmacology with a Board Certification in Toxicology. He provides regulatory and safety expertise to support a variety of innovative food, feed, and industrial ingredients for use in global applications.

Brent Kobielush

Brent Kobielush, PhD, is director of US Regulatory Affairs at Cargill where he provides leadership and technical regulatory direction and guidance to ensure that Cargill products and processes are compliant with all applicable US FDA food laws and regulations. He specializes in the implementation of emerging Food Safety Modernization Act requirements and Cargill food safety, quality, and regulatory policy standards. Brent has a PhD and MS in Toxicology, University of Rochester School of Medicine.

Julie Paul

Julie Paul, RDN, is a registered dietitian and a principal scientist in Scientific and Regulatory Affairs North America Research and Development at Cargill, Inc. She supports regulatory policy development and labeling/nutrition projects for many of the Cargill® brands and private label companies. Her love of food and culinary arts drive her interest in food safety and promoting scientifically based information to consumers. Over the past 20+ years, Julie has held regulatory and management positions at ConAgra Brands, The Pillsbury Company, and General Mills, Inc.

Ruth Petran

Ruth Petran, PhD, CFS, is senior advisor, Food Safety for The Acheson Group. She is principal and founder of Ruth Petran Consulting, LLC in Minneapolis. Before starting her own business, Dr. Petran held technical food safety and public health leadership roles at Ecolab, Pillsbury, and General Mills. She is president of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) and served two terms on the US National Advisory Committee for Microbiological Criteria for Foods. Her bachelor’s degree is in consumer food science from Cornell University, and she holds an MS in Food Science and a PhD in Public Health, both from the University of Minnesota.

Jennifer Van de Ligt

Jennifer van de Ligt

PhD, nutrition, University of Kentucky 

Jennifer van de Ligt, PhD, is the director of the Integrated Food Systems Leadership program, director of the Food Protection and Defense Institute, and associate professor at the University of Minnesota. Dr. van de Ligt works to assure productive and effective public-private partnership and stakeholder engagement focusing on building multisectoral collaboration and perspectives to inform research design and implementation of extension and education activities. She has held numerous leadership positions at a global food company operating in 70 countries and provided nutrition and regulatory expertise for a variety of food and feed novel ingredient and claims innovations.