Dr. Gary R. Acuff holds the title of Director of the Center for Food Safety and Professor of Food Microbiology within the Department of Animal Science. He is also a member of the Interdisciplinary Faculty of Food Science & Technology and the Graduate Faculty. He received his Bachelor of Science in biology from Abilene Christian University and his master’s degree and doctorate in food science and technology, specializing in food microbiology, from Texas A&M University.
Before his appointment as Director of the Center for Food Safety, Dr. Acuff served as Interim Head and then Head of the Department of Animal Science from 2004 to 2010. Prior to his service in administration, he taught undergraduate and graduate level courses and laboratories in food microbiology for 20 years and conducted research on the microbiological quality and safety of foods through his appointment with Texas AgriLife Research. He continues to actively collaborate with Texas AgriLife Research and Extension personnel on food safety issues.
Dr. Acuff’s professional memberships include the International Association for Food Protection, serving as President in 2008, as well as the American Society for Microbiology and the Society for Applied Microbiology. He is a member of the Editorial Committee for the 5th Edition of the Compendium of Methods for the Microbiological Examination of Foods and was a member of the National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Food from 1992 to 1997. He currently serves as a member of the Food and Drug Administration’s Food Advisory Committee. Acuff has published more than 80 articles in technical journals and has authored several chapters on food microbiology in various references and textbooks.