Dr. Candice Lavelle, a postdoctoral fellow in the University of Florida College of Public Health and Health Professions’ department of environmental and global health, received a fellowship grant from the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. The award will support her research project, “Investigating the use of nanomaterials in sequestration and inactivation of viruses in aquaculture systems.”
The primary goal is to develop a safe non-pharmaceutical means of controlling viruses that are detrimental to the aquaculture industry. Aquaculture is an increasingly important means of meeting global food demand, but the industry faces billions of dollars in losses annually due to pathogen-related problems. There are currently only a few vaccines available and the use of antibiotics in food products is highly restricted. Dr. Lavelle is using carbon-based nanomaterials to engineer prototype filters that can mitigate viral infections in aquaculture operations in a safe and cost effective manner.