Mary Ellen Sanders is an internationally recognized consultant in the area of probiotic microbiology. She helps food and supplement companies develop new probiotic products, provides technical support for enhancing existing probiotic product lines and offers perspective on paths to scientific substantiation of probiotic product label claims. She is also very active in communication efforts on probiotics, with numerous written, oral and video pieces. She has published on efficacy substantiation, microbiology and regulatory issues pertaining to probiotics, coordinated or collaborated on clinical studies to validate probiotic efficacy, served on GRAS determination panels, participated in the working group convened by the FAO/WHO that developed guidelines for probiotics, and served on the World Gastroenterology Organization Guidelines Committee preparing guidelines for the use of probiotics and prebiotics for gastroenterologists. She also served on the Product Integrity Working Group of the NIH National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine and as a Science Communicator for the Institute for Food Technologists. Dr. Sanders has volunteer appointments as a visiting Research Scientist at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and as a Clinical Instructor in the Department of Family Medicine, University of Colorado at Denver. She also participated in an NIH project titled “Federal Regulation of Probiotics: An Analysis of the Existing Regulatory Framework and Recommendations for Alternative Frameworks,” being coordinated at the University of Maryland School of Law, and has served on the scientific organizing committees for several probiotic conferences, including ones organized by New York Academy of Sciences and FASEB.
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