Speakers' Bureau Directory: Istafanos

Philip Istafanos
Degree: DVM, MS
Employer: FDA
Jamaica, New York  11433


Primary Employer: Agricultural/Veterinary; Other N/A
Scientific Specialty: Food/Dairy; Other Pharmaceutical/Medical Device
Job Title: Expert Microbiologist
Years in position: 24
Presentation Type: N/A
Video Call Type:N/A
Day to day responsibilities:
Day to day operation include analyzing samples of drugs, devices, food, cosmetic and animal feeds. Samples involve complicated analysis and human and animal illness. Analyses include the use of several analytical techniques like PCR, AB-AG based methods, DNA probes, etc. Also, I am involved in training new hires and other microbiologists. I am responsible for monitoring clean room operations on a daily bases. In addition, my daily responsibility involves domestic and international inspection assignments, and quality control functions.

What do you love about your job?
I love the variety. Every day is a new day with new, exciting experiences. That ranges from analysis of new product (drug, food, feeds) to performing an inspection of a new food or drug facility. Those inspections can be local, national or international. I get the opportunity to travel to new places, meet new people, and experience cultures. I had opportunity to conduct research and develop new methods and present these methods nationally and internationally. I love the feeling that my work directly contributes to the safety of all American citizens for better health and life style. I love microbiology and apply the knowledge of this field in all my assignments. My job gives me an opportunity and satisfaction by serving my country.

Degrees, experience, license(s), and skills required for position:
I have a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine equivalent degree (DVM) and a master degree in medical microbiology. I have done research in the area of food microbiology, presented and published my work. I have conducted Pharmaceutical inspections within USA and abroad. I have been the senior monitor of the clean room at my job location for over 10 years, handling its day to day operation. I am a certified microbiologist (NRCM- SM: Pharmaceutical and Medical Device). I have worked at the City University of NY as adjunct professor teaching medical microbiology to physician assistant students. I have served as the president of the NY-NJ chapter of the American Association of Analytical Chemists. I am serving as a member of the ASM NRCM-SM, Drug and Med Devices certification exam preparation committee.

My education and experience acquired throughout the years have built my skills and knowledge of the science of microbiology and regulatory science; which are required in my position as an expert microbiologist.

Tips/Advice for how to secure a job in microbiology upon graduation:
The field of microbiology is a rich and wide field of a very rewarding career. As a microbiologist you can specializ and work in so many specialties: food microbiology, environmental microbiology, pharmaceutical microbiology, and medical microbiology are the major branches of microbiology. One can work for a private industry (food or pharmaceutical labs), hospital, educational institute, (government local and federal), or you can open your own business. Experience and graduate education can help a lot in securing a job in one of those entities. Build your experience working even as a volunteer or part timer, it always pays in the long run. Be responsible, hard worker and be knowledgeable in the field you choose for yourself.