Will lead COVID-19 detection pilot project in Yuma
Dr. Bradley Schmitz has joined the Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture (YCEDA) as a visiting researcher to assist in its response to the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Schmitz was instrumental in designing the Arizona Department of Health Services-sponsored Yuma County Pilot Project: COVID-19 Community Protection Early Warning and Response Program. This project utilizes YCEDA’s molecular biology laboratory that was implemented using funding from Yuma County and a private donation from Jesus Tovar of T&P Farms to fight the pandemic under the guidance of Dr. Stephanie Slinski, our Associate Director for Applied Research and Development.
Dr. Schmitz received his Ph.D. in Environmental Microbiology from the Water & Energy Sustainable Technology (WEST) Center at the University of Arizona and previously held two postdoc positions at the National University of Singapore and Johns Hopkins University. His research is focused on the intersection between water and public health.
Dr. Schmitz has nearly a decade of experience in detecting and measuring viruses in water and wastewater systems, as well as experience detecting microorganisms in soil and agriculture for food safety.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, he has been active in organizing and executing wastewater-based epidemiology (WBE) programs across the nation to help public health officials and local representatives prepare targeted response actions to limit transmission and avert outbreaks. While doing so, he has been directly involved with the University of Arizona’s WBE program involving student dormitories on the main campus.