Dr Craig Billington is a Science Leader in ESR’s Risk and Social Systems Group.
Craig leads research developing cutting-edge technologies that enable industries and regulators to better find, understand and control pathogens in foods, animals and the environment.
His work includes:
- Developing new point-of-use devices to rapidly detect bacteria on-site at food processing plants or in the field.
- Development of novel antimicrobial molecules and enzymes to combat antibiotic resistant bacteria.
- Use of powerful new tools to characterise bacteria such as whole genome sequencing and metagenomics; and
- The use of technologies including packaging and microencapsulation for the delivery of antimicrobials, active agents and product tracers/authenticators.
Craig is an internationally recognised expert in bacteriophages (phages; viruses of bacteria) and developed New Zealand’s first registered phage product, STECleanz®, released in 2014 for the control of E. coli O157. This product was approved for use in both New Zealand and the USA.
He is a part of the Science Leadership Team at the NZ-China Food Protection Network (https://www.crcc.nz/food-protection(external link)) and a Member of the NZ Food Safety Science Research Centre (https://www.nzfssrc.org.nz/(external link)).
Craig is working with ESR researcher Liping Pang(external link) to develop innovative new ways to track environmental water pollution and to create pathogen mimics that will improve the design and management of plumbing systems.
Craig earned his PhD in microbial molecular biology at the University of Canterbury. He went on to work on meat science at Lincoln University, then mitochondria engineering at the University of Canterbury, before joining ESR Food Safety Group in 2003.