Campus: UMD | Building: School of Public Health | Room: 2234P
Phone: 301-405-1772 |
Laboratory Website: 
Microbial Genomics Laboratory
Website: 
CONSERVE: A Center of Excellence at the Nexus of Sustainable Water Reuse, Food & Health
Biography

I am an Associate Professor in the Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health at the University of Maryland, School of Public Health. I also hold a joint appointment in the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics. I received a PhD in Environmental Health Sciences from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and an MPH in Environmental Health Sciences from the Yale School of Public Health. After completing my degrees, I engaged in post-doctoral fellowships at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Environmental Microbial Genomics Group within Le Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Lyon, France.

My research interests lie in the areas of environmental microbiology, environmental microbial genomics, exposure assessment and environmental epidemiology.  My projects focus on evaluating the complex relationships between environmental exposures and human infectious diseases. Much of our work seeks to 1) characterize the microbiome of environmental samples relevant to human health, including water, food, tobacco and air, and 2) understand how exposures to these media can impact the human microbiome and infectious disease risk. Our current projects include the following:

U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute for Food and Agriculture. 2016-2020. “CONSERVE (COordinating Nontraditional Sustainable watER use in Variable climatEs): A Center of Excellence at the Nexus of Sustainable Water Reuse, Food and Health.” $10,000,000. A.R. Sapkota (PI). 

Food and Drug Administration and National Institutes of Health/National Cancer Institute. 2013-2018. “Rapid Response Characterization of New and Manipulated Tobacco Products (P50 Center, P50CA180523).”$18,777,000. P. Clark (PI). RO1 within P50 Center, “Exploring tobacco microbial constituents and the oral microbiome of tobacco users.” $2,700,000. A.R. Sapkota, E.F. Mongodin (Co-PIs).

Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH), Emerging Infections Program. 2014-2017. Up to $500,000. “Socioeconomic and environmental disparities in the risk of foodborne illness in the U.S.”; and “Evaluating the influence of extreme events on the incidence of foodborne illness in the U.S.” A.R. Sapkota (PI).

We are always looking for talented undergraduates, graduate students and post-docs to join our group. I currently serve as a mentor to students in the following programs: MPH with a concentration in Environmental Health Sciences and PhD in Toxicology and Environmental Health. For more information, please contact me.

Education and Training

Ph.D., Environmental Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (2005)

M.P.H., Environmental Health Sciences, Yale School of Public Health (1999)

B.S., Biology, University of Maryland College Park (1997)

Courses

MIEH 309 Environmental Health Research

MIEH 773 Foodborne, Waterborne and Airborne Infectious Diseases

MIEH 785 Internship in Public Health

MIEH 786 Capstone Project in Public Health

Honors and Awards
  1. Phi Sigma National Honor Society, 1994-97
  2. Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society, 1995-97
  3. Golden Key National Honor Society, 1995-97
  4. Phi Beta Kappa, University of Maryland College Park, May 1997
  5. Gamma Award, Phi Beta Kappa, University of Maryland College Park, May 1997
  6. National Network for Environmental Management Studies Fellowship, US EPA, 1998
  7. Outstanding Employee Performance Award, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 2000
  8. Cornelius W. Kruse Award for Outstanding Graduate Studies, Johns Hopkins, 2002
  9. Delta Omega, Alpha Chapter, Honorary Public Health Society, 2005
  10. Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Pre-doctoral Fellowship in Biological Sciences, 2001-2005
  11. Eric Mood New Professional Award, Yale School of Public Health, 2012
  12. Honoree, 6th Annual University-Wide Celebration of Scholarship & Research, University of Maryland College Park, May 2013
  13. Honoree, 7th Annual University-Wide Celebration of Scholarship & Research, University of Maryland College Park, May 2014
  14. Honoree, 8th Annual University-Wide Celebration of Scholarship & Research, University of Maryland College Park, May 2015.
  15. Jerry P Wrenn Outstanding Service Award, University of Maryland School of Public Health, May 2015.
  16. Honoree, 9th Annual University-Wide Celebration of Scholarship & Research, University of Maryland College Park, May 2016
  17. Fulbright Senior Researcher Scholarship, Nepal, U.S. Department of State, January to June 2017
Publications: 

Hathcock AL, Nace C, Johnson D, Quimbo R, Venezia R, Chapin A, Cline JS, Buckheit K, Webb P, Ball R, Scruggs N, Jenkins S, Peipins LA, Monti M, Brooks M. 2000. Surveillance for possible estuary-associated syndrome–six states, 1998-1999. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 49, 372-373.

Chapin AR, Carpenter CM, Dudley WC, Gibson LC, Pratdesaba R, Torres O, Sanchez D, Belkind-Gerson J, Nyquist I, Karnell A, Gustafsson B, Halpern JL, Bourgeois AL, Schwab KJ.†  2005. Prevalence of Norovirus among United States visitors to Mexico and Guatemala who experience traveler’s diarrhea. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 43, 1112-1117.

Chapin A, Rule A, Gibson K, Buckley T, Schwab K.† 2005. Airborne multi-drug resistant bacteria isolated from a concentrated swine feeding operation. Environmental Health Perspectives 113, 137-145.

Wu HM†, Fornek M, Schwab KJ, Chapin AR, Gibson KE, Schwab E, Spencer C, Henning K. 2005. A Norovirus outbreak at a long-term-care facility: the role of environmental surface contamination. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology 26, 802-810.

Rule AM, Chapin AR, McCarthy S, Gibson KE, Schwab KJ, Buckley TJ.† 2005. Assessment of an aerosol treatment to improve air quality in a swine concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO). Environmental Science & Technology 39, 9649-9655.

Sapkota AR, Price LB, Silbergeld EK, Schwab KJ.† 2006. Arsenic resistance in Campylobacter spp. isolated from retail poultry products. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 72, 3069-3071.

Sapkota AR, Ojo KK, Roberts MC, Schwab KJ.† 2006. Antibiotic resistance genes in multidrug-resistant Enterococcus spp. and Streptococcus spp. recovered from the indoor air of a concentrated swine feeding operation. Letters in Applied Microbiology 43, 534-540.

Sapkota AR†, Lefferts LY, McKenzie S, Walker P. 2007. What do we feed to food production animals? A review of animal feed ingredients and their potential impacts on human health. Environmental Health Perspectives 115, 663-670.

Sapkota AR†, Lefferts LY, McKenzie S, Walker P. 2007. What do we feed to food production animals? A review of animal feed ingredients and their potential impacts on human health. Environmental Health Perspectives 115, 663-670.

Ojo KK, Sapkota AR.† 2007. Self-prescribed use of antimicrobials during menstrual periods: A disturbing new example of information poverty in Nigeria. Journal of Infection in Developing Countries 1, 123-124.

David MM*, Sapkota AR, Simonet P, Vogel, TM.† 2008. A novel and rapid method for synthesizing positive controls and standards for quantitative PCR. Journal of Microbiological Methods 73, 73-77. 

Sapkota A†, Sapkota AR, Kucharski M, Burke J, McKenzie S, Walker P, Lawrence R. 2008. Aquaculture practices and potential human health risks: Current knowledge and future priorities. Environment International 34, 1215-26.

Ojo KK†, Sapkota AR, Pottinger PS, Ojo TB. 2008. Antimicrobial resistance gene distribution: A socioeconomic and sociocultural perspective. German Medical Science 3, 1-6.

Sapkota AR†, Berger S, Vogel, TM.  2010. Human pathogens abundant in the bacterial metagenome of cigarettes. Environmental Health Perspectives 118, 351-6.

Nemir A#, David MM*, Perrussel R, Sapkota A, Simonet P, Monier J, Vogel TM.† 2010. Comparative phylogenetic microarray analysis of microbial communities in TCE-contaminated soils. 2010. Chemosphere 80(5):600-7.  

Sapkota AR†, Coker ME, Rosenberg Goldstein RE*, Atkinson, NL, Sweet SJ*, Sopeju PO, Ojo MT, Otivhia E, Ayepola OO, Olajuyigbe OO, Shireman L, Pottinger PS, Ojo KK. 2010. Self-medication of antibiotics for menstrual symptoms among university women in Southwest Nigeria. BMC Public Health 10:610.  

Sapkota AR†, Hulet RM, Zhang G, McDermott P, Kinney EL*, Schwab KJ, Joseph SW. 2011. Lower prevalence of antibiotic-resistant enterococci on U.S. conventional poultry farms that transitioned to organic practices.  Environmental Health Perspectives 119(11):1622-8.  

Micallef SA**, Rosenberg Goldstein RE*, George A#, Kleinfelter L#, Boyer MS, McLaughlin CR, Ewing L, Jean-Gilles Beaubrun J, Hanes DE, Kothary MH, Razeq JH, Joseph SW, Sapkota AR.† 2012. Occurrence and antibiotic resistance of multiple Salmonella serotypes recovered from water, sediment and soil on Mid-Atlantic tomato farms. Environmental Research 114:31-9.

Jean-Gilles Beaubrun J, Cheng C, Chen K, Ewing L, Wang H, Agpaoa MC, Huang MJ, Dickey E, Du JM, Williams-Hill DM, Hamilton B, Micallef SA**, Rosenberg Goldstein RE*, George A#, Joseph SW, Sapkota AR, Jacobson AP, Tall BD, Kothary MH, Dudley K and Hanes DE. 2012. The evaluation of a PCR-based method for identification of Salmonella enterica serotypes from environmental samples and various food matrices. Food Microbiology. 31(2):199-209.

Rosenberg Goldstein RE*, Micallef SA**, Gibbs SG, Davis JA, He X, George A#, Kleinfelter LM#, Schreiber NA#, Mukherjee S, Sapkota A, Joseph SW, and Sapkota AR†. 2012. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus detected at four U.S. wastewater treatment plants. Environmental Health Perspectives 120:1551–1558.

Pasturel BZ*, Cruz-Cano R, Rosenberg Goldstein RE*, Palmer A, Blythe D, Ryan P, Hogan B, Jung C, Joseph SW, Wang MQ, Ting Lee ML, Puett R, and Sapkota AR.† 2013. Rurality, presence of broiler operations and community socioeconomic factors influence the risk of campylobacteriosis in Maryland. American Journal of Public Health 103(12):2267-75.

Micallef SA**, Rosenberg Goldstein RE*, George A#, Ewing L, Tall BD, Boyer MS, Joseph SW, and Sapkota AR.† 2013. Diversity, distribution and antibiotic resistance of Enterococcus spp. recovered from tomatoes, leaves, water and soil on U.S. Mid-Atlantic farms.  Food Microbiology 36:465-474.

Rosenberg Goldstein RE*, Micallef SA**, Gibbs SG, George A#, Claye E, Sapkota A, Joseph SW, and Sapkota AR†.  2014. Detection of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) at four U.S. wastewater treatment plants that provide effluent for reuse. Science of the Total Environment 1;466-467C:404-411.

Sapkota AR†, Kinney EL*, George A#, Hulet RM, Cruz-Cano R, Schwab KJ, Zhang G, Joseph SW. 2014. Lower prevalence of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella on large-scale U.S. conventional poultry farms that transitioned to organic practices. Science of the Total Environment 1;476-477:387-92.

Shaw KS*†, Rosenberg Goldstein RE*, He X, Jacobs JM, Crump BC, Sapkota AR. 2014. Antimicrobial susceptibility of Vibrio vulnificus and Vibrio parahaemolyticus recovered from recreational and commercial areas of the Chesapeake Bay and Maryland Coastal Bays. PLoS One 9(2):e89616.

Rosenberg Goldstein RE*, Micallef SA**, Gibbs SG, He X, George A#, Sapkota A, Joseph SW, and Sapkota AR†.  2014. Occupational exposure to Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus spp. among spray irrigation workers using reclaimed water. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 11(4), 4340-4355; doi:10.3390/ijerph110404340.

Hosgood HD†§, Sapkota AR§, Rothman N, Rohan T, Hu Wei, White JR, Mongodin EF, Lan Q. 2014. The potential role of lung microbiota in lung cancer attributed to household coal burning exposures. Environmental and Molecular Mutagenesis. 55;8:643-651. 

Jiang C, Shaw KS, Upperman CR, Blythe D, Mitchell C, Murtugudde R, Sapkota AR, Sapkota A. 2015. Climate change, extreme events and increased risk of salmonellosis in Maryland, USA: Evidence for coastal vulnerability. Environment International. 83:58-62. 

Carey SA*, Rosenberg Goldstein RE**, Gibbs SG, Claye E, He, X, Sapkota AR. 2016. Occurrence of vancomycin-resistant and –susceptible Enterococcus spp. in reclaimed water used for spray irrigation. Environmental Research. 147:350-355. 

Shaw KS**, Cruz-Cano R, Jiang C, Malayil L, Palmer A, Blythe D, Ryan P, Sapkota AR. 2016. Presence of animal feeding operations and community socioeconomic factors impact salmonellosis incidence rates: Foodborne diseases active surveillance network (FoodNet), 2004-2010. Environmental Research. 150:166-172. 

Rosenberg Goldstein RE**, Cruz-Cano R, Jiang C, Palmer A, Blythe D, Ryan P, Hogan B, White B, Dunn JR, Libby T, Tobin-D’Angelo M, Huang J, McGuire S, Scherzinger K, Lee MLT, Sapkota AR.  2016. Association between community socioeconomic factors, animal feeding operations and Campylobacteriosis incidence rates: Foodborne diseases active surveillance network (FoodNet), 2004-2010. BMC Infectious Diseases. 16:354. 

Rosenberg Goldstein RE**, Cruz-Cano R, Jiang C, Palmer A, Blythe D, Ryan P, Hogan B, White B, Dunn JR, Libby T, Tobin-D’Angelo M, Huang J, McGuire S, Scherzinger K, Lee MLT, Sapkota AR.  2016. Association between community socioeconomic factors, animal feeding operations and Campylobacteriosis incidence rates: Foodborne diseases active surveillance network (FoodNet), 2004-2010. BMC Infectious Diseases. 16:354.

Chopyk J*, Chattopadhyay S*, Kulkarni P*, Claye E*, Babik KR*, Reid MC*, Smyth EM**, Hittle LE, Paulson JN, Cruz-Cano R, Pop M, Clark PI, Sapkota AR§, Mongodin EF§,†. 2017. Mentholation affects the cigarette microbiota by selecting for bacteria resistant to harsh environmental conditions and selecting against potential bacterial pathogens. Microbiome. 15;5(1):22. 

Chopyk J*, Chattopadhyay S, Kulkarni P*, Smyth EM**, Hittle LE, Paulson JN, Pop M, Clark PI, Mongodin EF§, Sapkota AR§,†. 2017. Temporal variations in cigarette tobacco bacterial community composition and tobacco-specific nitrosamine content are influenced by brand and storage conditions. Frontiers in Microbiology. 7(8):358. 

Boyle M*, Sutyajeet S**, Quiros-Alcala L, Dalemarre L, Sapkota AR, Sangaramoorthy T, Wilson S, Miton D, Sapkota A. 2017. A pilot study to assess residential noise exposure near natural gas compressor stations. 2017. PLoSOne. 12(4): e0174310. 

Rosenberg Goldstein RE**†, Kleinfelter L*, He X, Micallef SA, George A, Gibbs SG, Sapkota AR. 2017. Higher prevalence of coagulase-negative staphylococci carriage among reclaimed water spray irrigators. Science of the Total Environment. 595(1):35-40. 

Rosenberg Goldstein RE**†, Kleinfelter L*, He X, Micallef SA, George A, Gibbs SG, Sapkota AR. 2017. Higher prevalence of coagulase-negative staphylococci carriage among reclaimed water spray irrigators. Science of the Total Environment. 595(1):35-40.

Smyth EM**, Kulkarni P*, Claye E*, Stanfill S, Tyx R, Mongodin EF, Sapkota AR†. 2017. Smokeless tobacco products harbor diverse bacterial communities that differ across products and brands. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology. Jul;101(13):5391-5403. 

Kulkarni P*, Olson N*, Raspanti G*, Rosenberg Goldstein R**, Gibbs SG, Sapkota A, Sapkota AR. 2017. Antibiotic concentrations decrease during wastewater treatment but persist at low levels in reclaimed water. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. Jun 21;14(6).

Huang JY, Patrick ME, Manners J, Sapkota AR, Scherzinger KJ, Tobin-D’Angelo M, Henao OL, Cole DJ, Vieira AR. 2017. Association between wetland presence and incidence of Salmonella enterica serotype Javiana infections in selected US sites, 2005-2011. Epidemiology and Infection [In press].