Patti Lafon is a microbiologist in the PulseNet Methods Development and Reference Unit of CDC’s Enteric Diseases Laboratory Branch. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee-Knoxville with a B.S. in Agricultural Science and a M.S. in Animal Science. In 2001, she accepted a position as a microbiologist at the FDA, Center for Veterinary Medicine, working in the Division of Animal and Food Microbiology. The primary focus of her work at the FDA involved antimicrobial susceptibility testing and molecular characterization of enteric bacterial isolates from retail meats as part of the National Antimicrobial Monitoring System (NARMS). In 2007, Patti joined the Epidemic Investigations Laboratory Unit at the CDC working on a Georgia Tech/CDC joint research project entitled “Characterizing Genetic Elements Promoting the Emergence of Vibrio parahaemolyticus”. The main focus of her work on this project involved the molecular characterization of clinical and environmental strains of V. parahaemolyticus using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). In 2008, she joined the PulseNet Methods Development and Reference Unit, where she is currently working on Multiple-locus Variable-Number Tandem Repeat analysis (MLVA) for E. coli and Salmonella, a molecular subtyping technique used to assist epidemiologists in foodborne outbreak detection.