Dr. Russell S. Flowers
July 16, 1951 – September 24, 2020
With heavy hearts we must announce that Russell S. Flowers, past Chairman of the Board of Mérieux NutriSciences and Chief Scientific Officer of Silliker Inc., passed away. Although we mourn his passing, his life as a food microbiologist and his contribution to building Mérieux NutriSciences are extraordinary and ever-lasting.
Dr. Flowers received Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from North Carolina State University and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois prior to joining Dr. John Silliker and Damien Gabis in the very early days of Silliker laboratories. He began his career at the food testing organization as Laboratory Director and advanced to the position of President in 1990. In 1995, Dr. Flowers was instrumental in establishing the partnership with the Mérieux family, which resulted in 1996 in the creation of Mérieux NutriSciences. He became, from 1996 to 2007, the very first CEO of Mérieux NutriSciences. Dr. Flowers was then appointed as Chairman of the Board and Chief Scientific Officer. He retired in 2013.
Dr. Flowers was a leading researcher, author and speaker in the field of food microbiology, with particular emphasis on the development and validation of rapid analytical methods and laboratory performance. He was the study director for the validation of the first Enzyme Immunoassay and Nucleic Acid Hybridization Assay approved by AOAC, and many subsequent studies that led to the industry-wide implementation of methods for the detection of pathogens in food and food environments. Dr. Flowers also chaired the Food Laboratory Accreditation Working Group that developed specific accreditation criteria adopted by AOAC and A2LA for food testing laboratories.
The recipient of numerous industry awards and honors, Dr. Flowers was an active member of the several professional organizations and societies including the International Commission on Microbiological Specifications for Foods, AOAC International, Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) and the International Dairy Foods Association. He collaborated on over 7 books on microbiology and over 35 articles published in trade journals.
Thanks to his tremendous contribution, Mérieux NutriSciences now employs 7500 people worldwide and is recognized as leader in food safety & quality. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.