Committee Descriptions:

IT functional Area

National Data Committee

The quality and consistency of the data in the NPDN National Data Repository (NDR) relies on clear entry guidelines and terminology. The goal of the National Database Committee is to create those guidelines and standardize terms used into the NDR. The committee develops and maintains standard upload protocols; reviews nomenclature for taxonomic accuracy; and evaluates new dictionary entry requests.


LIMS Technical Committee

The central mission of NPDN IT network is to provide, maintain, and implement infrastructure and tools that ensure the efficient functioning of the NPDN. These tools include the NDR, LIMS, web portals, and have different providers. This committee coordinates work between the different IT providers (mainly but not limited to LIMS) to ensure the continued appropriate functioning of the systems.
Membership of this committee is comprised by CERIS staff, developers, and reps from the different LIMS, and other providers. If you use a local institutional LIMS that is not PDIS or PClinic, make sure that your IT personnel is in included here.


Diagnostics Functional Area

Professional development Committee

The mission of the NPDN Professional Development Committee is to support and foster the development of the NPDN Professional Development Program. This committee will ensure the continued availability and quality of NPDN professional development training (in person or online). The committee will develop and evolve achievable professional development standards for the network; and identify or prioritize trainings to support diagnostics capacity improvement and other NPDN programs such as accreditation, proficiency, repository, and in-boarding new diagnosticians.


Protocols & Validation Committee

The protocols and method validation committee will focus efforts to ensure NPDN labs have access to the best and most appropriate diagnostic methods. Diagnostic labs should have confidence in the method they are using to diagnose and detect pathogens. This committee will therefore: provide leadership for successful technology transfer from the researcher’s lab to the diagnostician bench; identify topics for potential collaborative protocol development, horizon scanning for new diagnostic technologies, develop a framework to ensure fit for purpose protocol validation and verification; produce diagnostic standards; and make recommendations on equipment and supplies to ensure ease of implementation of protocols.


Visit Protocols & Validation committee public information pages

Proficiency Committee

For NPDN to be a premier diagnostics system, it must ensure that all the diagnosticians are skilled in using diagnostics techniques. A proficiency program provides important information and feedback on lab performance but must add value to the Laboratory and the NPDN. The goals of this committee include establish a framework for proficiency testing, within meaningful and achievable proficiency standards, that can contribute to improve the diagnostic capacity of the network, and benefit NPDN diagnosticians.


Accreditation Committee

For NPDN to be a premier diagnostics system, it must ensure that all NPDN diagnostics labs attain and maintain certain standards for laboratory operations and management. The goals of this committee include establishing a framework for accreditation, with meaningful and achievable accreditation standards, within which all NPDN diagnostics labs are included consistent with their type and capacity. This will include supporting the transition of Star-D to a new system of tiered accreditation.


Communications Functional Area

Outreach & Extension Committee

Plant health promotion and outreach is important to the NPDN mission and raises visibility of the network. Additionally, outreach education and extension activities are often important to our members and a part of their day-to-day responsibilities. The goals of the Outreach and Extension committee include developing and maintaining resources that support our labs with their outreach and extension activities while minimizing duplication of effort. This re-named committee extends the role of the Training & Education committee beyond the First Detector (FD) program. In addition, the committee may be asked to help in the development of public relations materials to increase the visibility and impact of the network.


Online Communications & Web Portal Committee

The NPDN Web Portal is the public face of NPDN, and an important communication tool for NPDN members, partners, and stakeholders. This committee will work to improve and maintain the Web Portal as an efficient communication tool.
The goals of the committee include:

  1. Direct the web developers at CERIS and make decisions about data and information organization in the websites (updating content, organizing new tools, and archiving old information)
  2. Evaluate requests from members or other committees for changes or additions to the portal.
  3. Maintain long term curation of the content to maintain clean and clear online communication.


Regulatory Relations Committee

The mission of this committee is to oversee and facilitate communication with our regulatory partners. It is important for NPDN diagnosticians and regulatory partners to know each other, understand each other’s roles and responsibilities, and how their efforts coordinate during plant disease discoveries or emergencies. Membership will include representatives from the National Plant Board, APHIS and the NPDN Leadership Team. 
The goals for this committee may include:

  1. Reinstating, updating, and maintaining chain of communication exercises, potentially with the Professional Development Committee.
  2. Facilitate dialog during or in preparation or review of high-impact outbreaks and sample surge.

For information about the 2021 NPDN National Meeting please contact Tania Brenes-Arguedas.