In 1995, Dr. Ellingson received his Ph.D. in molecular microbiology from Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He did his postdoctoral fellowship training was with the USDA, Agriculture Research Service, National Animal Disease Center in Ames, Iowa, where he developed and patented a molecular diagnostic method for the detection of Johne’s disease in dairy cattle. This method has also been applied to the detection of the specific bacterium in both meat and dairy products. He then served as a staff molecular microbiologist with the USDA, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Center for Veterinary Biologics, also in Ames.
From 1999-2006, Dr. Ellingson served as the Director of Marshfield Clinic Laboratories - Food Safety Services, Marshfield, Wisconsin. During this time, Dr. Ellingson developed and patented a molecular diagnostic method for detection of E. coli 0157:H7. Starting in 2004 he also served as Chief Scientific Officer for the Marshfield Food Safety, LLC, a network of on-site process control food safety laboratories.
Dr. Ellingson is an adjunct professor in the Microbiology Department of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and has mentored and graduated several Masters of Science students in the Microbiology program.
2006-to-present Dr. Ellingson served as the Corporate Director of Food Safety and Quality Assurance for Kwik Trip, Inc. in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Kwik Trip, Inc. is a vertically integrated dairy, beverage and food production company which owns and operates over 650+ retail food stores throughout Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, which are supplied through Kwik Trip, Inc.’s own distribution/transportation system. Starting in March of 2016 Dr. Ellingson became the Senior Director of Food Protection and Science Operations, where he is focused on the new federal and state food protection/regulatory initiatives and leading the food safety sciences behind Kwik Trip, Inc.’s food protection system.