B.S. Biology, Chinese University of Hong Kong
M.S. Dairy Products Technology, Cal Poly SLO
Ph.D. Food Science (minors Microbiology and Epidemiology), Cornell University
Postdoc Cornell University
- Food and dairy microbiology
- Food safety and protection
- Pathogenesis of foodborne pathogens
- Molecular detection and epidemiology
Our research program primarily focuses on a human pathogen, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, a subset of which has the ability to establish infection in human gastrointestinal environment following the consumption of raw or undercooked seafood. We are interested in learning more about its interaction with human host, virulence factors, its occurrence in different natural habitat, and its physiology under different external conditions.
The development of rapid, sensitive and specific molecular-based detection methods for this pathogen is also of paramount importance to the government, public health agencies, food industry, and consumers.
Another aspect of our research program is to enhance the microbial quality of dairy foods. With strong collaboration with the Dairy Products Technology Center at Cal Poly, we have projects on studying the survival behavior of probiotics in yogurt, microbial ecology in fluid milk, and tracking the transmission route of microorganisms along the farm to table continuum.
Students are highly encouraged to integrate microbiology, molecular biology techniques, microscopy, bioinformatics, cell culture, immunology to address the research questions.