Josephine Wee, Ph.D.

Josephine Wee, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor of Food Science
432 Rodney A. Erickson Food Science Building
University Park, PA 16802

Areas of Expertise

  • Food mycology
  • Mycotoxins
  • Toxicology
  • Genotype-phenotype interaction
  • Nutritional immunology


  • Postdoc, Nutritional Immunology and Toxicology, Michigan State University, Michigan
  • Postdoc, Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
  • Ph.D., Food Science and Environmental Toxicology, Michigan State University, Michigan
  • B.S., Food Science, Michigan State University, Michigan


The goal of our research is to understand the role of fungi (yeast and mold) and their contribution to food safety, quality, and sustainability. We use genomics and molecular biology approaches spanning diverse food and agriculture ecosystems to prevent spoilage and food waste, enhance food quality, and create a sustainable food system. 

Awards and Honors

2014-2015 Liberty Hyde Bailey Scholars Program, Graduate Fellowship Award in Teaching (Michigan State University, USA)

2014 German Excellence Program Recipient, Jena School of Microbial Communication (Hans Knöll Institute, Germany) 

2009 Marshall Plan Foundation Scholarship Recipient (BOKU Vienna, Austria)

2008 Delton and Dianne Parks Scholarship Recipient, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition (Michigan State University, USA) 

2008 Virginia Dare Undergraduate Award Recipient


Sourdough starter culture microbiomes influence physical and chemical properties of wheat bread
Journal of Food Science, Clark, Caitlin S., Ohstrom, Ashley, Rolon, M. Laura, Smith, Molly, Wolfe, Benjamin E., Wee, Josephine, Van Buiten, Charlene B., 2024

Evaluation of Kluyveromyces spp. for conversion of lactose in different types of whey from dairy processing waste into ethanol
Frontiers in Microbiology, Ohstrom, Ashley Mae, Buck, Autumn Elizabeth, Du, Xue, Wee, Josephine, 2023

Evaluation of public submissions to the USDA for labeling of cell-cultured meat in the United States
Frontiers in Nutrition, Failla, Morgan, Hopfer, Helene, Wee, Josephine, 2023

Salivary α-amylase activity and flow rate explain differences in temporal flavor perception in a chewing gum matrix comprising starch-limonene inclusion complexes
Food Research International, Goza, Jennifer, Ziegler, Gregory, Wee, Josephine, Hayes, John, Hopfer, Helene, 2022

Characterization of Microbial Dynamics and Volatile Metabolome Changes During Fermentation of Chambourcin Hybrid Grapes From Two Pennsylvania Regions
Frontiers in Microbiology, Wang, Hung Li, Hopfer, Helene, Cockburn, Darrell W., Wee, Josephine, 2021

A Digital Fluency Framework to Support 21st-Century Skills
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, Fleming, E, Robert, Jenay, Sparrow, Jennifer, Wee, Josephine, Dudas, P, Slattery, M, 2021

Docosahexaenoic Acid Suppresses Silica-Induced Inflammasome Activation and IL-1 Cytokine Release by Interfering With Priming Signal
Frontiers in Immunology, Wierenga, Kathryn A., Wee, Josephine, Gilley, Kristen N., Rajasinghe, Lichchavi D., Bates, Melissa A., Gavrilin, Mikhail A., Holian, Andrij, Pestka, James J., 2019

Novel insights into global translational regulation through Pumilio family RNA-binding protein Puf3p revealed by ribosomal profiling
Current Genetics, Wang, Zhe, Sun, Xuepeng, Wee, Josephine, Guo, Xiaoxian, Gu, Zhenglong, 2019

Understand the genomic diversity and evolution of fungal pathogen Candida glabrata by genome-wide analysis of genetic variations
ImmunoMethods, Guo, Xiaoxian, Zhang, Ruoyu, Li, Yudong, Wang, Zhe, Ishchuk, Olena P., Ahmad, Khadija M., Wee, Josephine, Piskur, Jure, Shapiro, Joshua A., Gu, Zhenglong, 2019

Activation of aflatoxin biosynthesis alleviates total ROS in Aspergillus parasiticus
Toxins, Kenne, Gabriel J., Gummadidala, Phani M., Omebeyinje, Mayomi H., Mondal, Ananda M., Bett, Dominic K., McFadden, Sandra, Bromfield, Sydney, Banaszek, Nora, Velez-Martinez, Michelle, Mitra, Chandrani, Mikell, Isabelle, Chatterjee, Saurabh, Wee, Josephine, Chanda, Anindya, 2018

The fungal bZIP transcription factor AtfB controls virulence-associated processes in Aspergillus parasiticus
Toxins, Wee, Josephine, Hong, Sung Yong, Roze, Ludmila V., Day, Devin M., Chanda, Anindya, Linz, John E., 2017

Bioactive compounds in Diospyros mafiensis roots inhibit growth, sporulation and aflatoxin production by Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus
World Mycotoxin Journal, Mmongoyo, J. A., Nair, M. G., Linz, J. E., Wu, F., Mugula, J. K., Dissanayake, A. A., Zhang, C., Day, D. M., Wee, J. M., Strasburg, G. M., 2017

Effects of zinc chelators on aflatoxin production in Aspergillus parasiticus
Toxins, Wee, Josephine, Day, Devin M., Linz, John E., 2016

Aflatoxin biosynthesis is a novel source of reactive oxygen species—a potential redox signal to initiate resistance to oxidative stress?
Toxins, Roze, Ludmila V., Laivenieks, Maris, Hong, Sung Yong, Wee, Josephine, Wong, Shu Shyan, Vanos, Benjamin, Awad, Deena, Ehrlich, Kenneth C., Linz, John E., 2015

Aflatoxin Biosynthesis: Regulation and Subcellular Localization, Linz, John, Wee, Josephine, Roze, Ludmila, 2015