Penn State researchers developing genomic resources to identify novel pathogens

October 14, 2021

Study to enhance CDC’s capacity to rapidly detect emerging infectious disease agents

Postdoc position in microbial genomics

June 1, 2021

Are you interested in a postdoc in microbial genomics? We are looking to fill the position by August 1st.

Congratulations and good luck to 2021 graduates!

May 2, 2021

Congratulations to graduate student Priscilla Sinclair and undergraduate student Jared Pavlock, Cassidy Prince, Madison Ruston for graduation! Good luck to Priscilla in her new job at PepsiCo and to Cassidy Prince in the Microbiology Ph.D. program at Cornell University. Good luck also to our alumni Xiaoqing (Ellie) Tan in the Microbiology Ph.D. program at Cornell University and to Xiaoxuan (Meg) Shi in the Food Science PhD program at Cornell University!

Congrats to Cassidy for the NSF GRFP honorable mention and Fulbright semifinals

March 24, 2021

Congratulations to our undergraduate student Cassidy Prince for the NSF GRFP honorable mention and for becoming a Fulbright semifinalist!

Congratulations to Runan for publishing collaborative research with Dandelion Chocolate

March 8, 2021

Runan Yan and Gabriella Pinto worked with the Dandelion Chocolate team ( to evaluate the efficacy of the different time-temperature combinations in the inactivation of Salmonella on cocoa beans.

3rd place in The Science Coalition undergraduate video competition

December 10, 2020

Accepting a new Masters student to join the lab in Fall 2021

November 5, 2020

Apply to join us as a Masters student in Fall 2021:

Congratulations to Naomi Niyah!

October 19, 2020

Naomi Niyah was awarded the 1st place for the presentation of her research poster in a category Graduate Poster Presentations at the America Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) National Conference. Congratulations, Naomi!

Inexpensive and rapid testing of drugs for resistant infections possible

October 19, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — A rapid and simple method for testing the efficacy of antibacterial drugs on infectious microbes has been developed and validated by a team of Penn State researchers.

Hiring a research assistant

August 26, 2020

We are hiring a part-time (20h/week) research assistant to start on October 1st, 2020.

Best wishes to our lab alumni!

June 17, 2020

Best wishes to our alumni accepted to PhD programs at Cornell and Baylor College of Medicine.

Color and learn about microbes in food!

June 1, 2020

Our undergraduate student Cassidy Prince is developing a food microbiology themed coloring book. If you are curious about an invisible world of microbes in food, please download the first page on a topic of endospores and have fun coloring.

Congratulations to Naomi for an NSF Honorable Mention!

May 30, 2020

Naomi Niyah received an NSF Honorable Mention in an area of microbial biology. Naomi is investigating the use of genomic markers to predict the toxicity of Bacillus cereus to human cells and study their evolution using comparative genomics coupled with cell culture and microbiological phenotypic assays.

Visit our YouTube channel for food science outreach

May 12, 2020

Visit our YouTube channel run by students excited about creating food science content for a broad general audience!

Graduating food-science student parlays undergrad research experience into job

May 8, 2020

Gabriella Pinto provides a great example of what undergraduate research can do for a student. The Penn State food science major, who graduates this month, is headed for a good job armed with a wealth of experience and knowledge from her research, which gives her a leg up on her career.

"Sciencing" online during COVID-19 pandemic

March 28, 2020

Since March 16, our lab is working online to help reduce the spread of SARS-CoV- 2, the virus causing COVID-19 #flattenthecurve

Research Visit in Ethiopia

March 28, 2020

Jasna and Kerry visited our lab's research collaborators at Addis Abab University. They made it back to the U.S. just in time to practice social distancing.

A Penn State Microbiome Center workshop: Functional basis of microb[iom]e annotation, theory to practice

February 24, 2020

Penn State Microbiome center will offer a workshop on the functional annotation of microbiome data. Drs. Yana Bromberg and Chengsheng Zhu will present the workshop on March 5 and 6. Join the group and learn how to analyze your own data!

A Penn State Microbiome Center Workshop - The Latest from Illumina

February 11, 2020

A Penn State Microbiome Center workshop on the latest Illumina technology: "Navigating the latest NGS Technologies for Microbiome research: From Sample preparation through analysis". Save the date: Friday, February 21st, 2020, from 1 pm – 3 pm, Food Science room 252

Jasna giving a seminar at The Ohio State University

January 28, 2020

Jasna is giving a seminar "Toward microbiome-informed detection and control of foodborne pathogens in the food supply chain" on Wednesday, January 29th, 4 pm, at The Ohio State University's Parker Food Science and Technology Building.

Priscilla giving a talk at the Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention

January 28, 2020

Priscilla will give a talk on "Combating Listeria monocytogenes Growth in Tree Fruit Packinghouse Biofilms" at the Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention.

Cassidy awarded a University Student Engagement Network Grant

December 20, 2019

Congratulations to Cassidy Prince, a recipient of the University Student Engagement Network Grant. The grant will support Cassidy's international food safety work in Ethiopia in March 2020.

Happy Holidays!

December 19, 2019

Wishing you happy holidays and all the best for the year ahead!

Gabby and Jared awarded CAS undergraduate research grants

December 9, 2019

Gabriella Pinto and Jared Pavlock won undergraduate research grants to support their research projects in Spring 2010. Congratulations!

Congratulations to Runan for winning a CAS competitive research grant!

December 7, 2019

Congratulations to a Ph.D. candidate Runan Yan for winning a competitive research grant awarded by the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences!

Congratulations to Emma for Winning an Outstanding Academic Achievement Award

November 18, 2019

Emma Mills awarded a National Association of Flavors and Food-Ingredient Systems 2019 Scholarship Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement - Congratulations for a well-deserved recognition!

Students at the Allegheny Branch American Society for Microbiology meeting

November 11, 2019

Kovac lab was well represented at this year's Allegheny Branch American Society for Microbiology meeting that took place at the Saint Francis University in Loretto, PA.

Course on genomic epidemiology of foodborne pathogens

November 2, 2019

Join us in the FDSC 497 - Foodborne Pathogen Genomic Epidemiology course offered in Spring 2020!

Congratulations to Barry and Gabriella!

October 17, 2019

Congratulations to Gabriella Pinto and Jingzhang (Barry) Feng for winning Department of Food Science undergraduate research awards. Gabriella and Barry are senior undergraduate students majoring in Food Science. Thanks to the Department for a generous support of our undergraduate researchers!

On the Rise: Jasna Kovac is Safeguarding Your Shopping Cart

October 15, 2019

Food. It’s one of those things that connects us all. From jet-set billionaires to slum-dwelling street urchins, everyone needs to eat. Yet, in our modern, technocratic, globalized world, very few people have a direct relationship with the production of the food they need to survive. The vast majority of us buy our food from others, whether at a farm stand or supermarket shelf, which means there is almost always supply chain involved. And along that supply chain, between harvest, storage, processing, transportation, and preparation, there are lots of potential opportunities for food to pick up harmful contaminants.