WE ARE... The Microbiome Center

December 21, 2022

We Are... the Microbiome Center is a new feature series that celebrates the people of the Center and the collaborative spirit we bring to “making life better” at the Center each day. Our PhD candidate Taejung Chung was highlighted in the inaugural issue of the feature series.

Congratulations to Taejung for the Graduate Student Competitive Grant

December 21, 2022

Taejung Chung was awarded a Graduate Student Competitive Grants Program by the College of Agricultural Sciences to support his research project "Comparative analysis of survivability, germinability, and cytotoxicity of Bacillus cereus s.s. and Bacillus cereus s.s biovar Thuringiensis spores in conditions simulating human gastrointestinal tract". Congratulations, Taejung!

Jasna receives the Early Achievement in Research Award

November 9, 2022

The Early Achievement in Research Award recognizes early-career faculty—either tenure-track or non-tenure track holding the rank of Assistant and within the first 6 years of their research career within CAS at Penn State—who have demonstrated an impressive level of independent achievement (e.g., extramural funding, publications, intellectual property, collaborative research, etc.) in their career, including prior work as a graduate student and postdoc, through extraordinary accomplishments, service, and leadership both internal and external to the college and university.

Prospective Food Science PhD student fellowship in water-energy-food nexus available

November 2, 2022

The water-energy-food (WEF) Nexus is an integrative framework for novel research to address complex challenges of sustainable and equitable resource management, economic development, and climate resilience. Graduate student fellowships are currently available at Penn State University for doctoral work on the WEF Nexus.

Kovac lab receives CDC grant to strengthen infectious disease surveillance

October 7, 2022

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has funded a $750,000 grant for research by a team of Penn State scientists to strengthen infectious disease surveillance, detection and preparedness by developing an accessible bioinformatics platform and tools for utilization by the CDC’s Laboratory Response Network.

REEU students engaging in research in our lab this summer

June 23, 2022

We are excited to welcome undergraduate students Sarah, Dariel, and Jaime to our Department and lab for a summer research experience. Students come to us through a USDA-NIFA-funded REEU program led by the faculty from the Penn State Department of Food Science and a NSF-funded REU program led by the faculty from the University of Puerto Rico and Penn State.

Congratulations to 2022 graduates

May 6, 2022

Congratulations to Anjali, Erin, Tyler, Kayla, CJ, Makayla, Conner, and Katie who are graduating in 2022 and moving on to exciting next steps in their careers.

Microbiologists get grant to study biofilms guarding foodborne pathogen Listeria

May 1, 2022

Kovac lab receives a $605,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study how microbial biofilms protect Listeria monocytogenes, the bacterium that causes the deadly foodborne illness listeriosis.

Congratulations to Tyler Chandross-Cohen for a University Graduate Fellowship!

April 22, 2022

The Penn State Graduate School sponsors a limited number of University Graduate Fellowships (UGF). This prestigious fellowship is available to most promising incoming students. Congratulations to our incoming PhD student Tyler Chandross-Cohen for being awarded the UGF!

Students receive poster awards at 2022 Gamma Sigma Delta research expo

April 5, 2022

Our students Erin Sullivan, Tyler Chandross-Cohen, Kayla Kimble, Laura Rolon, Anjali Sapre, And CJ Pedone presented their research projects at the annual Penn State Gamma Sigma Delta research symposium. Congratulations to Tyler, Kayla, Laura, Anjali, and CJ on their poster awards!

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 (https://store.dandelionchocolate.com) 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: https://foodscience.psu.edu/graduate/apply

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.