Core Executive Committee, Food Research Institute
790 Russell Laboratories
Bacterial colonization of plants with a focus on food safety of fresh produce
- BS 1993, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA; Major: Marine Biology, English, Minor: Chemistry
- PhD 2000, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA; Department of Plant Pathology
The evidence that plants are a common host of human enteric pathogens, such as Salmonella enterica and Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli is now overwhelming. There is strong scientific consensus that these human pathogens are also plant-associated microbes. Our lab focuses on advancing the field of plant-microbe interactions by studying the biology of S. enterica in association with plants. We are interested in the mechanisms required for S. enterica plant colonization. We take a diverse approach from bacterial genetics to computational biology. Our goal is to develop cutting edge studies focusing on S. enterica while spring boarding off the wealth of scientific knowledge available for its famous cousin, E. coli. Reducing food-borne illness caused by consumption of contaminated healthy food stuff such as fresh produce is an immediate need. However, the study of human enteric bacterial pathogens in association with plants is a young sub-discipline that requires investigation of basic biology to move toward the ultimate goal of reducing human illness.
- Plant colonization mechanisms of Salmonella enterica and Shiga-toxin producing E. coli.
- Plant and human pathogen interactions
- Tri-trophic interactions: enteric bacterial pathogen - phytophagous insects - plants.
- Niche adaptation and evolution of cross-domain bacteria.
- University of Wisconsin Faculty: Food Pathogens and Toxins Cluster
- American Phytopathological Society; member of the Public Policy Board
- American Society for Microbiology (Professional Member)
- University of Wisconsin–Madison Expert for News Media (human bacterial pathogens in association with plants, Salmonella enterica lifestyle outside a warm-blooded host)
- Webinar: “Preharvest food safety practices for tomato” Plant Management Network. 2012
- “Hanging on and hanging out, Salmonella's life in roots and leaves.” Symposium/platform talk: Interactions between plants and human pathogens, American Phytopathological Society Annual Meeting, Austin, TX. 2013.
- “Fresh produce, the most likely source of salmonellosis; how Salmonella enterica uses plants as vectors to animal hosts.” Symposium/platform talk: Detection and control of foodborne pathogens, Food Research Institute Annual Meeting, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI. 2013.
- “Food-borne illness and its risk factors associated with fresh tomato production.” 4th International Symposium on Tomato Diseases and the 28th U.S. Annual Tomato Disease Workshop, Orlando, FL. 2013.
- “The role of fresh produce in the life cycle of Salmonella and other food-borne illness bacterial pathogens.” Symposium/platform talk: Salmonella and friends, Food Research Institute Annual Meeting, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI. 2012.
- “Plant Pathology: a key discipline for food safety of fresh produce.” Keynote Address: Korean Plant Pathology Society Annual Meeting, Seoul, Korea. 2012.
- “Salmonella's life in the roots.” 26th Annual Kenneth B. Raper Symposium on Microbiological Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI. 2012.
- “Hunting the plant essential Salmonella enterica genes.” Symposium/platform talk: Omics approaches for the characterization of interactions between human enteric pathogens and plants: a plant pathologists perspective, American Phytopathological Society Annual Meeting, Honolulu, HI. 2011.
- “Genes, genomes, and microbial buddies: the biology of Salmonella enterica on plants.” Symposium/platform talk: International AgriFood Safety Symposium, Seoul, Korea. 2010.
- “Plant pathology research and human pathogen in/on plants.” Symposium/platform talk: Human pathogens associated with edible plants. International Association Food Protection Annual Meeting, Anaheim, CA. 2010.
- “Human pathogens on plants: issues for plant pathologists.” Symposium/platform talk: Assuring the safety of fresh produce: issues and strategies. American Phytopathological Society Annual Meeting, Charlotte, NC. 2010.
- “The biology of Salmonella enterica on plants.” Food and Drug Administration, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, College Park, MD. 2010.