JP van Pijkeren

Picture of JP van PijkerenAssociate Professor, Food Science

1605 Linden Dr
(608) 890-2640
A203B Babcock Hall

Department Webpage


B.S., Biotechnology, Noordelijke Hogeschool Leeuwarden, The Netherlands (1999)
M.S., Biology, Leiden University, The Netherlands (2002)
Ph.D., Microbiology, University College Cork, Ireland (2007)

Research Interests

Gaining a better understanding how intestinal bacteria interact with their host; Design and development of biotherapeutics to prevent or treat acute and chronic human diseases.

Research Focus

We work at the interface of industry and medicine. While we have completed projects with various lactic acid bacteria, most of our research focuses on Limosilactobacillus reuteri, until recently known as Lactobacillus reuteri. L. reuteri is an important gut symbiont, and select strains have demonstrated health-promoting, i.e., probiotic, properties. The ultimate goal of our research program is to understand probiotic mechanisms towards the development of next-generation probiotics.

For many years, we have invested in developing genetic tools for use in L. reuteri and other lactic acid bacteria. As a consequence, our laboratory is at the forefront of lactic acid bacteria genome editing. These genome editing tools place us in the exciting position to pursue research in the following areas:

(1) to unravel the molecular underpinnings by which probiotic bacteria interact with the vertebrate host;
(2) to unravel the tripartite interplay between diet, a probiotic, and its bacteriophages;
(3) to develop probiotic bacteria as therapeutic delivery vehicles.

Recent Publications

Aspire BakeriesCampbell Soup CompanyFonterraGeneral MillsGreat LakesHormel Foods (Jennie-O Turkey Store)KerryKraft Foods (Oscar Mayer Foods)OSIPepsiCoSchreiber FoodsSugar CreekSwift Prepared FoodsTyson