Dr. Montville’s research program examines the physiology and metabolism of foodborne microbes with the goal of improving the safety and security of the food supply. His pioneering studies on the mechanisms by which bacteriocins (naturally-occurring antimicrobial peptides) kill foodborne pathogens1 have informed translational research on food applications2 and have contributed to their acceptance as safe natural antimicrobials. Members of the Montville Laboratory have isolated new bacteriocinogenic strains of lactic acid bacteria, determined their mechanism of action, and used this knowledge to demonstrate their ability to inhibit pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes and Clostridium botulinum . The Institute of Food Technologist recognized Dr. Montville’s contributions in this area by conferring on him the Bernard L. Oser Award for Food Ingredient Safety.
The Montville Laboratory has also been studying spores for over twenty years. In addition to the bacteriocin-sensitivity of Clostridium botulinum , the laboratory has studied characteristics of Bacillus anthracis thatimpact its potential use in food bioterrorism3, Clostridium difficile as a potential foodborne pathogen, and characteristics of membranes that impact their resistance properties4.
Dr. Montville's research has been funded by over two million dollars in external grants and has been published in 120 + papers which have been cited more than 6,000 times.
1 Bonnet, M., Rafi, M., Chikindas, M.L. and Montville, T.J. 2006. Appl. Environ. Microbiol.72:2556-2563; Cleveland, J., Montville, T.J. and Chikindas, M.L. 2001. Int. J. Food Microbiol. 71:1-20.
2Yamazaki, K., Suzuki, M., Kawai, Y. Inoue, N. and Montville, T.J. 2003; J. Food Protect. 66:1420-1425
3Black, D.G., Taylor, T.M., Kerr, H.J., Padhi, S., Montville, T.J. and Davidson, P.M. 2008. J. Food Protect. 71:473-478; Montville, T.J., De Siano, T., Nock, A., Padhi, S. and Wade, D. 2006. J. Food Protect. 69:2529-2533; De Siano, T., Padhi, S., Schaffner, D.W., and Montville, T. J. 2006. J. Food Protect. 69:1720-1723; Montville, T.J., Dengrove, R., De Siano, T., Bonnet, M. and Schaffner, D.W. 2005. J. Food Protect 68:2362-2366.
4 Badaoui Najjar, M.Z., Chikindas, M.L., and Montville, T.J. 2009. Probiotics Antimicrob. Prot. 1:130-139; Li, J., Chikindas, M. L., Ludescher, R.D., and Montville, T.J. 2002. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 68: 5904-5910.