Graduate studies in food science at Rutgers University has traditionally encompassed research in three areas: food biology, food chemistry and food engineering. We have three core courses required of all graduate students that cover each of the three areas. PhD students must pass a written qualifying exam in one of the three areas. As is evident from the list of graduate program faculty below, some of our faculty concentrate in one or more of the three research areas.

Graduate Program Faculty

Graduate program faculty are appointed to a five-year term consistent with program bylaws. Active faculty may continue to serve subsequent five-year terms. We are currently in the process of updating our records, and where the ending date of the faculty members term is known, it is listed in parentheses following their name. Clicking on the name of a full member will take you to their personal website, clicking on the name of associate or adjunct faculty members will provide their email address.

Full Member of the Graduate Faculty1

Paul A. S. Breslin, Professor of Nutritional Sciences, SEBS; Ph.D., Univ of PA
Genetic basis of human oral perception and its impact on nutrient intake

George M. Carman (2022), Board of Governors Professor and Distinguished Professor of Food Science, SEBS; Ph.D., Massachusetts
Biochemistry, membranes, phospholipids, and enzymes

Suzie Chen, Professor of Chemical Biology, EMSP; Ph.D., Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Mechanics of cell differentiation and carcinogenesis

Michael L. Chikindas (2022), Professor of Food Science, SEBS; Ph.D., Institute of Genetics and Selection of Industrial Microorganisms (Russia)
Microbiology, genetics, biotechnology, antimicrobial peptides

Rong Di, Assistant Research Professor of Plant Biology and Pathology, SEBS; Ph.D., Iowa State University
Molecular biology, biotechnology, food nutrition and safety

Chaim Frenkel (2022), Professor of Horticulture, SEBS; Ph.D., Washington State
Postharvest biology: senescence science, fruit ripening, and plant stress

Thomas Gianfagna (2022), Professor of Plant Biology and Pathology, SEBS; Ph.D., Cornell
Steroidal saponins and human health, antimicrobial compounds for packaging

Thomas G. Hartman (2022), Adjunct Research Professor of Food Science, SEBS; Ph.D., Rutgers
Advanced instrumental analytical techniques as applied to food chemistry, mass spectrometry, chromatography, infrared spectroscopy, toxicology

Chi-Tang Ho (2022), Professor of Food Science, SEBS; Ph.D., Washington
Flavor, chemistry, natural products

Qingrong Huang, Professor of Food Science, SEBS; Ph.D., Nebraska
DNA/protein chips, food delivery systems, nanotechnology

Mukund V. Karwe (2022), Professor of Food Science, SEBS; Ph.D., Rutgers
High pressure processing (HPP); Cold Atmospheric Pressure Plasma (CAPP) & ultraviolet (UV) processing; microbial attachment and detachment; simulation of flow in human GI tract; mathematical modeling of food extrusion, baking, freezing; effect of processing on nutraceuticals in food. 

Thomas Leustek, Professor of Biochemistry and Microbiology, SEBS; Ph.D., Rutgers
Nutritional value of plant crops, sulfur metabolism, molecular genetics and biochemistry

Richard D. Ludescher (2022), Professor of Food Science, SEBS; Ph.D., Oregon
Food biophysics, protein chemistry, optical luminescence

Karl Matthews (2022), Professor of Food Science, SEBS; Ph.D., Kentucky
Pathogenesis and reservoirs of foodborne pathogens

Loredana Quadro (2022), Associate Professor of Food Science, SEBS; Ph.D., Napoli (Italy)
Nutrients: their metabolism and effects on human health

Diana E. Roopchand (2021), Assistant Professor of Food Science, SEBS; Ph.D. McGill University
Interactions between dietary components, gut microbiota, and intestinal epithelium.

Donald W. Schaffner (2022), Extension Specialist in Food Science, SEBS; Ph.D., Georgia
Predictive food microbiology, quantitative microbial risk assessment

Karen M. Schaich (2022), Associate Professor of Food Science, SEBS; Sc.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
EPR studies of free radicals, lipid oxidation, co-oxidation of macromolecules, chemistry of antioxidants

Nanjoo Suh, Associate Professor of Chemical Biology, EMSP; Ph.D., Illinois
Chemoprevention of cancer, animal models of breast cancer

Paul Takhistov (2022), Associate Professor of Food Science, SEBS; Ph.D., USSR Academy of Science
Nonthermal food processing, biofilms, biosensors, nanotechnology

Beverly J. Tepper (2022), Professor of Food Science, SEBS; Ph.D., Tufts
Nutrition, taste genetics, taste in disease, food intake regulation, sensory evaluation

Nilgun Tumer, Professor of Plant Biology & Pathology, SEBS; Ph.D., Purdue
Ribosome inactivating proteins, translation, food biotechnology

Qingli Wu (2022), Associate Research Professor of Pharmacognosy at Plant Biology & Pathology, SEBS; Ph. D., Peking Union Medical College (China).
Plant-based medicine and natural products chemistry with relevance to pharmaceutics, nutrition and food sciences.

Kit L. Yam, Professor of Food Science, SEBS; Ph.D., Michigan State
Active and intelligent packaging, shelf life of packaged foods

Chung S. Yang (2022), Professor of Pharmacognosy, EMSP; Ph.D., Cornell
Cancer prevention by dietary constituents, molecular and cellular mechanisms of carcinogenesis

Liping Zhao (2022), Eveleigh-Fenton Chair of Applied Microbiology, SEBS; Ph.D., Nanjing Agricultural University (China)
Understanding food and gut microbiome interactions for human health

Associate Members of the Graduate Faculty 2

Gil-Soo Han (2022), Assistant Research Professor of Food Science, SEBS; Ph.D., Rutgers
Molecular biology, phospholipid metabolism; gene regulation

Adjunct Members of the Graduate Faculty 3

Michael M. Blumenthal (2022), Managing Partner Libra Technical Center, LLC; Ph.D., Rutgers University  Process development and control; GMP operations and documentation; forensics; expert witness and litigation; microscopy; physical and analytical chemistry.

Yesu T. Das (2022), President, ISSI Laboratories, Inc.; Ph.D., Rutgers University
Impurities and Metabolites; Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry

Stylianos Fakas, Assistant Professor of Food and Animal Sciences, Alabama A&M University;
Ph.D., Agricultural University, Athens Greece.
Biotechnology, biochemistry, molecular biology, lipid metabolism

Ramin Khaksar (2022), Vice President of R&D and Technology, Clear Labs, Inc; Ph.D., University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran Food genomics, microbiological food safety, rapid microbiological methods

Julie B. Hirsch, Director R&D, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Products Company; Ph.D., Rutgers
Directing product development & applied research, Rheology and physical properties measurements, Nutrition and health

Arland T. Hotchkiss, Jr. (2023), Research Plant Physiologist and Lead Scientist, USDA-ARS-ERRC;  Ph.D., University of Texas
Plant carbohydrate bioactive food ingredients to prevent chronic diseases

Rodolfo H. Juliani, Research Associate, SEBS; Ph.D., National University of Cordoba (Argentina)
Biology, chemistry, quality (safety, effectiveness), and biotechnology of herbs, medicinal and aromatic plants and their derived natural products

Alan King (2022), Visiting Professor of Food Science, SEBS; Ph.D., Rutgers University
Chemistry (carbohydrate chemistry, hydrocolloid technology, gel technology, emulsion technology

LinShu Liu (2022), Senior Research Scientist, USDA-ERRC; Ph.D., Kyoto University (Japan)
Smart polymers, controlled release of biologically active substances, tissue engineering and biomaterials

Nazir Mir (2022), President, MirTech Inc.; Ph.D., Indian Agricultural
Research Technologies to enhance the freshness and safety of produce

Apostolos Pappas (2022), Apostolos Pappas, Head of Programs, Nestle Skin Health; Ph.D., Rutgers University
Lipid metabolism in skin cells: Sebaceous and subcutaneous pre-adipocyte differentiation; ceramide synthesis in keratinocytes and skin barrier biology.



1Full Members of the Graduate Faculty may chair Masters and PhD committees.
2Associate Members of the Graduate Faculty may chair Masters committees.
3Adjunct Members of the Graduate Faculty can serve as internal members of Masters and PhD