Research

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 affiliate 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
Grace L. Guo (2024), Associate Professor, Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, PhD. University of Kansas Medical Center Liver diseases, nuclear receptors, bile acid signaling
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
(HPP), Cold Plasma, UV, Extrusion, Microbial Attachment, Numerical Simulation
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 Plant Biology & Pathology, SEBS; Ph. D., Peking Union Medical College (China).
Plant-based medicine, natural products chemistry and human health
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

LinShu Liu (2024), Senior Research Scientist, USDA-ERRC; Ph.D., Kyoto University (Japan)
Smart polymers, controlled release of bioactive substances, biomaterials
Maureen Morrin (2024), Henry Rutgers Professor of Marketing, School of Business, Camden. PhD New York University
Sensory marketing and consumer behavior for foods and other products
Nazir Mir (2024), President, MirTech Inc.; Ph.D., Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi, India
Shelf life extension, food packaging, control release agents
Nicholas T. Bello (2024), Associate Professor of Animal Sciences, SEBS, Ph.D. Penn State College of Medicine
Neural basis of food intake and nutrient selection
Sue Shapses (2024), Professor, Department of Nutritional Sciences, SEBS, Ph.D., Columbia University Bone, body composition, endocrinology & nutrition in disease prevention
Troy A. Roepke (2024), Associate Professor of Animal Sciences, SEBS, PhD University of California, Davis Hormones, diets, endocrine disruption and neurophysiological functions
Gil-Soo Han (2022), Assistant Research Professor of Food Science, SEBS; Ph.D., Rutgers
Molecular biology, phospholipid metabolism; gene regulation

Affiliate 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

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, Systems Design & Measurement at Ingredion Incorporated; 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
Apostolos Pappas (2022), Apostolos Pappas, Head of Programs, Nestle Skin Health; Ph.D., Rutgers University
Skin lipid metabolism, adipocytes, ceramide synthesis, skin barrier biology

 

1Full Members of the Graduate Faculty may chair and serve on masters and doctoral committees.
2Associate Members may serve on masters and doctoral committees and other program committees and teach graduate courses. Associate Members may chair masters committees but may not chair doctoral committees. Associate Members have voice, but not vote, in the affairs of the graduate program.
3Affiliate Members may serve on masters committees but not doctoral committees. Affiliate Members may not chair masters committees. Affiliate members may serve on graduate program committees and teach graduate courses. Affiliate Members have voice, but not vote, in the affairs of the graduate program.