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Faculty and Staff

Kathryn Boor

Professor
Research by Kathryn and her group focus on understanding mechanisms used by foodborne pathogens, as well as spoilage organisms, to adapt to stress conditions encountered during their transmission between abiotic environments, foods, and human and other mammalian hosts. Her current work specifically focuses on stress response systems and regulatory networks in the foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes.  Kathryn and her group also perform research on the transmission and control of bacteria that cause food spoilage with a particular focus on dairy foods and sporeforming spoilage organisms. Kathryn is currently the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University.

Martin Wiedmann

Gellert Family Professor in Food Safety
Research by Martin and his group focuses on the pathogenesis of foodborne diseases, pre- and post-harvest food safety and on improving our understanding of the evolution and ecology of foodborne bacterial pathogens and their transmission from farm animals and environments through foods to humans. Both basic and applied research in the laboratory is targeted towards developing the scientific knowledge necessary to improve the ability to prevent foodborne and zoonotic diseases. In addition, Martin’s group also collaborates with Kathryn Boor’s group on research on transmission and control of bacteria that cause food spoilage, particularly in dairy foods.

Sandy works on the Voluntary Shelf Life Program, analyzing milk samples for sensory and microbial values and investigating rapid-detection techniques for post-pasteurization contamination.
Rachel Evanowski
Rachel works on the Voluntary Shelf Life project.  Samples from across the state are collected and analyzed for sensory and microbial values throughout the course of their shelf life. That information is then given back to the plants to help them improve their processing techniques and work towards improving the quality of milk in NY.
Ahmed Gaballa

Ahmed Gaballa

Senior Research Associate
Ahmed Gaballa is a microbiologist who uses Genetics and Biochemistry to understand bacterial response to stress. He is specially interested in how bacteria coordinate the regulation of complex overlapped regulons to survive under stress conditions including oxidative, thiol and metal stresses.
Erika Korzune Ganda

Erika Korzune Ganda

Post Doctoral Associate
Erika is working on a project that aims to use Next Generation Sequencing to monitor dairy products throughout the processing chain for safety and quality. Additionally, she is interested in whole genome sequencing and the use of shotgun metagenomics to better understand the epidemiology of food borne diseases and spoilage of dairy products.
Veronica Guariglia

Veronica Guariglia

Research Associate
Veronica leads a group of graduate and undergraduate students with the collective goal of employing cutting edge technologies (such as RNA-seq, Tn-seq and ChIP-seq) to define the regulatory response and key components that enable pathogens to survive under adverse conditions, and thus have the power to develop improved control interventions.
Maureen provides support to staff and students by preparing media, ordering supplies, and assisting with projects as needed.  She prepares invoices for the LMT and processes samples from the CU Dairy and FPDL.
Sean is working on a project to develop an approach to evaluate new rapid methods for detection of foodborne pathogens, specifically to evaluate the ability of different commercial rapid detection methods to detect Salmonella from dry pet food and dark chocolate.

David Kent

Technician
David works with mesophilic and thermophilic sporeformers in raw milk and dairy powders.

Jasna Kovac

Postdoctoral Associate
Jasna leads a group of graduate students working at the interface of genomics and microbiology, aiming to characterize the genetic diversity and ecology of pathogenesis in the Bacillus cereus group. 

Nicole Martin

Associate Director, Milk Quality Improvement Program
Nicole is Associate Director of the Milk Quality Improvement Program.  Her research interests include the transmission, control and detection of dairy associated spoilage microorganisms and pathogens.
Renato Orsi

Renato Orsi

Professor Assistant Courtesy
While working in the lab as a Post Doctoral Research Associate, Renato studied the evolution and population genetics of Listeria monocytogenes.

Sherry Roof

Technician
Sherry performs ribotyping for the Laboratory for Molecular Typing. She also works on various Salmonella and Listeria detection projects.