Wei Zhang, Ph.D.

Professor of Food Science, IIT


Room 233, Bldg. 90







Food Microbiology
Molecular Biology


B.S. in Food Science
M.S. in Microbiology
Ph.D. in Food Science


BIOL521 - Microbiology Genetics Laboratory
BIOL491 - Biology Research Project
BIOL520 - Advanced Biochemistry Laboratory
BIOL539 - Advanced Cell Biology Laboratory
BIOL562 - Current Topics in Functional Genomics
BIOL591 - Thesis & Research Masters
BIO597 - Special Problems
BIOL691 - Thesis & Research Ph.D.
FST/FPE 504 - Food Biotechnology
FST591 - Research & Thesis Masters
FST/FPE593 - Seminar on Food Safety and Technology
FST/FPE594 - Special Projects


Food Safety, Food Microbiology, Microbial Genomics, Bacterial Stress Response, Foodborne Pathogens, Bacterial Pathogenesis.


Dr. Zhang’s research interests include molecular detection, genotyping, stress response, virulence and pathogenesis of foodborne bacteria. The long-term goal of his research is to better understand the genetic and physiological basis by which bacterial pathogens colonize various environmental niches, survive and grow in foods, transmit to human and cause infectious disease, using cutting-edge bioinformatics and high-throughput genomic approaches.


ASM/CDC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship

IAFP Developing Scientist AwardPenn State University Graduate Fellowship

National and International Committee Panels 

Editorial Board, Applied and Environmental Microbiology (USA)

Editorial Board, Food Microbiology (UK)

Ad hoc reviewer: Nature Genetics, Genome Research, Trends in Microbiology, Emerging

Infectious Disease, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, Journal of Bacteriolgy, Genetics and Evolution, Food Microbiology (UK), Microbiology (UK), BMC Microbiology, Foodborne Pathogens & Disease, Journal of

Food Protection, PLoS One, International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, etc


Phi Tau Sigma, The American Honor Society for Food Science

Scientific Research Society (Sigma Xi)

International Association of Food Protection (IAFP)

American Society for Microbiology (ASM)

Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)


Mafiz AI, Perera LN, He Y, Zhang W, Xiao S, Hao W, Zhou K, Zhang Y*. 2018. A Case Study on Soil Antibiotic Resistome in an Urban Community Garden. Intl J Antimicrobial Agents. pii: S0924-8579(18)30147-X. doi: 10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2018.05.016.

Kahraman O, Lee H, Zhang W, Feng H*. 2016. Manothermosonication treatment of apple-carrot juice blend for inactivation of Escherichia coli O157:H7. Ultrason Sonochem. pii: S1350-4177(16)30411-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ultsonch.2016.11.024.

Salazar JK, Wang Y, Yu S, Wang H, Zhang W*. 2015. Review: Polymerase chain reaction-based serotyping of pathogenic bacteria in food. J Microbiol Methods 110:18-26. doi: 10.1016/j.mimet.2015.01.009

Deng X*, Shariat N, Driebe EM, Tolar B, Trees E, Zhang W, Dudley EG, Fields PI, Engelthaler DM. 2015. Comparative analysis of subtyping methods against a whole-genome-sequencing standard for Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis. J Clin Microbiol, 53(1): 212-8.

Wang S, Orsi RH, Tang S, Zhang W, Wiedmann M, Boor KJ*. 2014. The phosphotransferase system-dependent extracellular growth of Listeria monocytogenes is regulated by alternative sigma factors σL and σH. Appl Environ Microbiol 80(24):7673-82.

Salazar JK, Wu Z, Yang W, Freitag NE, Tortorello ML, Wang H, Zhang W*. 2013. Roles of a novel Crp/Fnr family transcription factor Lmo0753 in soil survival, biofilm production, and surface attachment to fresh produce ofListeria monocytogenesPLoS One, 8(9): e75736.

Salazar JK, Wu Z, McMullen D, Luo Q, Freitag NE, Tortorello ML, Hu S, Zhang W* 2013. A prfA-like transcription factor gene lmo0753 contributes to L-rhamnose utilization in Listeria monocytogenes associated with human foodborne infections. Appl Environ Microbiol, 79:5584-5592.

He Y, Li Y, Salazar JK, Yang J, Tortorello ML, Zhang W*. 2013. Increased water activity reduces thermal resistance of Salmonella enterica in peanut butter. Appl Environ Microbiol, 79:4763-4767.

Deng X, Salazar JK, Frezet S, MacCannell D, Ribot EM, Fields PI, Fricke WF, Zhang W*. 2013. Genome sequence of Salmonella enterica serotype Tennessee strain CDC07-0191 implicated in the 2006-2007 multi-state foodborne outbreak linked to peanut butter in the United States. Genome Announc, 1(3): e00260-13.

Salazar JK, Deng K, Tortorello ML, Brandl MT, Wang H, Zhang W*. 2013. Genes ycfRsirA and yigG contribute to the surface attachment of Salmonella enterica Typhimurium and Saintpaul to fresh produce. PLoS One, 8(2): e57272

Deng X, Li Z, Zhang W*. 2012. Transcriptome sequencing of Salmonella enterica Enteritidis under desiccation and starvation stress in peanut oil. Food Microbiol, 30, 311-315.

Deng K, Wang S, Rui X, Zhang W, Tortorello ML*. 2011. Functional analysis of ycfR and ycfQ in Escherichia coliO157:H7 associated with fresh produce outbreaks. Appl Environ Microbiol, 77, 3952-3959.

Wen J, Deng X, Li Z, Dudley EG, Anantheswaran RC, Knabel SJ, Zhang W*. 2011. Transcriptomic response ofListeria monocytogenes during transition to the long term survival phase. Appl Environ Microbiol, 77, 5966-5972.

He Y, Yang J, Guo D, Tortorello ML, Zhang W*. 2011. Survival and thermal resistance of Salmonella enterica andEscherichia coli O157:H7 in peanut butters. Appl Environ Microbiol, 77, 8434-8438.

Deng X, Phillippy AM, Li Z, Salzberg SL, Zhang W*. 2010. Probing the pan genome of Listeria monocytogenes: new insights into intraspecific niche expansion and genomic diversification. BMC Genomics, 11, 500.

Wang S, Phillippy AM, Deng K, Rui X, Tortorello ML, Zhang W*. 2010. Transcriptomic response of Salmonella enterica Typhimurium and Enteritidis to chlorine-based oxidation. Appl Environ Microbiol, 76, 5013-5024.

Phillippy AM, Deng X, Zhang W, Salzberg SL* 2009. Efficient oligonucleotide probe selection for pan genomic tiling arrays. BMC Bioinformatics, 10, 293.

Wang S, Deng K, Zaremba S, Deng X, Lin C, Wang Q, Tortorello ML, Zhang W* 2009. Transcriptomic response ofEscherichia coli O157:H7 to oxidative stress. Appl Environ Microbiol, 75, 6110-6123.

Manning SD, Motiwala AS, Springman AC, Qi W, Lacher DW, Ouellette LM, Mladonicky JM, Somsel P, Rudrik JT, Dietrich SE, Zhang W, Swaminathan B, Alland D, Whittam TS* 2008. Variation in virulence among clades ofEscherichia coli O157:H7 associated with disease outbreaks. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 105, 4868-4873.

Chen Y, Zhang W, Knabel SJ*. 2007. Multi-virulence-locus sequence typing identifies single nucleotide polymorphisms which differentiate epidemic clones and outbreak strains of Listeria monocytogenesJ Clin Microbiol, 45: 835-846.

Zhang W*, Qi W, Albert TJ, Motiwala AS, Alland D, Hyytia-Trees EK, Ribot EM, Fields PI, Whittam TS, Swaminathan B. 2006. Probing genomic diversity and evolution of Escherichia coli O157 by single-nucleotide polymorphisms. Genome Res,16:757-767.

Chen Y, Zhang W, Knabel SJ*. 2005. Multi-virulence-locus sequence typing clarifies epidemiology of recent U.S. listeriosis outbreaks. J Clin Microbiol, 43: 5291-5294.

 Zhang W*, Jayarao BM, Knabel SJ. 2004. Multi-virulence-locus sequence typing of Listeria monocytogenesAppl Environ Microbiol, 70: 913-920.