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Wei Zhang, Ph.D.

Principal Scientist at IFSH
Professor, Food Science and Nutrition

Moffett Campus Office: 

MF 233

Moffett Campus Phone: 




Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University
M.S., Huazhong Agricultural University
B.S., Huazhong Agricultural University


1. BIOL521 - Microbiology Genetics Laboratory
2. BIOL491 - Biology Research Project
3. BIOL520 - Advanced Biochemistry Laboratory
4. BIOL539 - Advanced Cell Biology Laboratory
5. BIOL562 - Current Topics in Functional Genomics
6. BIOL591 - Thesis & Research Masters
7. BIO597 - Special Problems
8. BIOL691 - Thesis & Research Ph.D.
9. FST/FPE 504 - Food Biotechnology
10. FST591 - Research & Thesis Masters
11. FST/FPE593 - Seminar on Food Safety and Technology
12. 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.


NSFC Oversea Collaborative Research Award

Chu-Tian Scholar, Hubei Province Department of Education

Penn State CAS Outstanding Recent Alumni Award

CDC Charles C. Shepard Science Award

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


Deng X, Allen K, Zhang W* 2012. Pathogen identification using high-density microarrays. In: Heldman DR, Hoover D, Wheeler MB, Bamania AB (eds.), Encyclopedia of Biotechnology in Agriculture and Food. Taylor & Francis Group, New York, USA. ISBN 0849350271.

Zhang W*, Wade J, Dudley EG. 2011. Chapter 10. Genomic and transcriptomic analysis of foodborne bacterial pathogens. In: Wiedmann M, Zhang W (eds.), Genomics of Foodborne Bacterial Pathogens. In: Food Microbiology and Food Safety book series. Springer, New York, USA. ISBN 978-4419-7685-7, Hardcover.

Swaminathan B*, Cabanes D, Zhang W, Cossart P. 2007. Chapter 21: Listeria monocytogenes. p. 457-491. In: Doyle MP, Beuchat LR, Montville TJ, (eds.), Food Microbiology: Fundamentals and Frontiers, 3rd ed. ASM Press, Washington DC, USA


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)


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 of Listeria monocytogenes. PLoS 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 ycfR, sirA 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 coli O157: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 of Listeria 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 and Escherichia 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 of Escherichia 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 of Escherichia coli O157:H7 associated with disease outbreaks. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 105, 4868-4873.

He X, Ou H, Qing Y, Zhou X, Wu J, Liang J, Zhang W, Rajakumar K, Deng Z*. 2007. Analysis of a genomic island housing dnd gene clusters which encodes S modification system in Streptomyces lividans. Mol Microbiol, 65:1034-1048.

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 monocytogenes. J 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 monocytogenes. Appl Environ Microbiol, 70: 913-920.