Associate research Scientist, Center for Food Safety
University of Georgia, USA
Zhao is Associate Research Scientist at the Center for Food Safety, University of Georgia. He received his degree in Medicine and medical microbiology and finished his medical training from China. Since then he has spent most of his career (27 years) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Georgia for developing better ways to detect human pathogens in foods, animals, and environment through various approaches and intervention methods to reduce contamination of foodborne pathogens in animals and foods. Several monoclonal antibodies specific for recognition of E. coli O157:H7 and Yersinia pestis and multiple control methods for reduction of foodborne pathogens including Listeria, STEC, and Salmonella are commercialized for practical application in food industry.
He has more than 55 papers, 6 approved patents and was awarded as “Inventor of the Year 2010, by University of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc. for the Discovery of Highly Effective and Practical Treatments for Reducing Contamination of Foods by Harmful Microorganisms”. First Place recipient of the 2014 Journal of Food Protection Most-cited Research Publication Award for paper published 5 years ago (May 2009) entitled “Inactivation of Salmonella and Escherichia coli O157:H7 on lettuce and poultry skin by combinations of levulinic acid and sodium dodecyl sulfate.”
Detection and characterization of bacterial pathogens in food including E. coli O157:H7. Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, Campylobacter, Yersinia pestis, and Mycobacterium.
Ecology and reduction of carriage of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in cattle. Development of probiotic/competitive exclusion bacteria to reduce/eliminate carriage of E. coli O157:H7 by cattle and prevalence of L. monocytogenes in processing plants.
Development of method for control of foodborne pathogens.