Jennifer Quinlan Research Lab - Current Students

Patricia BorrussoPatricia Borrusso – PhD Student

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“My research is currently focused on determining if there are aspects of domestic food preparation that are associated with the spread of Listeria monocytogenes , a foodborne pathogen.  One of my goals is to learn more about cross contamination rate and spread of Listeria as it occurs in the home kitchen.  This research will combine microbial sampling along with consumer education as an effort to encourage safe food preparation in the Philadelphia community.”


Brian DirksBrian Dirks – PhD Student

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“ My research focuses on the association of the foodborne pathogen Campylobacter jejuni with amoeba. Amoeba have been shown to harbor many types of bacteria including pathogens, protecting them from b oth chemicals and environmen tal factors. The goals of my research are to determine the extent of the protection amoeba have on Campylobacter jejuni as well as what gene's are involved to allow Campylobacter jejuni to survive inside of amoeba. ”

Master's thesis title: “The Effect of non-thermal Dielectric Barrier Discharge Plasma on Salmonella enterica and Campylobacter jejuni on raw poultry.” (2010)

Link: Research of Brian Dirks (PDF)


Shauna HenleyShauna Henley – PhD Student

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"Food safety is a national health issue.  We are currently involved in an interdisciplinary study incorporating elements of food microbiology, culture, race/ethnicity, food safety, and public health.  We are investigating the food handling practices of populations of minority races and ethnicities to identify unique consumer handling risks which might exist for different populations. 


Jeff HoltJeff Holt – PhD Student

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“My work is focused on the pathogenicity of Campylobacter jejuni , an important food pathogen. Much is still unknown about the molecular biology of C. jejuni and it's unique virulence mechanisms. We are utilizing a random mutagenesis technique to identify previously uncharacterized mechanisms.”