University of Florida

Dr. Kwang Cheol (K.C.) Jeong

Associate Professor

Research Summary

Dr. K. C. Jeong’s ultimate research goal is to intervene pathogens for the benefit of animals and humans.  To achieve this goal, his research areas are not only in basic sciences but also in applied sciences. Antimicrobial resistance microorganisms and Shiga-toxin producing E. coli (STEC) are his primary target research areas. The primary goal of basic science research is to understand molecular mechanisms of antimicrobial resistance, colonization, host-microbe interactions, and survival of bacterial pathogens in hosts. Identification of genetic traits responsible for the survival of pathogens in the host and characterization of genes and proteins will provide insights for the development of intervention technologies. Dr. Jeong’s repertoire of knowledge in molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology, and genetic techniques will be applicable to various aspects of this research.  Developing intervention technologies to fight against pathogens using micro and nanoparticles is another key part of his research program. He developed chitosan microparticles as an alternative antimicrobial agent and his research has focused on the increment of efficacy in chitosan microparticles targeting a broad spectrum of pathogens, including antimicrobial resistant microorganisms. Furthermore, development of nanoparticles with high specificity against pathogens is ongoing interest. Currently, Dr. Jeong’s research program has focused on following topics.

  • Identify and understand bacterial effector proteins that cause disease in hosts
  • Whole genomic DNA analysis to identify genes that are required for survival and persistence in hosts and environments
  • Determine host factors that modulate the survival of pathogens in infection
  • Antimicrobial resistance: prevalence, mechanisms antimicrobial resistance development, transmission
  • Development of mitigation strategies for antimicrobial resistance
  • Shiga toxin-producing bacteria: prevalence, transmission, persistence, and factors that affect prevalence of STEC
  • Microbial risk assessments


2004, Ph. D. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Food Science (with Food Safety option), Department of Bacteriology, Madison, Wisconsin
1998, M. S. Chonnam National University, Department of Food Science and Technology, Gwangju, Korea
1996, B. S. Chonnam National University, Department of Food Science and Technology, Gwangju, Korea

Academic Positions Since Final Degree:

April, 2011-Present  AssociateProfessor of Food Safety, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
July 2010 - March 2011 Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
June 2005 - June 2010 Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Molecular Microbiology, Washington University in St. Louis, School of Medicine
January 2005-May 2011 Postdoctoral Research Associate, Food Research Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Professional Memberships

Associate Faculty Member in Faculty of 1000 (2010 – present)
Editorial board member of Journal of bacteriology and parasitology
Editorial board member of Journal of Agricultural Chemistry and Environment
Member of American Society for Microbiology
Member of International Association for Food Protection



Kwang Cheol (K.C.) Jeong, Ph.D.

PO Box 110910
Gainesville, FL 32611

2250 Shealy Dr.
Gainesville, FL 32611