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Animal Sciences Department

Animal Sciences Department

Kwang Cheol Jeong

Microbiology, Food Safety

In March of 2011, Dr. Kwang Cheol Jeong joined the faculty of the University of Florida as an assistant professor with a joint appointment in the Department of Animal Sciences and the Emerging Pathogens Institute.

Dr. Jeong began his scientific career in Korea as a molecular microbiologist focused on the identification of virulence factors and understanding of the gene regulation mechanisms of Vibrio vulnificus. During his doctoral training at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he continued to explore bacterial pathogenesis by examining the mechanisms of acid tolerance and survival of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in the host. After obtaining his Ph.D., Dr. Jeong took a postdoctoral position at the Washington University Medical School in St. Louis to characterize the virulence traits of Legionella pneumophila, an intracellular pathogen that causes a pneumonia-like illness called Legionnaires’ disease. His research focused on the characterization of the Legionella type IV secretion system (T4SS) and effector proteins that were secreted into the host cells via the T4SS.


  • Research

    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

    The KC Jeong Lab

    • Dr. Jeong's research goals are to provide solutions for animal and human health by understanding host-pathogen interactions at the molecular level. 
    • Developing methods to prevent and cure diseases caused by pathogens.
  • Teaching

    ANS 6288-Experimental Techniques and Processing Meat

    • Experimental design, analytical procedures; techniques; carcass measurements and analyses as related to livestock production and meats studies. Offered spring term in even-numbered years.

    ANS 6714 Microbial Physiology

    • Insights into microbial pathogenesis, microbial genetics, and molecular microbiology with particular reference to livestock species.



PO Box 110910
Gainesville, FL 32611

2250 Shealy Dr.
Gainesville, FL 32611
Emerging Pathogens Institute
Personal Page

  • Education


    • 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:

    • June 2023 - Present - Professor of Food Safety, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
    • April 2011- June 2023 - Associate Professor 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
  • Publications

    2018 Publications:

    • Fan, Peixin, C. Nelson, M. Elzo, and K.C. Jeong. 2018. Animal breed composition shapes the gut microbiota, and its effects on the host metabolic and immunological status. Under review.
    • Fan, Peixin, C. Nelson, M. Elzo, and K.C. Jeong. 2018. Meconium microbiota varies with birthweight and influences the gut microbiota establishment during early stage of life. Under review.
    • Alejandro Garrido-Maestu, Zhengxin Ma, Sae-Yeol-Rim Paik, Nusheng Chen, Sanghoon Ko, Zhaohui Tong, K.C. Jeong. 2018. Engineering of Chitosan-derived nanoparticles to enhance antimicrobial activity against foodborne pathogen Escherichia coli O157:H7. Carbohydrate Polymers. 197:623-630
    • Markland, S., Thomas A. Weppelmann, Zhengxin Ma, Shinyoung Lee, Raies A. Mir, Lin Teng, Amber Ginn, Choonghee Lee, Maria Ukhanova, Sebastian Galindo, Chad Carr, Nicolas DiLorenzo, SooHyoun Ahn, Jae Hyung Mah, Volkar Mai, Mobley Ray, J Glenn Morris, and K.C. Jeong. 2018. High Prevalence of Cefotaxime Resistant Bacteria in grazing Beef Cattle: A Cross Sectional Study. Frontiers in Microbiol. Under review.
    • Mir, R, T.A. Weppelmann, L. Teng, A. Kirpich, M.A. Elzo, J.D. Driver, and K.C. Jeong. 2018. Colonization Dynamics of Cefotaxime Resistant Bacteria in Beef Cattle Raised Without Cephalosporin Antibiotics. Frontiers in Microbiol. 9:1-12
    • Jeong, K.C. J. Gyore, L. Teng, D. Ghosal, G.J. Jensen, J.P. Vogel. 2018. Polar targeting and assembly of the Legionella Dot/Icm type IV secretion system (T4SS) by T6SS-related components. bioRxiv. doi:
    • Ghosal, D. Yi-Wei Chang, K.C. Jeong, J.P. Vogel, G. Jensen. 2018. Molecular architecture of the Legionella Dot/Icm type IV secretion system. bioRxiv. doi:
    • Belli, A.L., A. Veronese, R. Moreira, K. Flanagan, M. Ballou, J. Clapper, J. Driver, C. Nelson, Corwin; K.C. Jeong, R. Ricardo. 2018. Effects of treatment of pre-weaned dairy calves with recombinant bovine somatotropin on immune responses and somatotropic axis. J. Dairy Sci. 101:1-14
    • Rothrock, M., Peixin Fan, K.C. Jeong, Sun Ae Kim, Steven Ricke, and Si Hong Park. 2018. Genome sequences of a Listeria monocytogenes strain isolated from pastured flock poultry farm system. genomeA. 6(10). E00171-18. doi: 10.1128/genomeA.00171-18.
    • Van Bruggen, AHC. M.M. He, K. Shin, V. Mai, K.C. Jeong, M.R. Finckh, J. G. Morris. 2018. Environmental and health effects of the herbicide glyphosate. Science of The Total Environment. 616:255-268.
    • Lee, SY. M.J. Kim, H.J. Kim, K.C. Jeong, H.Y. Kim. 2018. Simultaneous detection of four foodborne viruses in food samples using a one-step multiplex PCR. J. Microbiol. Biotechnol. doi: 10.4014/jmb.1710.10008.
    • Ogunade IM, Jiang Y, Pech Cervantes AA, Kim DH, Oliveira AS, Vyas D, Weinberg ZG, Jeong KC, Adesogan AT. 2018. Bacterial diversity and composition of alfalfa silage as analyzed by Illumina MiSeq sequencing: Effects of Escherichia coli O157:H7 and silage additives. J. Dairy Sci. doi: 10.3168/jds.2017-12876.10.
    • Ma, Z.X., A. Garrido-Maestu, C. Lee, J. Chon, D. Jeong, Y. Yue, K. Sung, Y. Park, and K.C. Jeong. 2018. Comprehensive in vitro and in vivo evaluation of chitosan microparticles for risk assessments using epithelial cells and Caenorhabditis elegans. Hazardous Materials. J. Hazardous Materials. 341:248-256.
  • Professional Service and Awards

    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


    • Member of Sigma Xi
    • First place, Poster competition, Annual meeting of Food Research Institute, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI. 2003.
    • Berg/Morse Fellowship Award, Washington University in St. Louis, School of Medicine. 2007