Kerry Cooper

Assistant Professor
Research Focus: 

My research is currently focused on six major areas:

  1. The role DNA methylation has in regulating gene expression in bacterial foodborne pathogens, particularly involving alterations to colonization and virulence.
  2. The pathogenesis of Campylobacter jejuni, and examining the reasons that different strains produce very different types of disease. Additionally, utilizing comparative genomics of agricultural environmental strains, food strains and clinical strains to understand the pathogenesis and epidemiology of Campylobacter species.
  3. Examining the bacterial communities of various types tree fruit, and how these communities alter during the growing season and harvest.
  4. The epidemiology of various bacterial foodborne pathogens in different agricultural environments including processing, and the rates these pathogens evolve in those environments.
  5. Utilization of whole genome sequencing to improve source tracking during foodborne outbreaks.
  6. The role that misuse of antibiotics by the agricultural industry is influencing the spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria via various types of food.