Byeonghwa Jeon, PhD

Associate Professor, Division of Environmental Health Sciences

Byeonghwa Jeon

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-626-3669

Office Address:
205F Veterinary Science Building
1971 Commonwealth ave.
St. Paul, MN 55108

Mailing Address:
Envrn Health Sciences (SPH)
MMC 807 Mayo
420 Delaware St SE
Minneapolis MN 55455

PhD, Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Tokyo, Japan

MSc, Food Science and Biotechnology, Lund University, Sweden

BSc, Food Science and Technology, Seoul National University, Korea

Post-Doctorate, Veterinary Microbiology and Preventive Medicine, Iowa State University


My research interests revolve around the translation of basic microbiological research into intervention measures to address public health issues of food safety and antibiotic resistance. Concerning food safety, I am trying to improve microbial food safety by understanding bacterial tolerance to stress conditions present in food production, processing, distribution, and preservation. About antibiotic resistance, I am interested in elucidating how bacterial physiology affects the development of resistance and tolerance to antibiotics, and developing antibiotic potentiators with food-grade materials to control antibiotic-resistant pathogens using existing drugs.


Stress tolerance in foodborne pathogens, antibiotic resistance, antimicrobial adjuvants, molecular microbiology


Research Summary/Interests

Foodborne pathogenic bacteria usually originate from animals and are transmitted to humans through contaminated food and they encounter a series of environmental stresses while passing through various procedures in food production, processing, and consumption. Only those that overcome the stress conditions can initiate infection in humans.Our better understanding of how foodborne pathogens overcome and survive stress can help develop novel methods to control and prevent the transmission of foodborne pathogens to humans. Research topics regarding this include, but not limited to:

  • Molecular mechanisms for stress tolerance in Campylobacter
  • Biofilm formation in foodborne pathogens

Antibiotic resistance is a serious public health threat. If we cannot control the current rates of development and spread of antibiotic resistance, about 10 million deaths will be caused by antibiotic resistance annually by 2050. Similar to the transmission of foodborne pathogens, antibiotic resistance is also frequently transmitted from animals to humans by food consumption; thus, antibiotic resistance is an important food safety issue. My research focuses on understanding the mechanisms of antibiotic resistance and on developing alternative approaches to control this resistance. I work on research projects regarding:

  • Antibiotic resistance in Campylobacter
  • Plasmid-mediated antibiotic resistance, such as plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance (PMQR) and extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) in Salmonella and E. coli
  • Synergistic antimicrobial adjuvants to control antibiotic-resistant pathogens
  • Bacteriophages to inhibit antibiotic-resistant E. coli



See a full list of my publications on PubMed

Selected Publications

Kim J, Hur JI, Ryu S, Jeon B. Bacteriophage-Mediated Modulation of Bacterial Competition during Selective Enrichment of Campylobacter. Microbiol Spectr. 2021 Dec 22;9(3):e0170321. doi: 10.1128/Spectrum.01703-21.

Oh E, Chui L, Bae J, Li V, Ma A, Mutschall SK, Taboada EN, McMullen LM, Jeon B. Frequent Implication of Multistress-Tolerant Campylobacter jejuni in Human Infections. Emerg Infect Dis. 2018 Jun;24(6):1037-1044. doi: 10.3201/eid2406.171587.

Kim JC, Chui L, Wang Y, Shen J, Jeon B. Expansion of Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli by Use of Bovine Antibiotic Growth Promoters. Emerg Infect Dis. 2016 May;22(5):802-9. doi: 10.3201/eid2205.151584.

Kim JC, Jeon B. Novel adjuvant strategy to potentiate bacitracin against MDR MRSA. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2016 May;71(5):1260-3. doi: 10.1093/jac/dkv463.

Oh E, Jeon B. Synergistic anti-Campylobacter jejuni activity of fluoroquinolone and macrolide antibiotics with phenolic compounds. Front Microbiol. 2015;6:1129. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2015.01129.



PubH 6110 Foodborne Hazards