Yifan Zhang

Yifan Zhang

Associate Professor of Food Microbiology


313-577-8616 (fax)


3016 Science Hall



Yifan Zhang

Research interest(s)/area of expertise

  • Food microbiology

  • Antimicrobial resistance

  • Urban agriculture


The overall goal of our research is to understand the role that food, agriculture, and the environment play in transmitting human pathogenic bacteria and antimicrobial resistance. Specific research areas are:

         1. Genomic and metagenomic analysis of foodborne pathogens and food production environment
         2. Food and agricultural reservoir of antimicrobial resistance
         3. Food safety and sustainability in urban agriculture 
         4. Development of novel food safety control
         5. Phage as a reservoir and transmission vehicle of antimicrobial resistance


  • Ph.D., Food Science, University of Maryland, College Park

Selected publications

*denotes corresponding author.

Perera, L.N., A.I. Mafiz, N.R. Amarasekara, E. Chang, V. Krishnoji Rao, and Y. Zhang*. Antimicrobial-resistant E. coli and Enterococcus spp. recovered from urban community gardens. Food Control. 2020, 108: 106857. [LINK]

Zhang, N., T. Liang, Q. Jin, C. Shen, Y. Zhang, and P. Jing. Chinese yam (Dioscorea opposita Thunb.) alleviates antibiotic-associated diarrhea by modifying intestinal microbiota and increasing levels of short-chain fatty acids in mice. Food Research International. 2019, 122: 191-198. [LINK]

Mafiz, A.I., L.N. Perera, Y. He, W. Zhang, S. Xiao, W. Hao, S. Sun, K. Zhou, and Y. Zhang*. Case study on the soil antibiotic resistome in an urban community garden. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents. 2018, 52: 241-250. [LINK]

Gunathilaka, G., V. Tahlan, A.I. Mafiz, M. Polur, and Y. Zhang*. Phages in urban wastewater have the potential to disseminate antibiotic resistance. International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents. 2017, 50(5): 678-683. [LINK]

Sun, S., Canning, C., Wang, K., Zhu, W., Yang, F., Zhang, Y., Zhou, K. Antibacterial Activity of 2-(3′,5′-Dibromo-2′-methoxyphenoxy)-3,5-dibromophenol Isolated from Phyllospongia papyracea. Natural Product Communications2017, 12(4): 567-569. [LINK]

Treemore-Spears, L.J., J.M. Grove, C.K. Harris, L.D. Lemke, C.J. Miller, K. Pothukuchi, Y. Zhang, and Y.L. Zhang. A workshop on transitioning cities at the food-energy-water nexus. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences2016, 6(1): 90-103. [LINK]

Sun, S, C.B. Canning, K. Bhargava, X. Sun, W. Zhu, N. Zhou, Y. Zhang, and K. Zhou. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers with potent and broad spectrum antimicrobial activity from the marine sponge Dysidea. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters2015, 25(10): 2181-2183[LINK]

Bhargava, K., D. Conti, S. da Rocha, and Y. Zhang*. Application of an oregano oil nanoemulsion to the control of foodborne bacteria on fresh lettuce. Food Microbiology2015, 47: 69-73. [LINK]

Sun, X., S. Sun, C. Ference, W. Zhu, N. Zhou, Y. Zhang, and K. Zhou. A potent antimicrobial compound isolated from Clathria cervicornis. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters2015, 25(1): 67-69. [LINK]

Sun, X., S. Sui, C, Ference, Y. Zhang, S. Sun, N. Zhou, W. Zhu, and K. Zhou. Antimicrobial and mechanical properties of β-cyclodextrin inclusion essential oils-chitosan film. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry2014, 62 (35): 8914–8918[LINK]

Bhargava, K. and Y. Zhang*. Characterization of methicillin-resistant coagulase-negative Staphylococci (MRCoNS) in retail meat. Food Microbiology2014, 42: 56-60. [LINK]

Sun, X., J. Bai, C. Ference, Z. Wang, Y. Zhang, J. Narciso, and K. Zhou. The antimicrobial activity of controlled-release chlorine dioxide gas on fresh blueberries. Journal of Food Protection2014, 77(7): 1127-1132. [LINK]

Talreja, D., C. Muraleedharan, G. Gunathilaka, Y. Zhang, K. S. Kaye, S. K. Walia, and A. Kumar. Virulence properties of multidrug resistant ocular isolates of Acinetobacter baumanniiCurrent Eye Research2014, 39(7): 695-704. [LINK]

Gao, R., P. Jing, S. Ruan, Y. Zhang, S. Zhao, Z. Cai, and B. Qian. Removal of off-flavors from radish (Raphanus sativus L.) anthocyanin-rich pigments using chitosan and its mechanism(s). Food Chemistry2014, 146: 423-428. [LINK]

Shen, J., L. Rump, Y. Zhang, Y. Chen, X. Wang, and J. Meng. Molecular subtyping and virulence gene analysis of Listeria monocytogenes isolates from food. Food Microbiology2013, 35: 58-64. [LINK]

da Rocha, L., G. Gunathilaka, and Y. Zhang*. Antimicrobial-resistant Listeria species from retail meat in metro Detroit. Journal of Food Protection2012, 75(12): 2136-41. [LINK]

Bhargava, K. and Y. Zhang*. Multidrug-resistant Coagulase-negative Staphylococci (CoNS) in Food Animals. Journal of Applied Microbiology2012, 113(5): 1027-36. [LINK]

Bhargava, K., X. Wang, S. Donabedian, M. Zervos, L. da Rocha, and Y. Zhang*. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Retail Meat, Detroit, Michigan, USA. Emerging Infectious Diseases2011, 17: 1135-1137. [LINK]

Zhang, Y.*, X. Wang, J. T. LeJeune, M. Zervos, and K. Bhargava. Comparison of Phenotypic Methods in Predicting Methicillin Resistance in Coagulase-negative Staphylococcus (CoNS) from Animals. Research in Veterinary Science2011, 90: 23-25. [LINK]

Courses taught

  • NFS 2130 Introductory Food Science, 3 credits
  • NFS 4150 Advanced Food Science, 3 credit
  • NFS 6030 Microbiological Safety of Food, 3 credits