Yifan Zhang

Yifan Zhang

Professor of Food Microbiology



3016 Science Hall




 Nutrition and Food Science

Yifan Zhang

Research interest(s)/area of expertise

  • Food microbiology

  • Antimicrobial resistance

  • Urban agriculture


Our team works on microbial food safety. The overall goal is to understand the role that food and agriculture play in transmitting human infectious diseases. Food and food production environment are important reservoir of human bacterial pathogens. Agriculture practice and food processing may select certain molecular features of foodborne bacteria, which may facilitate bacteria to contaminate and persist in the food chain, develop antimicrobial resistance or other virulence potential, and possibly cause human diseases. Specifically, we apply traditional microbiological tools with modern technology to understand:

1. The prevalence and persistence of antimicrobial resistance in food and agriculture;

2. Phage as a reservoir and transmission vehicle of antimicrobial resistance;

3. Food safety and sustainability in urban agriculture;

4. Development of novel food safety control


  • Postdoctoral, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), The Ohio State University
  • Ph.D., Food Science, University of Maryland, College Park
  • M. Med., Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, China
  • B. Med., Shandong Medical University, Jinan, China

Selected publications

Amarasekara, N. R., A. S. Swamy, S. K. Paudel, W. Jiang, K. Li, C. Shen, and Y. Zhang*. Hypervirulent Clonal Complex (CC) of Listeria monocytogenes in Fresh Produce from Urban Communities. Frontiers in Microbiology. 2024, 15:1307610. [LINK]

Mafiz, A.I., Y. He, W. Zhang, and Y. Zhang*. Soil Bacteria in Urban Community Gardens Have the Potential to Disseminate Antimicrobial Resistance through Horizontal Gene Transfer. Frontiers in Microbiology. 2021, 12: 771707. [LINK]

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]

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]

Courses taught by Yifan Zhang

Winter Term 2024

Fall Term 2023

Winter Term 2023

Fall Term 2022

Winter Term 2022