Dr. Seockmo Ku

Assistant Professor

Dr. Seockmo Ku
(615) 904-8290
Room 103, Stark Agribusiness and Agriscience Center (SAG)
MTSU Box 05, Murfreesboro, TN 37132

Degree Information

  • PHD, Purdue University (2015)
  • MS, Seoul National University (2009)
  • BS, The Catholic University of Korea (2007)
  • BHE, The Catholic University of Korea (2007)

Areas of Expertise

  • Biomanufacturing and Bioprocessing Engineering, Food Safety, Food Processing, Probiotics, Microbiome, Nutraceutical Production and Biocatalysis
  • Food industry experience with CJ Cheiljedang Food R&D Center (08년 하반기 공채, CJ 식품연구소, 2008-2011) (Development, testing, renewal, and patenting of more than 30 varieties of processed food products as a Senior Researcher (선임연구원)

Biography

  Dr. Seockmo Ku is an assistant professor of Fermentation Science in the School of Agriculture at Middle Tennessee State University. Dr. Ku is a professional fermentation scientist, food microbiologist, and certified nutritionist. He is a coinventor of two patents and has an additional patent pending. He has conducted numerous research projects in academia and industry. Dr. Ku served as a peer...

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  Dr. Seockmo Ku is an assistant professor of Fermentation Science in the School of Agriculture at Middle Tennessee State University. Dr. Ku is a professional fermentation scientist, food microbiologist, and certified nutritionist. He is a coinventor of two patents and has an additional patent pending. He has conducted numerous research projects in academia and industry. Dr. Ku served as a peer reviewer of more than 50 food science and food microbiology-related journal articles. He was named a Top 1% Reviewer in 2019 powered by the Web of Science Group. Dr. Ku’s research projects have resulted in more than 45 peer-reviewed articles, one book chapter publication, and three additional manuscripts that are under review. 

   At Seoul National University, Dr. Ku conducted experiments to develop functional foods and biogenic compounds using lactic acid bacteria. Specifically, these include (i) the suppression of human colon cells using Bifidobacterium spp., (ii) the development of novel fermentation processes to increase the productivity of probiotic biomass and metabolic compounds, (iii) the bio-catalysis of plant glycosides to improve bio-functional effects, and (iv) the bio-separation of phytochemicals. Dr. Ku’s master’s thesis integrated some of the aforementioned projects and was named the “Most outstanding thesis of the year” by Seoul National University in 2008.

   During his Ph.D. studies at Purdue University, Dr. Ku developed novel technologies that enable the rapid detection of food-borne pathogenic bacteria via the microfiltration of food samples to accelerate Salmonella detection. This research is of critical national need; the early detection of contamination before food is shipped from a processing facility to vendors can prevent massive and expensive food recalls, food-borne disease, and even death. Current methods require up to several days to identify microbial contamination. The goal of Dr. Ku’s work at Purdue University was to shorten that time to mere hours. Such work required the capacity to integrate diverse specializations, including microbiology, separation processing engineering, molecular biology, biotechnology, and food production and processing systems. A Purdue team that Dr. Ku was a part of, led by Dr. Michael R. Ladisch, recently won Grand Prize, $300,000, in the Food and Drug Administration’s inaugural Food Safety Challenge. His background knowledge in molecular biology, food science, and nutrition developed at the Catholic University of Korea (B.S. in Molecular Biology and Food & Nutrition) and Seoul National University (M.S. in Food & Nutrition) contributed to his Ph.D. studies and postdoctoral work. 

   In addition to research experience in academia, Dr. Ku has professional expertise in launching several new products at CJ Cheilchedang Food R&D Center, formerly a parent company of Samsung and currently one of the largest Asian food and biotechnology conglomerates. As a R&D researcher, he participated in the development, testing, renewal, and patenting of more than 30 varieties of processed food products. Such achievements earned him two awards (the CJ Award and the Grand Prize of the CJ Only-One Fair) from the chairman of CJ group and one award (the Chief Scientist Award) from the vice CEO of CJ group. These awards are given to a researcher who demonstrates an extraordinary ability to design and develop new processed food products and demonstrate productivity, enthusiasm, and creativity in science and engineering. Furthermore, in 2010, Dr. Ku earned an official certification as a nutritionist from the Ministry of Health and Welfare of Korea. His current projects at MTSU include (i) the development of novel-fed batch culture technology for effective cell biomass and bioactive molecule productions, (ii) rapid microbial detection and control using nano/micro technology, and (iii) phytochemical biocatalysis using probiotic bacteria. 

 He has established industry partnerships and concluded agreements with various biotech companies to conduct joint research. Since joining MTSU, he has published 25 papers in high impact food science and engineering journals. He has secured multiple research grants and supervised research projects for his students and postdoc researcher. Dr. Ku teaches Introduction to Fermentation Science (FERM 1000), Food Quality Control (AGBS 4830), BDF Safety and Sanitation (FERM 3710), Facility Design and Operation (FERM 3750), and Problems in Agriculture (ABAS 4910) at MTSU.

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Publications

(Peer-Reviewed Articles)

2022

    51.       Jin, H., Park, J., Li, R., Ji, G.E., Johnston, T. V., Choe, D., Park, S., Park, M.S., Ku, S.¶ “A Randomized, Double-Blind, Controlled Human Study: The Efficacy of Exopolysaccharides in Milk Fermented by Weissella confusa VP30 (VP30-EPS) to Ameliorate Functional Constipation” J. Funct. Foods. (IF=5.223,

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(Peer-Reviewed Articles)

2022

    51.       Jin, H., Park, J., Li, R., Ji, G.E., Johnston, T. V., Choe, D., Park, S., Park, M.S., Ku, S.¶ “A Randomized, Double-Blind, Controlled Human Study: The Efficacy of Exopolysaccharides in Milk Fermented by Weissella confusa VP30 (VP30-EPS) to Ameliorate Functional Constipation” J. Funct. Foods. (IF=5.223, 1st Quarter) (Submitted and under review, ¶Corresponding author).

    50.       Park, S., Lee, M., Young, Y., Yeon, L.J., Ha, L.H., Seong, Y., Kim, B., Kim, H., Jin, H., Johnston, T. V., Ku, S.¶, Park, M. S.” In vivo Functional Effects of Weissella confusa VP30 Exopolysaccharides on Loperamide-Induced Constipation in Rats.” Food Sci Biotechnol (IF=3.231, 2nd Quarter) (Received Major Revision Requests, ¶Corresponding author).

    49.       Kim, H., Oh, N., Kwon, M., Kwon, O., Ku, S., Seo, J., Roh, S. “Exopolysaccharide of Enterococcus faecium L15 promotes the osteogenic differentiation of human dental pulp stem cells via p38 MAPK pathway” Stem Cell Res. Ther. (2022) (IF=8.079, 1st Quarter) (Received Major Revision Requests).

    48.       Kang, S., Lin, Z., Xu, Y., Park, M., Ji, G.E., Johnston, T. V., Ku, S.¶, Park, M. S.” Recombinant Bifidobacterium bifidum BGN4 Strains Expressing the Streptococcal Superoxide Dismutase/Human Interleukin-10 Gene Ameliorate In Vitro and In Vivo Inflammatory Bowel Disease” Microb Cell Fact (IF=5.328, 1st Quarter) 7;21(1):113. (¶Corresponding author).

    47.       Haruna, I. H., Ritchey, E. L., Mosley, C., Ku, S." Effects of Cover Crops on Soil Hydraulic Properties in a Growing Season" Soil Use Manag (IF=3.672, 1st Quarter) DOI: 10.1111/sum.12803 (2022).

    46.       Woo, J., Lee, E., Y., Lee, M., Ku, S., Park, J., Cho, Y., " Comparative Analyses of Clearing Efficacies of Tissue Clearing Protocols by Using a Punching Assisted Clarity Analysis " Front. bioeng. biotechnol.(IF=6.064, , 1st Quarter) https://doi.org/10.3389/fbioe.2021.784626. (2022).

    45.       Kang, S., You, H. J., Ju, Y., Kim, H. J., Jeong Y. J., Johnston, T. V., Park, M. S., Ku, S.¶, Ji, G. E. "Butyl-fructooligosaccharides modulate gut microbiota and ameliorate DSS-induced ulcerative colitis,"  Food Funct. (IF=6.317, 1st Quarter) 13(4), 1834-1845 (2022) (¶Corresponding author).

2021

    44.       Mann, S., Park, M. S., Johnston, T. V., Ji, G. E., Hwang, K. T., Ku, S.¶, "Oral Probiotic Activities and Biosafety of Lactobacillus gasseri HHuMIN D,"Microb Cell Fact 20, 75 (2021) (IF=5.328, 1st Quarter) (¶Corresponding author).

    43.       Lin, Z., Ku, S., Lim, T., Park, S. Y., Park M. S. Ji, G. E., O’Brien, K., Hwang, K. T., “Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of recombinant Bifidobacterium bifidum BGN4 expressing antioxidant enzymes,” Microorganisms 9(3), 595; (IF=4.926, 2nd Quarter) (2021).

    42.   Mann, S., Park, M. S., Johnston, T. V., Ji, G. E., Hwang, K. T., Ku, S.¶, "Isolation, Characterization and Biosafety Evaluation of Lactobacillus fermentum OK with Potential Oral Probiotic Properties," Probiotics Antimicrob Proteins (2021) (IF=5.265, 2nd Quarter) https://doi.org/10.1007/s12602-021-09761-z (2021) (¶Corresponding author).

    41.   Hong, N., Ku, S., Yok, K., Johnston, T. V., Ji, G. E., Park, M. S." Production of biologically active human interleukin-10 by Bifidobacterium bifidum BGN4," Microb Cell Fact (2021) (IF=5.328, 1st Quarter) 19;20(1):16.

2020

    40.   Kang, S., Johnston, T. V., Ku, S.¶, Ji, G. E. " Acute and subchronic (28-day) oral toxicity test of butyl fructooligosaccharides (B-FOS)," Toxicol Res 27;9(4):484-492 (IF=2.68, 1st Quarter) (2020) (¶Corresponding author).

    39.   Choe D., Song S., Shin C., Johnston, T. V., Ahn H. Kim, D., Ku, S.¶ "Production and characterization of anti-inflammatory Monascus pigment derivatives," Foods 9(7), 858 (IF=5.561, 1st Quarter) (2020) (¶Corresponding author).

    38.   Min, S., Kim, K., Ku, S., Park, J, Seo, J., Rho, S. “Newly synthesized peptide, Ara‐27, exhibits significant improvement in cell‐penetrating ability compared to conventional peptides,” Biotechnol Prog 2020;36:e3014 (IF=2.909, 2nd Quarter) (2020).  

    37.   Kim, K., Park, S., Kim, H., Min, S., Ku, S., Seo,J., Roh, S. "Enterococcus faecium L-15 extract enhances the self-2 renewal and proliferation of mouse skin-derived 3 precursor cells" Probiotics Antimicrob Proteins 12(4):1492-1501 (IF=5.265, 2nd Quarter) (2020).

    36.   Choe, D., Jang, H., Jung H., Shin C., Johnston, T. V., Kim, D., Ku, S.¶ "In Vivo Anti-obesity Effect of Monascus Pigment Threonine Derivative with Enhanced Hydrophilicity" J. Funct. Foods. 67,103849 (IF=5.223, 1st Quarter) (2020) (¶Corresponding author).

    35.   Woo, J., Seo, J., Lee, M., Kim, J., Min, S., Kim, S., Ku, S., Park, J. “A Modified Magnified Analysis of Proteome (MAP) Method for Super-Resolution Imaging of Cell which Retains Fluorescence” Sci Rep 6;10(1):4186 (IF=4.996, 1st Quarter) (2020).

    34.   Ahn, H. J., You, H. J., Park, M. S., Li, Z., Choe, D., Johnston, T. V., Ku, S.¶, Ji, G. E. "Microbial Biocatalysis of Quercetin-3-glucoside and Isorhamnetin-3-glucoside in Salicornia herbacea and Their Contribution to Improved Anti-inflammatory Activity," RSC Adv.2020, 10, 5339 (IF=4.036, 1st Quarter) (2020) (¶Corresponding author).

    33.   Kang, S., You, H. J., Lee Y. G., Johnston, T. V., Baek, N. I.,  Ku, S.¶, Ji, G. E. " Production, structural characterization, and in vitro assessment of the prebiotic potential of butyl-fructooligosaccharides," Int J Mol Sci. 2020, 21(2), 445 (IF=6.208, 1st Quarter) (2020) (¶Corresponding author).

    32.   Choe, D., Jung, H., Kim, D., Shin, C., Johnston, T. V., Ku, S.¶ "In Vivo Evaluation of the Anti-Obesity Effects of Combinations of Monascus Pigment Derivatives" RSC Adv.(IF=4.036, 1st Quarter) 10, 1456 - 1462 (2020) (¶Corresponding author).

2019

    31.   Ku, S., Yang, S., Choe, D., Johnston, T. V. Park, S., Ji, G. E., Park, M. S."  Biosafety assessment of Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis AD011 used for human consumption as a probiotic microorganism," Food Control (IF=6.652, 1st Quarter) 117, 106985 (2019).

    30.   Zuponcica, J., Bomrad, C., Ku, S., Foster, K., Ximenes, E., Ladisch, M.R. "Construction and Operation of a Multiplexed Microfiltration Device to Facilitate Rapid Pathogen Detection," Biotechnol Prog (IF=2.909, 2nd Quarter) doi: 10.1002/btpr.2889. (2019).

    29.   Jin, H., Jeong, Y., Johnston, T. V., You, S. H., Ji, Ku, S.¶, G. E. " Isolation and Characterization of High Exopolysaccharide-Producing Weissella confusa VP30 from Young Children’s Feces,"Microb Cell Fact,( IF=5.328, 1st Quarter) 18:110 (2019) (¶Corresponding author).

    28.   Ku,S., Ximenes, E., Kreke, T., Foster, K., Couetil, J.L., Zuponcica, J., Zhao, X., Hoagland, L., Deering, A. J., Ladisch, M.R."Microbial Enrichment and Multiplexed Microfiltration for Accelerated Detection of Salmonella in Spinach," Biotechnol Prog (IF=2.909, 2nd Quarter) doi: 10.1002/btpr.2874 (2019).

    27.   Jeong, Y., Ku, S., You, H. J., Ji, G.E. " A Stereo-selective Growth Inhibition Profile of Ginsenoside Rh2 on Human Colon Cancer Cells,"Cyta-J Food,(IF=2.255, 2nd Quarter) 17:1, 488-493 (2019).

    26.   Lee, J. M., Oh, S. Y., Johnston, T. V., Ku, S.¶, Ji, G. E. "Biocatalysis of fucodian in Undaria pinnatifida sporophyll using Bifidobacterium longum RD47 for production of prebiotic fucosylated oligossacharides," Mar. Drugs (IF=6.085,1st Quarter) 17(2), 117 (2019) (¶Corresponding author).

    25.   Han, Y. O., Jeong, Y., You, H. J., Ku, S., Ji, G. E., Park, M. S. " The anti-rotaviral activity of low molecular weight and non-proteinaceous substance from Bifidobacterium longum BORI cell extract," Microorganisms (IF=4.926, 2nd Quarter) 7(4),108 (2019).

    24.   Kim, H., Park, S., Kim, K., Ku, S., Seo, J., Roh, S. "Enterococcus faecium L-15 cell-free extract improves the chondrogenic differentiation of human dental pulp stem cells," Int J Mol Sci. (IF=6.208, 1st Quarter) 20(3), 624 (2019).

    23.   Ximenes, E., Ku, S., Hoagland, L. A., Ladisch, M. R. "Accelerated Sample Preparation for Fast Salmonella Detection in Poultry Products," Methods Mol Biol., (PMID: 30580395) 1918:3-20. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-9000-9-1 (2019).

2018

    22.   Jin, W., Yoon, C., Johnston, T. V., Ku, S.¶, Ji, G. E. "Whole cell biotransformation of sodium selenite using Bifidobacterium bifidum BGN4 for selenomethionine production," Molecules (IF=4.927, 1st Quarter), 23(11), 2860 (2018) (¶Corresponding author).

    21.   Ahn, H. J., You, H. J., Park, M. S., Johnston, T. V., Ku, S.¶, Ji, G. E. "Biocatalysis of platycoside E and platycodin D3 using fungal extracellular β-glucosidase responsible for rapid platycodin D production," Int J Mol Sci. (IF=6.208, 1st Quarter) 8;19(9) (2018) (¶Corresponding author).

    20.   Kim, M. J., Ku, S.*, Kim, S. Y., Lee, H. H., Jin H., Kang, S., Li, R., Johnston, T. V., Park, M. S., Ji, G. E. "Safety evaluations of Bifidobacterium bifidum BGN4 and Bifidobacterium longum BORI," Int J Mol Sci. (IF=6.208, 1st Quarter), 19(5), 1422 (2018) (*Co-first author).

    19.   Hoagland, L. A., Ximenes, E., Ku, S., Ladisch, M. R. "Foodborne pathogens in horticultural production systems: ecology and mitigation," Scientia Horticulturae (IF=4.342, 1st Quarter), 236, 192–206 (2018).

    18.   Kim, D. H., Ku, S.¶, "Bacillus cellulase molecular cloning, expression, and surface display on the outer membrane of Escherichia coli," Molecules (IF=4.927, 1st Quarter), 23(2), 503 (2018) (¶Corresponding author).

    17.   Cho, I. H., Lee, J., Kim, J., Kang, M., Paik, J. K., Ku, S., Cho, H. M., Irudayaraj, J., Kim, D. H. "Current technologies of electrochemical immunosensors: perspective on signal amplification," Sensors (IF=3.847, 1st Quarter), 18(1), 207; doi:10.3390/s18010207 (2018).

    16.   Kim, D. H., Ku, S.¶, " Beneficial effects of Monascus sp. KCCM 10093 pigments and derivatives: A Mini Review", Molecules (IF=4.927, 1st Quarter), 23 (1), 98 (2018) (¶Corresponding author). This article has been selected as one of The Most Cited Papers of Molecules in 2018-2019.

2017

    15.   Chen, X., Ku, S., Weibel, J. A., Ximenes, E., Li, X., Ladisch, M. R., Carimella, S. V. “Enhanced antimicrobial efficacy of bimetallic porous CuO microspheres decorated with Ag Nanoparticles,” ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces. (IF= 10.383, 1st Quarter), 9 (45),39165–39173 (2017).

    14.   Cho, I. H., Ku, S.¶ "Current technical approaches for the early detection of foodborne pathogens: challenges and opportunities," Int J Mol Sci. (IF=6.208, 1st Quarter), 18(10), 2078 (2017) (¶Corresponding author).

    13.   Li, Y.*, Ku, S.*, Park, M. S., Li, Z., Ji, G. E. “Acceleration of aglycone isoflavones and γ-aminobutyric acid production from doenjang using whole cell biocatalysis accompanied by protease incubation,” J Microbial Biotechnol. (IF=3.277, 2nd Quarter) doi: 10.4014/jmb.1705.05052 (2017) (*Co-first author).

    12.   Park, M. S., Kwon, B., Ku, S., Ji, G.E. “The efficacy of Bifidobacterium longum BORI and Lactobacillus acidophilus AD031 probiotic treatment in infants with rotavirus infection,” Nutrients (IF=6.706, 1st Quarter) 9, 887 (2017).

    11.   Ku, S., Kreke, T., Ximenes, E., Foster, K., Liu, X., Gilpin, C., Ladisch, M. R. “Protein particulate retention and microorganism recovery for rapid detection of Salmonella,” Biotechnol Prog (IF=2.909, 2nd Quarter), 33(3), 687-695 (2017).

    10.   Ximenes, E., Hoagland, L., Ku, S., Li, X., Ladisch, M. R. “Human pathogens in plant biofilms: formation, physiology, and detection,” Biotechnol Bioeng (IF=4.395, 1st Quarter), 114(7):1403-1418 (2017). This article has been selected as ‘Spotlight Featured Work.

2016

    9.   Ku, S., Ximenes, E., Kreke, T., Foster, K. Deering A. J. Ladisch, M. R. “Microfiltration of enzyme treated egg whites for accelerated detection of viable Salmonella,” Biotechnol Prog (IF=2.909, 2nd Quarter), 32(6), 1464-1471. (2016). 

    8.   Ku, S., Park, M. S., Ji, G. E., You, H. J. “Review on Bifidobacterium bifidum BGN4: Functionality and nutraceutical applications as a probiotic microorganism,” Int J Mol Sci (IF=6.208, 1st Quarter), 17(9), 1544 (2016). 

    7.   Ku, S. § “Finding and producing probiotic glycosylases for the biocatalysis of ginsenosides: a mini review,” Molecules (IF=4.927, 1st Quarter), 21, 645 (2016). (§ Single-authored paper).

    6.   Ku, S., You, H. J., Park, M. S., Ji, G. E. “Whole-cell biocatalysis for producing ginsenoside Rd from Rb1 using Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG,” J Microbiol Biotechnol (IF=3.277, 2nd Quarter), 26, 1206-1215 (2016).

    5.   Ku, S., Ximenes, E., Kreke, T., Ladisch, M. R. “Salmonella in shell eggs:  mechanisms, prevention, and detection,” J Nutr Food Sci 6:455. doi:10.4172/2155-9600.1000455 (2016).

2015

    4.   Vibbert, H. B., Ku, S., Li, X., Liu, X., Ximenes, E., Kreke, T., Ladisch, M. R., Deering, A. J., Gehring, A. G. “Accelerating sample preparation through enzyme-assisted microfiltration of Salmonella in chicken extract,” Biotechnol Prog (IF=2.909, 2nd Quarter), 31, 1551-1562 (2015). 

    3.   Ku, S., You, H. J., Park, M. S., Ji, G. E. “Effects of ascorbic acid on a-L-arabinofuranosidase and a-L-arabinopyranosidase activities from Bifidobacterium longum RD47 and its application to whole cell bioconversion of ginsenoside, Appl. Biol. Chem. (IF=3.206, 4th Quarter), 1-9 (2015). 

2011

    2.   Ku, S., Zheng, H., Park, M. S., Ji, G. E. “Optimization of β-glucuronidase activity from Lactobacillus delbrueckii Rh2 and its use for biotransformation of baicalin and wogonoside,” Appl. Biol. Chem. (IF=3.206, 4th Quarter), 54:275-280 (2011).

2009

    1.   Ku, S., You, H. J., Ji, G. E. “Enhancement of anti-tumorigenic polysaccharide production, adhesion, and branch formation of Bifidobacterium bifidum BGN4 by phytic acid,” Food Sci Biotechnol (IF=3.231, 2nd Quarter), 18:749-754 (2009).

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Awards

Grant

  • Saint Expeditus Pharmaceutical, Inc., Co-PI in collaboration with the PI Dr. Johnston for the project, entitled “Penicillin Production Parameter Development.” [2022; $163,369]
  • USDA-NIFA, Senior Personnel in collaboration with the PI Dr. Gao, Co-PI Dr. Phillips, Sub-contractors Drs. Cahoon and Burkhart, Senior Personnels Drs. Cui and Haruna for the project, entitled “Evaluating disease prevention methods for organic American gin...
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Grant

  • Saint Expeditus Pharmaceutical, Inc., Co-PI in collaboration with the PI Dr. Johnston for the project, entitled “Penicillin Production Parameter Development.” [2022; $163,369]
  • USDA-NIFA, Senior Personnel in collaboration with the PI Dr. Gao, Co-PI Dr. Phillips, Sub-contractors Drs. Cahoon and Burkhart, Senior Personnels Drs. Cui and Haruna for the project, entitled “Evaluating disease prevention methods for organic American ginseng production in Appalachia, an integrated research, education, and extension approach.” [2021-2024; $747,500]
  • USDA-SARE, Co-PI in collaboration with the PI Dr. Haruna, Co-PIs Drs. Cui, Gamble Mosley and Ritchey for the project, entitled “Cover crops and cropping system sustainability in a changing global climate.” [2020-2023; $299,995]
  • USDA-AMS & TN Agriculture. PI for the project, entitled “Early Detection of Foodborn Pathogens via Crossflow Nano/Microfiltration from Leafy Greens, Soil, and Irrigation Water.” [2019-2022; $35,960]
  • MTSU-ORSP. PI in the collaboration with Co-PI Dr. Johnston for the project, entitled “Postdoc Researcher Recruitment Grant at MTSU” [2019; $20,000]
  • National Research Foundation of Korea. Supervisor in the collaboration with PI Dr. Choe for the project, entitled “Research fellow:  Evaluation and comparison of anti-obesity activity of monascus pigment derivatives” [2019; $31,000]
  • MTSU-ORSP. PI in the collaboration with Co-PI Dr. Johnston for the project, entitled “Development of novel rapid food pathogen and quantification methods food and water samples via nano- and micro-based approaches” [2019; $18,508]
  • MTSU-FRCAC. PI in the collaboration with Co-PI Dr. Johnston for the project, entitled “Development of novel fed-batch culture conditions for the production of organic selenium via probiotic biocatalysis.” [2018-2019; $10,000]
  • MTSU Alumni Association Special Projects Grant. Co-PI in collaboration with the PI Dr. Johnston, Co-PIs Drs. Callendar, Craig, Georgiou and Pennington for the project, entitled “Exploration of sensory perception under hypobaric and low oxygen conditions.” [2018; $17,000]
  • FDA Food Safety Challenge Winner (https://www.food-safety.com/articles/2695-purdue-university-wins-top-prize-in-fda-food-safety-challenge). Co-Investigator in collaboration with the team leader Dr. Ladisch, Co-Investigators Drs. Ximenes and Deering and Messrs. Foster and Kreke for the project, entitled “A novel method for early detection of Salmonella contamination in food samples.” [2015; $300,000]

Award

  • The Distinguished Research Award Winner (Received by Dr. Greg Van Patten) (The College of Basic and Applied Science Dean’s Award at MTSU) nominated and received Apr, 2022
  • Recognized by graduating students for ”contributing to their success” Vice Provost for Enrollment and Academic Services at MTSU (Received by Dr. Debra Sells) May, 2021
  • Recognized by graduating students for ”contributing to their success” Vice Provost for Enrollment and Academic Services at MTSU (Received by Dr. Debra Sells) Aug, 2020
  • Global Peer Review Award: The top 1% of reviewers in Agricultural Sciences (Received by Mr. Annette Thomas, CEO, Web of Science Group) Sep, 2019 
  • Recognized by graduating students for ”contributing to their success” Vice Provost for Enrollment and Academic Services at MTSU (Dr. Debra Sells) May, 2019
  • Top Peer Review Awards: The top 1% of reviewers in each field who performed the most verified pre-publication peer reviews on Publons for the 2018 global Peer Review Awards (Received by Dr. A.R.H. Preston, CEO, Publons) Sep, 2018 
  • Honorable Mention for Poster Science Culture and Policy Graduate Student Poster Competition, Purdue University, 2014
  • The CJ Award from Chairman of CJ group (Received by Mr. Kyung-Shik Sohn), 5,000,000 KRW, CJ Group, 2010
  • Chief Scientist Award from Vice CEO of CJ group (Received by Mr. Tae-Jun Kim),1,000,000 KRW, CJ Group, 2010
  • Grand Prize from Chairman of CJ Group (Received by Mr. Jay-Hyun Lee), CJ Only-One Fair, CJ Group, 2009    
  • Most Outstanding Thesis of the Year (Food & Nutrition Department Award at Seoul National University)2008
  • SNU Elim Scholarship (Food & Nutrition Department Award at Seoul National University), 1,000,000 KRW, 2008
  • SNU Superior Academic Scholarship (Food & Nutrition Department Award at Seoul National University), 367,000 KRW, 2007
  • Internship Scholarship, 500,000 KRW, 2006                                                       
  • Scholastic Achievement Scholarship, 2,230,900 KRW, 2004

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Research / Scholarly Activity

JOURNAL EDITOR/REVIEWER BOARD MEMBER    

  • Guest / Topic Editor of the journal Foods (ISSN 2304-8158, IF=4.35) (Section: Food Biotechnology) (Section title: Isolation, Identification, and Characterization of Lactic Acid Bacteria),
  • Guest / Topic Editor of the journal Foods (ISSN 2304-8158, IF=4.35) (Section: Food Engineering and Technology)...
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JOURNAL EDITOR/REVIEWER BOARD MEMBER    

  • Guest / Topic Editor of the journal Foods (ISSN 2304-8158, IF=4.35) (Section: Food Biotechnology) (Section title: Isolation, Identification, and Characterization of Lactic Acid Bacteria),
  • Guest / Topic Editor of the journal Foods (ISSN 2304-8158, IF=4.35) (Section: Food Engineering and Technology) (Section title: Bioprocess and Bioseparation of Food and Cosmetic Resources), (https://www.mdpi.com/journal/foods/special_issues/Bioprocess_Bioseparation), Sep 2019 to Present
  • Reviewer Board of the journal Membranes (ISSN 2077-0375, IF=4.106)

PATENTS                                                                                                           

  • Ladisch, M. R., Ximenes, E., Ku, S., Foster, K., Kreke, T., Liu, X., Jones, J. T., Deering, A. J., Hardenstein J., Tangare, A. “ Rapid Concentration, recovery and Detection of Pathogens in Food Samples,” Purdue Research Foundation, U.S., Application No. PCT/US2016/043596, https://www.google.com/patents/WO2017015574A1?cl=en, 2017
  • Ji, G. E., Ku, S., Park, M. S. “Culture Medium Containing Phytic Acid for Cultivation of Bifidobacterium bifidum BGN4 and Method for Production of Bifidobacterium bifidum BGN4 Polysaccharide Using the Medium,” Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea, Patent No. 10-1037778, 2011
  • Park, J., Kim, H., Lee, S., Um, S., Kwon, J., Lee, J., Ku, S., Heo, S., Park, K., Jang, M., Lee, S. “Food Package”, CJ CGV, Seoul, Korea, Patent No. 3005329760000, 2009                                        

CERTIFICATIONS                                                                                                

  • Nutritionist, 2010 (National Health Personnel Licensing Examination Board of Korea)

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Creative Activity

Mentoring 

Postdoctoral Researcher

  • Dr. Deokyeong Choe, Middle Tennessee State University, 2019-2020 Research Topic: Evaluation of the biofunctional and antipathogenic properties of pigment derivatives from Monascus spp.     

Doctoral Students (2017-2021)

  • Hyung Jin Ahn, Seoul National University, 2017-2021            &nbsp...
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Mentoring 

Postdoctoral Researcher

  • Dr. Deokyeong Choe, Middle Tennessee State University, 2019-2020 Research Topic: Evaluation of the biofunctional and antipathogenic properties of pigment derivatives from Monascus spp.     

Doctoral Students (2017-2021)

  • Hyung Jin Ahn, Seoul National University, 2017-2021                                     
  • Soyon Mann, Seoul National University, 2019-Present     
  • Sini Kang, Seoul National University, 2017-2020                                         
  • Hae Kim, Seoul National University, 2017-2020
  • Hyewon Kim, Seoul National University, 2017-2020     

Master students (2017-2021)

  • Anna Arnold, Middle Tennessee State University, 2022-Present
  • Ukti B. Sheth, Middle Tennessee State University, 2020-2022        
  • Jordan S. Bevill, Middle Tennessee State University, 2017-2021 
  • Fred Marino, Middle Tennessee State University, 2018-2021
  • Zhaoyan Lin, Seoul National University, 2020-2022
  • Valerie F. Preston, Middle Tennessee State University, 2018-2020
  • Joseph H. Feldhaus, Middle Tennessee State University, 2018-2020
  • Sol Min, Seoul National University, 2018-2020
  • Yincong Li, Seoul National University, 2017-2018
  • Min Jeong Kim, Seould Natuional University, 2017-2019
  • Weihong Jin, Seoul National University, 2017-2018

Undergraduate Research Assistants (2017-present):

  • Connor E. Ball, Jordan S. Bevill, Caldwell V. Charlet, Luke M. Clement, James Flowers, Fred Marino and Allie D. Nadeau
  • Bevill, J., Charlet, C. V., Johnston, T. V. and Ku, S.: Whole cell biocatalysis of major ginsenosides in ginseng beer wort using Saccharomyces cerevisiae; Poster presentation (Tennessee Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting) 2018
  • Charlet, C. V., Bevill, J., Johnston, T. V. and Ku, S. Posters at the Capitol. Only sixty-three teams from enrite Tennessee state universities gave a poster presentation.
  • Marino, F., Johnston, T. V., and Ku, S.: Biotransformation of Ginsenosides by Simultaneous Fermentation of Soybeans and Ginseng by Bacillus Subtilis natto Poster presentation (Tennessee Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting) 2018
  • Alexandra Whitmill, Fermentation Science, URECA scholarship (2017 Fall) 

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Courses

  • Introduction to Fermentation Science (FERM 1000)
  • Problems in Agriculture (ABAS 4910)
  • Food Quality Control (AGBS 4830)
  • Brewing, Distillation, Fermentation, Sanitation and Safety (FERM 3710)
  • Facillity Design and Operation (FERM 3750)
  • Applied Fermentation: Biomass and Biofuels - FERM 5560
  • Probiotics, Prebiotics, and Bioprocessing - FERM 5600
  • Industrial Applications of Fermentation - FERM 6450
  • Fermentation and Nutraceutical Production - FERM 6610
  • Fermentation Science Research - FERM 4920
  • Fermentation Science Internship - FERM 4910