West Virginia State University (WVSU) is expanding its agricultural and environmental research portfolio with research, extension programming and potential new curricula development in food science.

Dr. Yangjin Jung joined the university’s Agricultural and Environmental Research Station this month as an assistant research professor.

“In this role, I will develop applied Food Science research, disseminate research findings, seek extramural funding, collaborate with scientists on and off campus for interdisciplinary research, and work with stakeholders like the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, local food companies and farmers to improve food quality and ensure food safety,” said Jung.

Jung will be conducting research on characterizing bacteria and foodborne pathogens from various environments, such as agricultural water and foods germane to West Virginia. 

“I am also interested in how farm practices, food processing conditions or storage practices affect colonization, persistence, survival and transmission of those microorganisms,” Jung said. “Thus, my research will not be only in a lab but also in retail establishments and food production areas, such as farms and food processing and packaging facilities.”

Jung will also be working with WVSU Extension Service to develop food safety programs for children and minority and underserved populations in West Virginia.

Jung received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Food and Nutrition from Kyung Hee University, in Seoul, South Korea, where she is a registered dietician and certified food engineer and sanitary technician. She received her doctoral degree in Food Science from Rutgers University. 

Prior to coming to WVSU, Jung worked as a Research Food Technologist with the United States Department of Agriculture – Agricultural Research Service, where she investigated the level, prevalence and characteristics of foodborne pathogens from various foods. She also performed microbial challenge/validation studies to improve food quality and ensure food safety. 

Jung is also certified in Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) Plan Development for Food Processors. 

From West Virginia State University Communications