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Arun K Bhunia

Department of Food Sciences 

  • Professor Food Science
Nelson Hall of Food Science (NLSN) Room 3173
745 Agriculture Mall Dr
West Lafayette, IN 47907

Comparative Pathobiology 

  • Courtesy Professor - CPB

Dr. Arun Bhunia Molecular Food Microbiology Research Laboratory Website

Prof. Arun K. Bhunia received his bachelor of veterinary medicine degree (BVSc) from India, PhD from University of Wyoming (USA), and postdoctoral training from University of Arkansas (USA). Currently, he is a professor of food microbiology at Purdue University (USA) and the Chair of Microbiology Training Group of Purdue University interdisciplinary Life Sciences program (PULSe). His expertise is in the area of microbial food safety, foodborne pathogen detection, microbial pathogenesis, and probiotic vaccine. To date, he has coauthored more than 165 research publications, 2 textbooks (Fundamental Food Microbiology; Foodborne Microbial Pathogens), edited four books, and delivered over 120 talks in national and international venues. He teaches both graduate and under graduate level courses on foodborne pathogens and mechanism of pathogenesis, microbial detection techniques, and food safety and public health. He is awarded four patents. He is serving as editor or editorial board member for several journals. He is a member of the USDA National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods (NACMCF; 2013-2017). He has received Purdue Agriculture Research Award (2003), Purdue Faculty Scholar (2005), Purdue Team Award (2006), IFT R&D Award (2009), Outstanding Graduate Educator Award from the Department of Food Science (2010, 2011) and the College of Agriculture (2013) at Purdue University, High-End Foreign Experts Recruitment Program (China) fellowship (2014-2016), Fulbright Specialist Roster (2016-2021), and Maurice Weber Laboratorian Award (2017). 


B.V.Sc. (Veterinary Medicine), BCKV, West Bengal, India.

Ph.D. (Food Microbiology), University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, USA

Postdoctoral Training (Food Microbiology, Immunology), University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR, USA



Pathogen and Toxin Detection:

Biosensors and Biorecognition Molecules: Development of novel detection and diagnostic tool for pathogens employing optical biosensors including light scattering, fiber-optic and cell-based sensors and biorecognition (antibodies, receptors) ligand molecules 

Pathogenesis and Control:

Host-Pathogen Interaction: Understanding molecular mechanism of pathogenesis for enteric pathogens during intestinal phase of infection and subsequent control strategies using probiotics and antimicrobials.


Microbial Foodborne Pathogens (FS 565; 3 credit hours)

Microbial Techniques for Food Pathogen (FS 566; 2 Credit hours)

Intestinal Microbiology and Immunology (FS 660; 1 credit hour)

Current Graduate Students and Research Lab Members

Xingjian Bai

Rishi Drolia

Dongqi Liu

Manalee Samaddar

Celina To

Awards & Honors

(2017) Maurice Weber Laboratorian Award,. International Association for Food Protection (IAFP).

(2016) Fulbright Specialist Roster. Fulbright Program, USA.

(2014) High-End Foreign Experts Recruitment Program. China.

(2013) NACMCF member (National Advisory Committee on Microbiological Criteria for Foods). USDA-FSIS.

(2013) Outstanding Graduate Educator. College of Agriculture.

(2009) Research and Development Award. Institute of Food Technologist (IFT).

(2006) Purdue Agriculture 2006 Team Award. College of Agriculture, Purdue University.

(2005) Faculty Scholar. Purdue University.

(2003) 2003 Purdue Agriculture Research Award. School of Agriculture.


Gomez, R., Bashir, R., Bhunia, A., Ladisch, M. R., & Robinson, J. P. Biosensor and related methods. U.S. Patent No. 7306924. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Hirleman, E. D., Guo, S., Bae, E., & Bhunia, A. K. System and method for rapid detection and characterization of bacteria colonies using forward light scattering. U.S. Patent No. 7,465,560. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Bhunia, A. K., & Yao, Y. Carbohydrate nanoparticles for prolonged efficacy of antimicrobial peptide. U.S. Patent No. 20140066363. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Bhunia, A. K., Robinson, J. P., Rajwa, B. P., Bae, E., & Hirleman, E. D. System and method of organism identification. U.S. Patent No. 8787633. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Selected Publications

Singh, A. K., Leprun, L., Drolia, R., Bai, X., Kim, H., Aroonnual, A., . . . Bhunia, A. K. (2016). Virulence gene-associated mutant bacterial colonies generate differentiating two-dimensional laser scatter fingerprints. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 82(11), 3256-3268. doi:10.1128/AEM.04129-15

Singh, A. K., Bettasso, A. M., Bae, E., Rajwa, B., Dundar, M. M., Forster, M. D., . . . Bhunia, A. K. (2014). Laser optical sensor, a label-free on-plate Salmonella enterica colony detection tool. mBio, 5(1). doi:10.1128/mBio.01019-13

Burkholder, K., & Bhunia, A. (2013). Listeria monocytogenes and Host Hsp60 - an Invasive Pairing. In Moonlighting Cell Stress Proteins in Microbial Infections (First, 267-282). Springer.

Koo, O. K., Amalaradjou, M. A., & Bhunia, A. K. (2012). Recombinant probiotic expressing Listeria adhesion protein attenuates Listeria monocytogenes virulence in vitro. PLoS ONE, 7(1). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0029277

Jagadeesan, B., Littlejohn, A. E., Amalaradjou, M. A., Singh, A. K., Mishra, K. K., La, D., . . . Bhunia, A. K. (2011). N-Terminal Gly224 - Gly411 domain in Listeria adhesion protein interacts with host receptor HsP60. PLoS ONE, 6(6). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0020694

Burkholder, K. M., & Bhunia, A. K. (2010). Listeria monocytogenes uses Listeria adhesion protein (LAP) to promote bacterial transepithelial translocation and induces expression of LAP receptor Hsp60. Infection and Immunity, 78(12), 5062-5073. doi:10.1128/IAI.00516-10

Jagadeesan, B., Koo, O. K., Kim, K. P., Burkholder, K. M., Mishra, K. K., Aroonnual, A., & Bhunia, A. K. (2010). LAP, an alcohol acetaldehyde dehydrogenase enzyme in Listeria, promotes bacterial adhesion to enterocyte-like Caco-2 cells only in pathogenic species. Microbiology, 156(9), 2782-2795. doi:10.1099/mic.0.036509-0

Burkholder, K. M., Kim, K. P., Mishra, K. K., Medina, S., Hahm, B. K., Kim, H., & Bhunia, A. K. (2009). Expression of LAP, a SecA2-dependent secretory protein, is induced under anaerobic environment. Microbes and Infection, 11(10-11), 859-867. doi:10.1016/j.micinf.2009.05.006

Akin, D., Sturgis, J. E., Ragheb, K., Sherman, D., Burkholder, K., Robinson, J. P., . . . Bashir, R. (2007). Bacteria-mediated delivery of nanoparticles and cargo into cells. Nature Nanotechnology, 2(7), 441-449. doi:10.1038/nnano.2007.149

Department of Food Science, 745 Agriculture Mall Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-8256

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