Profile Image

Arun K Bhunia

Department of Food Sciences 

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

Comparative Pathobiology 

  • Courtesy Professor - CPB

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 Food Science Graduate Program. His expertise is in the area of microbial pathogenesis (host-pathogen interaction), probiotic vaccine and foodborne pathogen detection. To date, he has coauthored more than 177 research publications, 2 textbooks (Fundamental Food Microbiology, 5th Ed; Foodborne Microbial Pathogens, 2nd Ed), edited four books, and delivered over 130 talks in national and international venues. He teaches graduate level courses on Foodborne Pathogens and Mechanism of Pathogenesis, Microbial Foodborne Pathogen Detection Techniques, and Intestinal Microbiology and Immunology. He is awarded four patents. He is serving as an editor or editorial board member for several journals. He was 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 IAFP 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



(i) Pathogenesis and Control:

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

(ii) 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 


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 (Post Doc)

Dongqi Liu

Manalee Samaddar

Shivendra Tenguria (Post Doc)

Luping (Sheri) Xu

Selected Publications

Drolia, R., Tenguria, S., Durkes, A. C., Turner, J. R., & Bhunia, A. K. (2018). Listeria Adhesion Protein Induces Intestinal Epithelial Barrier Dysfunction for Bacterial Translocation. Cell Host & Microbe, 23(4), 470-484.e7. doi:10.1016/j.chom.2018.03.004

Zhu, X., Liu, D., Singh, A. K., Drolia, R., Bai, X., Tenguria, S., & Bhunia, A. K. (2018). Tunicamycin Mediated Inhibition of Wall Teichoic Acid Affects Staphylococcus aureus and <i>Listeria monocytogenes</i> Cell Morphology, Biofilm Formation and Virulence. Frontiers in microbiology, 9, 1352. doi:10.3389/fmicb.2018.01352

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

Abdalhaseib, M. U., Singh, A., Bailey, M. A., Singh, M., El-Khateib, T., & Bhunia, A. K. (n.d.). Fiber optic and light scattering sensors: complimentary approaches to rapid detection of Salmonella enterica in food samples. Food Control.

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

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

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

© Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Integrity Statement | Copyright Complaints | Maintained by Agricultural Communication

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact us at so we can help.

Sign In