Teresa Bergholz

Assistant Professor

Van Es 130A

701 231 7692


Google Scholar Page


  • Ph.D. in Food Science from Michigan State University (2007)

Professional Experience

  • Research Associate in the Department of Food Science at Cornell University (2010-2012)
  • Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Food Science at Cornell University (2007-2009)

Research Interests

Foodborne disease is a considerable public health problem, causing an estimated 76 million illnesses and 5,000 deaths per year in the United States alone. In addition to the negative impact on public health, there are substantial economic losses due to foodborne disease, both in terms of cost of healthcare as well as cost of lost product and revenue to food producers. Foodborne pathogens can be found at most points throughout the food chain, from the farm production environment to the consumer kitchen. Ensuring safe foods includes the development and implementation of methods to reduce and eliminate foodborne pathogens at each step of the food chain, with the ultimate goal of reducing the incidence of foodborne illness. One of the critical aspects of foodborne pathogen transmission through the food supply is the ability of these pathogens to survive in the diverse environmental conditions encountered in foods.

Work in my laboratory will focus on using a systems biology approach to solve current food safety problems related to pathogen survival and growth in the farm environment, in food processing environments, and on foods, even in the face of preventative measures. This includes understanding: i) how stresses encountered during transmission can effect survival and virulence of foodborne pathogens once ingested, and ii) if these stress resistance capabilities play a role in the prevalence of specific subtypes of foodborne pathogens in cases of human disease. Long-term research goals are to understand the molecular mechanisms of stress response in foodborne pathogens and the role these responses play in pathogenesis, as well as to understand how these stress response functions vary with genetic diversity within a pathogen population and may be related to subtype prevalence.

Most Recent Publications

  • Kang, J.K., M. J. Stasiewicz, D. M. Murray, M. Wiedmann, and T. M. Bergholz. Optimization of combinations of bactericidal and bacteriostatic treatments to control Listeria monocytogenes on cold-smoked salmon. International Journal of Food Microbiology 179:1-9. 2014.
  • Ribiero, V.B., S. Mujahid, R. H. Orsi, T.M. Bergholz, M. Wiedmann, K.J. Boor, and M.T. Destro. Contributions of σB and PrfA to Listeria monocytogenes salt stress under food relevant conditions. International Journal of Food Microbiology 177:98-108. 2014.
  • Bergholz, T. M., A. I. Moreno Switt, and M. Wiedmann. Omics approaches in food safety: Fulfilling the promise? Trends in Microbiology 22(5):275-281.
  • T. M. Bergholz, S. Tang, K. J. Boor, and M. Wiedmann. Nisin resistance of Listeria monocytogenesis increased by exposure to salt stress and is mediated via LiaR. Appl Environ Microbiol 79:5682-5688. 2013.
  • Tang, S., M. J. Stasiewicz, M. Wiedmann, and T. M. Bergholz. Efficacy of different antimicrobials on inhibition of Listeria monocytogenes growth in laboratory medium and on cold-smoked salmon. International Journal of Food Microbiology 165(3):265-275. 2013.
  • Mujahid, S., T. M. Bergholz, H. F. Oliver, K. J. Boor, and M. Wiedmann. Exploration of the role of the non-coding RNA SbrE in Listeria monocytogenes stress response. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 14(1):378-93.2012.
  • Kang, J., S. Tang, R. H. Liu, M. Wiedmann, K. J. Boor, T. M. Bergholz, and S. Wang. Effect of curing method and freeze-thawing on subsequent growth of Listeria monocytogenes on cold smoked salmon. Journal of Food Protection 75:1619-1626. 2012.
  • Bergholz, T. M., B. Bowen, M. Wiedmann, and K. J. Boor. Listeria monocytogenes shows temperature dependent and independent responses to salt stress, including responses that induce cross protection to other stresses. Appl Environ Microbiol 78:2602-2612. 2012.
  • Stasiewicz, M. J., M. Wiedmann, and T. M. Bergholz. The transcriptional response of Listeria monocytogenes during adaptation to growth on lactate and diacetate includes synergistic changes that increase fermentative acetoin production. Appl Environ Microbiol 77:5294-5306. 2011.
  • Nielsen, J. S., M. H. Larsen, E. M. S. Lillibaek, T. M. Bergholz, M. H. G. Christiansen, K. J. Boor, M. Wiedmann, and B. J. Kallipolitis. A small RNA controls expression of the chitinase ChiA in Listeria monocytogenes. PLoS ONE 6(4): e19019. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0019019. 2011.
  • Chaturongakul, S., S. Raengpradub, M. E. Palmer, T. M. Bergholz, R. H. Orsi, Y. Hu, J. Ollinger, M. Wiedmann, and K. J. Boor. Transcriptomic and phenotypic analyses identify co-regulated, overlapping regulons among PrfA, CtsR, HrcA and the alternative sigma factors σB, σC, σH, and σL in Listeria monocytogenes. Appl Environ Microbiol 77:187-200. 2011.
  • Bergholz, T.M., H. C. den Bakker, E. D. Fortes, K. J. Boor, and M. Wiedmann. Salt stress phenotypes in Listeria monocytogenes vary by genetic lineage and temperature. Foodborne Pathogens and Disease 7:1537-1549. 2010.
  • Stasiewicz, M. J., M. Wiedmann, and T. M. Bergholz. The combination of lactate and diacetate synergistically reduces cold growth across Listeria monocytogenes lineages. Journal of Food Protection 73:631-640. 2010.
  • Bergholz, T. M., S. Kailasan Vanaja, and T. S. Whittam. Gene expression induced in Escherichia coli O157:H7 upon exposure to model apple juice. Appl Environ Microbiol 75:3542-53. 2009.