Paola Corea Ventura

Paola is a first-year Master´s student from El Salvador. She earned her B.S. in Food Science and Technology from Zamorano University in Honduras. She first came to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign for an internship in 2021 in Dr. Jaume Amengual´s lab and worked on an animal model for HIV and on an Atherosclerosis regression project. She is now pursuing her M.S. in Food Science and Human Nutrition in Dr. Stasiewicz´s lab.  

She is currently working on a milk spoilage project for K-12 schools to understand how, if at all, the rate of milk spoilage changes as an effect of being exposed to different temperature conditions, and the length of time spent in these conditions. She is also working on testing antimicrobial effectiveness against Salmonella on pork meat.  

She enjoys doing yoga, watching comedy movies, and spending time with her friends. 

Gabby Pinto

Gabby is a first-year PhD student from Illinois. She earned her B.S. in Food Science with a Microbiology Minor from Penn State University.

She is currently working on writing a hazard analysis for share tables in school cafeterias.

She enjoys training for marathons and traveling to new places (sometimes, to run marathons)! She also enjoys trying new places to eat.

Minho Kim

Minho is a first-year Ph.D. student from South Korea. He earned B.S. in Food Science and Technology from Chung-ang University and an M.S. in Food Science and Technology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

He is currently working on simulating dairy powder products to improve food safety sampling plans. His research goal is to provide industry stakeholders with an open-source app to evaluate existing and candidate plans.

He likes outdoor activities, including playing tennis, hiking, and biking.

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Tina Wu

Tina is a first-year PhD student from China. She earned her B.E. in Food Science and Engineering from Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University and M.S. in Food Science and Technology from National University of Singapore.

She is currently working on developing aggregative sampling for preharvest food safety testing. She also participates in research about building a field-to-facility generic supply chain model of produce safety testing.

She enjoys travelling, skiing, and cooking.

Ruben A. Chavez Viteri

Ruben is a third-year PhD student from Ecuador. He earned his B.S. in Chemistry from The University of Tampa.

He is currently developing a Near Infrared Red/ Visible Light/ Ultraviolet light spectrometer to detect aflatoxin and fumonisin in corn. His research goal is to create a sorting platform with a spectrometer capable of removing mycotoxin contaminated corn kernels and minimize food waste while improving food security.

He loves to practice sports, especially soccer, and play videogames with his friends. He is a food lover, and in his leisure, he likes to improve his culinary skills.

Cristina Resendiz-Moctezuma

Cristina is a second-year PhD student from Mexico. She earned her B.S. in Food Science from the Autonomous University of Queretaro. She first came to the lab for a summer internship in 2018, then started her grad school journey in Fall 2019.

She uses a high-throughput system to test the effectiveness of novel antimicrobials, such as essential oils, against Listeria monocytogenes on deli-ham. She also focuses her research on understanding the action mechanisms of these compounds using RNA-seq.

She enjoys cooking and watching series (Especially, Grey’s Anatomy on repeat).

Jorge Quintanilla

Jorge is a third year PhD Student from El Salvador. He earned his B.S. in Food Science from Zamorano University in Honduras. He initially became a member of the lab as an intern in spring 2018 and officially became a graduate student the following Spring 2019.  

Jorge is currently working on the validation of a larger simulation project built to develop better sampling plans in produce fields using data from experimental field trials, representative commercial field’s parameters, and literature plans. 

He enjoys playing basketball, swimming, and being in the nature. His favorite animals are horses and cows. He loves trying new foods! 

Gustavo A. Reyes

Gustavo is a third year PhD Student from Honduras. He earned his B.S in Food Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

He is currently working on developing a QMRA (Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment) for share tables in school cafeterias. He also participates in research that validates sampling procedures in produce fields.

He enjoys playing and watching basketball, playing video games, eating all sorts of food.

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Rachel Gathman

Rachel is a second year Master’s student from Illinois. She earned her B.S. in Medical Laboratory Sciences with a Biological Sciences minor from Northern Illinois University.

She is currently working on developing and validating an aggregative sampling method for leafy green pathogen testing in commercial fields using microbial community profiling. Her research goal is to improve preharvest sampling to reduce foodborne illnesses.

She enjoys travelling and watching The Office.

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