We extend a warm welcome to our FSTC team's two new faculty members: Dr. Seockmo Ku and Dr. Reza Ovissipour!

Dr. Seockmo Ku, has an MS in Food and Nutrition from Seoul National University (2009) and a Ph.D. and Postdoc in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from Purdue University (2015 and 2015-2017, respectively). He was an Assistant Professor in the Fermentation Science Program at Middle Tennessee State University (2017-2023), achieved tenure and promotion in 2023. Dr. Ku's research focuses on synthesizing and verifying value-added bioactive metabolites, including probiotics and fungal derivatives. He also explores alcoholic beverage production, rapid microbial detection using nano/microtechnology, phytochemical biocatalysis with probiotics, and analyzing microbiome interactions in the gut, and oral cavity. Dr. Ku has secured research grants totaling approximately $2 million and holds 3 patents, and has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles. Additionally, he possesses industry experience, contributing to the development and renewal of 30+ commercial food products at CJ CheilJedang Food R&D Center, earning recognition from CJ Group's chairman and vice CEO.

Reza Ovissipour has a Ph.D. in Bioprocess Engineering and a Ph.D. in Biological Systems Engineering from Washington State University. Ovissipour works to improve the food supply chain’s sustainability, safety, and resiliency through technological innovation and training the next generation of professionals. His research focuses on innovative Cellular Agriculture, food and bioprocess engineering, waste valorization, alternative proteins (algae, plants, insects, and fungi), and Artificial Intelligence-Assisted processing. Before joining the TAMU team in 2023, Ovissipour was an Assistant Professor in Food Safety and Cellular Agriculture at Virginia Tech. He also worked as a postdoctoral research associate at UC Davis and Washington State University and a food company as a processing director. He founded several startup companies and commercialized several technologies and products.