Name: Zach Metz
Hometown: Saint Michael, Minn.
Degree Pursuing: Food Science M.S.
Adviser: David Baumler
Research Title: Using genome-scale metabolic models to compare serovars of the foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes.
My research uses a combination of computational modeling and experimental approaches to study several strains of the foodborne pathogen L. monocytogenes by using genome-scale metabolic models. This will identify all metabolic pathways and reactions used by the strains for growth and to maintain viability, and will lead to the development of new methods of control for L. monocytogenes in food processing environments.
How did you become interested in food science?
I became interested in the field of food science when I took an introductory course as an undergraduate as a supplement to my chemical engineering curriculum. The course was very informative, and helped to fuel my interest in the field and my desire to work in the food industry.
Why did you choose the University of Minnesota?
I chose the University of Minnesota because it is a prestigious university, and because it is familiar--I got my undergraduate degree here and did some research in the FSCN department as an undergraduate.
How does your research tie in to the research being done in your adviser's lab?
My research ties in with my adviser's work because Dr. Baumler is one of the pioneers in the field of systems biology and continues to further the field by working with genome-scale metabolic models for several organisms associated with food.
My plans after graduation are to start my career in the food industry in either quality assurance or research and development.