Thomas (Tom) Denes, Ph.D.

Edit this

Assistant Professor
  Food Science

Office: 105 Food Safety and Processing
Phone: (865) 974-7425

Focus: Molecular Microbiology and Bacteriophage

Biographical sketch

Tom Denes has been an Assistant Professor of Molecular Food Microbiology in the Department of Food Science since August of 2016. Tom’s research focuses on understanding the interactions between bacteriophage (viruses of bacteria, or “phages”) and pathogenic bacteria. A goal of his research is to generate knowledge that can be used to develop new bacteriophage-based applications for food safety (biological controls) and animal health (alternative to conventional antibiotics) that will be effective for long-term use.

Research in Tom’s lab uses genomics approaches such as whole genome sequencing and RNA sequencing as well as traditional microbiology and genetics methodologies. In parallel with his lab’s research, Tom provides mentoring and guidance to the graduate students, post-docs, and undergraduates working in his lab to prepare them for future careers as microbiologists in academia, industry, and government.

Since 2017, Tom has served as a co-director for the Tennessee Integrated Food Safety Center of Excellence. One of his goals in this role is to bring new genomic analysis capacity to the center and the region it serves, in order to provide information to epidemiologists that will assist in their investigations of potential foodborne pathogen outbreaks.

Recent Publications


Ph.D. Food Microbiology, Cornell University
B.S., Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA