Issmat Kassem

Research Scientist

Food Animal Health Research Program
Food Animal Health
OARDC Wooster, OH 44691
Phone: (330)-263-3986

Biographical Information

  • 2013 (Jan.) – present: Research Scientist (with PI status), The Ohio State University, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), Wooster, Ohio.
    Research title: Molecular and Environmental Studies of Campylobacter jejuni. Advisor: Dr. Gireesh Rajashekara.
  • 2009-2012 (Dec.): Postdoctoral Researcher, The Ohio State University, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), Wooster, Ohio.
    Research title: Molecular and Environmental Studies of Campylobacter jejuni. Advisor: Dr. Gireesh Rajashekara.
  • 2003-2009: Ph.D. Biology, University of Toledo (UT), Toledo, Ohio.
    Thesis title: Detection and Characterization of Staphylococcal Pathogens in the Environment: A Community Approach. Advisor: Dr. Von Sigler.
  • 2001-2003: Master of Biology, American University of Beirut (AUB), Lebanon.
    Thesis title: Isolation and Characterization of a Temperature-sensitive Mutation in the 88-89 Minutes of the Escherichia coli Chromosome. Advisor: Dr. Medhat Khattar.
  • 1997-2001: Maitrise (4 years) of Biology, Lebanese University, Faculty of Sciences, Beirut,Lebanon.


  • OARDC Professional Growth Scholarship. The Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, The Ohio State University. Jan. 30, 2014.
  • Faculty Development Grants for Support of International Travel. The Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, The Ohio State University. July, 2013.
  • The N. Paul Hudson Award for research excellence. The Ohio Branch of ASM. April 22, 2006.
  • The ASM corporate activities student travel grant award. The American Society for Microbiology (ASM). May, 2006.
  • Best student poster award. The 67th Ohio section American Water Works Association (OAWWA). Sept., 2005. (Co-author).
  • Department of Environmental Sciences Travel Grants. Department of Environmental Sciences, The University of Toledo, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007.
  • Certificate of distinguished scholarly achievement. Al-Inmaa Institute, Beirut, Lebanon, 1992.

Professional Affiliations

  • Conference of Research Workers in Animal Diseases (CRWAD) (2013-present).
  • The Food Innovation Center (OSU) (2013-present).
  • American Society for Microbiology (ASM) (2004-present).
  • Sigma Xi (2005-present).
  • The Ohio Academy of Science (2005-2007).
  • Society for Industrial Microbiology (SIM) (2005).

Selected Publications


  1. Kassem Issmat I., and G. Rajashekara. 2014. Formate dehydrogenase localization and activity are dependent on an intact twin arginine translocation system (Tat) in Campylobacter jejuni 81-176. Foodborne Pathogens and Disease. 11(12): 917-919.
  2. Kassem Issmat I., G. A. Splitter, S. Miller, G. Rajashekara. In press. Let there be light! Bioluminescent imaging to study bacterial pathogenesis in live animals and plants. In Thouand G, Marks R (ed.), Bioluminescence: Fundamentals and Applications in Biotechnology. Springer, New York, NY.
  3. Esseili M. A., Issmat I. Kassem, J. Lis, V. Sigler. 2014. Application of Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) for assessing fecal pollution sources at a recreational beach. Journal of Water and Health. 12:846-857.
  4. Sanad Y., K. Jung, I. Kashomora, X. Zhang, Issmat. I. Kassem, Y.M. Saif, and G. Rajashekara. 2014. Insights into potential pathogenesis mechanisms associated with Campylobacter jejuni-induced abortion in ewes. BMC Veterinary Research 10:274.
  5. Kassem Issmat I., M. Khatri, Y. Sanad, M. Wolboldt, Y.M. Saif, J.W. Olson, and G. Rajashekara. 2014. The methylmenaquinol:fumarate reductase (Mfr) contributes to hydrogen peroxide resistance in Campylobacter jejuni. MicrobiologyOpen 3:168-181.


  1. Kassem Issmat I., K. Chandrashekhar, G. Rajashekara. 2013. Of energy and survival incognito: A relationship between viable but non-culturable cells (VBNC) formation and inorganic polyphosphate and formate metabolism in Campylobacter jejuni. Frontiers in Microbiology 4:183.

Other Past Publications

  1. Kassem Issmat I., M. Khatri, M. Esseili, Y. Sanad, Y.M. Saif, J.W. Olson, and Gireesh Rajashekara. 2012. Respiratory proteins contribute differentially to Campylobacter jejuni’s survival and in vitro interaction with hosts’ intestinal cells. BMC Microbiology. 12(1):258. (Article was designated as Highly accessed;
  2. Esseili M. A., Issmat I. Kassem, V. Sigler, K. Czajkowski, A. Ames. 2012. Genetic evidence for the offsite transport of E. coli associated with land application of Class B biosolids on agricultural fields. Science of the Total Environment. 433C:273-280.
  3. Kassem Issmat I., Y. Sanad, R. Stonerock, G. Rajashekara. 2012. An evaluation of the impact of Sodium Bisulfate as a feed-additive on Salmonella serotype Enteritidis in experimentally infected Broilers. Poultry Science. 91(4):1032-1037.
  4. Sanad Y.*, Issmat I. Kassem*, Z. Liu, J. Lin, J. T. LeJeune, G. Rajashekara. 2011. Occurrence of the invasion associated marker (iam) in Campylobacter jejuni isolated from cattle. BMC Research Notes. 4:570. * Equal authorship.
  5. Kassem Issmat I., Q. Zhang, G. Rajashekara. 2011. The twin arginine translocation (Tat) system: Contributions to the pathobiology of Campylobacter jejuni. Future Microbiology. 6(11):1315-1327.
  6. Sanad Y., Issmat I. Kassem, M. Abley, W. Gebreyes, J. T. Lejeune, G. Rajashekara. 2011. Genotypic and Phenotypic Properties of Cattle-Associated Campylobacter and their Implications to Public Health in the USA. PLOS ONE. 6(10):e25778.
  7. Kassem Issmat I., G. Rajashekara. 2011. An ancient molecule in a recalcitrant pathogen: the contributions of inorganic polyphosphate (Poly-P) to the pathogenesis and stress responses of Campylobacter jejuni. Future Microbiology. 6(10):1117-1120.
  8. Kassem Issmat I. 2011. Chinks in the armor: The role of the non-clinical environment in the transmission of Staphylococcus bacteria. American Journal of Infection Control. 39(7):539-541.
  9. Kassem Issmat I., M. A. Esseili, V. Sigler. 2011. Detection and differentiation of Staphylococcus contamination on clinical surfaces using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Journal of Hospital Infection. 78(3):187-193.
  10. Gangaiah D., Z. Liu, J. Arcos, Issmat I. Kassem, Y. Sanad, J. Torrelles, G. Rajashekara. 2010. Polyphosphate Kinase 2: A Novel Determinant of Stress Responses and Pathogenesis in Campylobacter jejuni. PLOS ONE, 5(8): e12142. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0012142.
  11. Kassem Issmat I., Y. Sanad, D. Gangaiah, M. lilburn, J. Lejeune, G. Rajashekara. 2010. Use of bioluminescence imaging to monitor Campylobacter survival in chicken litter. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 109(6):1988-1997.
  12. Drozd M., Issmat I. Kassem, W. Gebreyes, G. Rajashekara. 2010. A quantitative polymerase chain reaction assay for detection and quantification of Lawsonia intracellularis. Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation, 22(2):265-269.
  13. Gangaiah D.*, Issmat I. Kassem*, Z. Liu, G. Rajashekara. 2009. Polyphosphate Kinase 1 is Important for VBNC Formation, Natural Transformation and Antimicrobial Resistance in Campylobacter jejuni. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 75(24):7838-7849. * Equal authorship.
  14. Kassem Issmat I. 2009. Concerning public transportation as a reservoir for methicillin-resistant staphylococci. Letters in Applied Microbiology, 48(2):268.
  15. Wang Q., Issmat I. Kassem, V. Sigler, C. Gruden. 2009. The Short term impact of capping on microbial communities in freshwater sediments. Water Environment Research, 81(4): 441-449.
  16. Kassem Issmat I., M. A. Esseili, V. Sigler. 2008. Occurrence of mecA in nonstaphylococcal pathogens in surface waters. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 46(11):3868-3869.
  17. Kassem Issmat I., P. Joshi, V. Sigler, S. Heckathorn, Q. Wang. 2008. Effect of elevated CO2 and drought on soil microbial communities associated with A. gerardii. Journal of Integrative Plant Biology, 50(11):1406-15. (Article recommended by Editor;
  18. Esseili M. A., Issmat I. Kassem, V. Sigler. 2008. Optimization of DGGE community fingerprinting for characterizing Escherichia coli communities associated with fecal pollution. Water Research, 42: 4467-4476.
  19. Elk M. R., Issmat I. Kassem, V. Sigler. 2008. Screening publicly shared surfaces for methicillin-resistant staphylococci. The Proceedings of the 22nd National Conference on Undergraduate Research, 16-20.
  20. Kassem Issmat I., V. Sigler, M. A. Esseili. 2007. Public computer surfaces are reservoirs for methicillin resistant staphylococci. The ISMEJ, 1: 265-268.
  21. Khattar M., Issmat I. Kassem, Z. El-Hajj. 2007. Of the morphogenes that make a ring, a rod and a sphere in Escherichia coli. Science Progress, 90(2/3): 59-72.