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Meet PDPS Professor Hosni Hassan

Hosni Hassan

Dr. Hosni Hassan is currently a Professor of Microbiology, Biochemistry, Toxicology and Food Science within the Prestage Department of Poultry Science (PDPS) at NC State.  

Born in Alexandria, Egypt, Hassan received his Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture, food science and microbiology from Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt.  After working as a teaching assistant and research associate for two years, Hassan was awarded an Egyptian Scholarship to study for his Ph.D. in microbiology, along with minors in biochemistry and food microbiology at the University of California, Davis. Hassan graduated in 1967 and continued at UC Davis doing postdoctoral work on lactic acid bacteria.  He returned to Egypt in Nov. 1968 and accepted the position of Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Biochemistry at Cairo High Polytechnical Institute.   

In 1970 Hassan moved to the University of Alexandria in Egypt where he taught courses in enzymology, microbial physiology and dairy microbiology.  In 1972 he went to McGill University in Montreal, Canada as a visiting professor and in 1974, Hassan moved to the University of Maine where he taught general microbiology. In 1976, Hassan moved to Duke University to work on the biosynthesis and the biological roles of superoxide dismutases and hydroperoxidases.

Hosni left Duke in 1979 and accepted a tenured Associate Professor position in the Microbiology and Immunology Department at the University of McGill, Medical School.  He came to NC State in 1980 as an Associate Professor of Food Science and Microbiology in the Department of Food Science.  In 1984 Hassan was promoted to professor and also became an associate member of the departments of toxicology and biochemistry.  In 1992 he became a member of the Biochemistry Department and in 1993 he became head of the Department of Microbiology.  During the provost realignment in 2013, Hassan was moved to the College of Agriculture and Life Science.  He received a $2.5 million research grant in 2012 to study Salmonella which ultimately landed him a position within PDPS.

Hassan’s current research is studying oxidative stress and Salmonella and how to eliminate Salmonella from poultry.  Hassan said, “Chickens contract the disease but do not get sick from it.  As a microbiologist, I am looking from the consumer side and asking the question: ‘How can we reduce microbial diseases such as Salmonella and other diseases that infect humans?’”

Hassan says that is important to train the young generation of microbiologists and scientists.  “Educating and training the next generation of microbiologists and scientists is what’s important.  That’s more valuable than finding a vaccine or cure or anything like that.”

“From what I have seen of PDPS students who work in my research labs, they are hard workers. They do the work they are assigned, if not more, and they do it well,” Hassan said.

Hassan believes that one of the most important things in life is to be a good person. “Realize that material is not everything. What’s important is to treat others like you’d want to be treated.”