Dept of Biology
Biotechnology Certificate Program


John L. McKillip, Ph.D.                  
Associate Professor

Department of Biology
Ball State University

Educational Background

Ph.D., 1997 (Microbiology)
Washington State University

Professional Background

Ball State University, 2003
Assistant Professor, Microbiology & Molecular Biology, Louisiana Tech University, 1999-2003
Postdoctoral Associate, Mississippi State University, Dept of Food Science & Technology ( with M.A. Drake) 1997-1999

General Research and Interest Areas

General:  Molecular Food Safety.
Development of DNA and RNA-based methods for pathogen detection in foods.  Conventional, multiplex, and real-time PCR approaches to detect Bacillus spp. in dairy products and other foods.  DNA fingerprinting (rep-PCR), SYBR Green-based melt curve analyses, fluorescent molecular beacons, and real-time RNA amplification (NASBA - nucleic acid sequence-based amplification) to monitor enterotoxin gene expression in Bacillus cereus in contaminated foods.  

Courses Currently Teaching

BIO 113  ( Microbiology for Allied Health Sciences)
BIO 213  ( Microbiology)
BIOT 491/591  (PCR & RT-PCR)


Sandel, M.K., & McKillip, J.L. 2004. Virulence and recovery of Staphylococcus aureus relevant to the food industry using improvements on traditional approaches. Food Control 15:5-10.

McKillip, J.L. & Gracias, K.S. 2004. A Review of Conventional Detection and Enumeration Methods for Pathogenic Bacteria in Food. Can. J. Microbiol., submitted.

McKillip, J.L., & Drake, M.A. 2004. Real-time nucleic acid-based detection methods for pathogenic bacteria in food. J. Food Prot., 67:823-832.

Sandel, M.K., & McKillip, J.L. 2003. Virulence and recovery of Staphylococcus aureus relevant to the food industry using improvements on traditional approaches. Food Control, in press.

Sandel, M.K., Wu, Y.-F. G., & McKillip, J.L. 2003. Detection and recovery of sublethally-injured enterotoxigenic Staphylococcus aureus. J. Appl. Microbiol. 94:90-94.

McKillip, J.L., Jaykus, L., & Drake, M.A. 2002. Influence of growth in a food medium on the detection of Escherichia coli O157:H7 by polymerase chain reaction. J. Food Prot. 65:1775-1779.

Phelps, R.J., & McKillip, J.L. 2002. Enterotoxin production in natural isolates of Bacillaceae outside the Bacillus cereus group. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 68:3147-3151.

McKillip, J.L. 2001. Recovery of sublethally injured bacteria using selective agar overlays. The American Biology Teacher 63:184-188.

Tamarapu, S., McKillip, J.L., & Drake, M.A. 2001. Development of a multiplex polymerase chain reaction assay for detection and differentiation of Staphylococcus aureus in dairy products. J. Food Prot. 64:664-668.

McKillip, J.L. 2000. Prevalence and expression of enterotoxins in Bacillus cereus and other Bacillus spp., a literature review. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 77:393-399.

McKillip, J.L., Jaykus, L.A., & Drake, M.A. 2000. A comparison of methods for the detection of Escherichia coli O157:H7 from artificially-contaminated dairy products using PCR. J. Appl. Microbiol. 89:49-55.

McKillip, J.L., & Drake, M.A. 2000. Molecular beacon polymerase chain reaction detection of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in milk. J. Food Prot. 63:855-859.

McIngvale, S.C., Chen, X.Q., McKillip, J.L., & Drake, M.A. 2000. Survival of Escherichia coli O157:H7 in buttermilk as affected by contamination point and storage temperature. J. Food Prot. 63:441-444.

Drake, M. & McKillip, J. 2000. Fermentation microbiology – making cheese, yogurt, & buttermilk as a lab exercise. The American Biology Teacher 62:65-67.

McKillip, J.L., & M. Drake. 1999. Isolating ‘unknown’ bacteria in the introductory microbiology laboratory – a new selective medium for Gram-positives. The American Biology Teacher 61:610-611.

McKillip, J.L., Jaykus, L., & Drake, M.A. 1999. Nucleic acid persistence in heat-killed Escherichia coli O157:H7 from contaminated skim milk. J. Food Prot. 62:839-844.