Dr Tom Beresford (BSc, PhD) is a principal investigator with Food for Health Ireland whose primary research interests relate to aspects of cheese microbiology, in particular, the influence of various starter and non-starter organisms on the biochemistry of cheese ripening. Of particular interest is the contribution of Lactobacillus helveticus as a cheese ripening organism. As part of this work, the complete sequence of DPC4571, an L. helveticus strain with interesting technological characteristics from the Moorepark culture collection, has been elucidated. A particular focus of his current research relates to the potential of bacterial exopolysaccharide to impact on both the techno- and bio-functionality of dairy products. In addition, he is interested in microbial fermentation with particular reference to the capacity of a range of bacteria to release bioactive peptides from protein molecules. He also undertakes research on microbial quality of milk.