Slava Epstein

Distinguished Professor
Location: 134 MU (Mugar Life Science), Boston, MA 02115

Area(s) of Expertise

  • and biotechnology, diversity, Microbial ecology

Publications

About

The overarching theme of my laboratory is microbial discovery in the environment and human microbiome. We uncover novel microbial life forms by inventing novel cultivation strategies that depart from conventional wisdom and provide access to the greatest part of microbial diversity: unexplored species missed in the past. We study properties…

The overarching theme of my laboratory is microbial discovery in the environment and human microbiome. We uncover novel microbial life forms by inventing novel cultivation strategies that depart from conventional wisdom and provide access to the greatest part of microbial diversity: unexplored species missed in the past. We study properties of new environmental and medically important microorganisms, and their strategies of survival. We are especially interested to know how microbial cell reacts to unfavorable conditions, survives environmental challenge, and decides when and where to start dividing and form a new successful population. We are intrigued by the phenomenon of microbial individuality: ability of isogenic cells to be phenotypically different. We are fascinated by signaling and cooperative interactions between and within populations, – interactions that integrate microbial species into multifunctional units analogues to multicellular organisms. We are also involved into several aspects of applied microbiology, and explore the importance of newly discovered species in human health, their potential for bioremediation and alternative fuel production, and ability to produce bioactive compounds. And we are excited to learn about patterns of microbial distribution on our planet, in a search for places in the biosphere where the opportunities to discover new microbes are the greatest.

Distinguished Professor Epstein in the news

Slava Epstein standing in a lab with two students at a bench behind him.

Researcher develops technology to advance antibiotic discovery

Biology professor Slava Epstein is the lead character in the short documentary "The History of Resistance," in which he talks about his contributions to the search for beneficial microorganisms in places as close to home as his own backyard and, perhaps one day, as remote as the planet Mars.
Slava Epstein standing in a lab with two students at a bench behind him.

Researchers on fast track to combat antibiotic resistance

The marriage of two innovative technologies—one developed by Northeastern’s Slava Epstein—could accelerate both the discovery of new antibiotics that kill pathogens without encountering resistance and the diagnosis of specific pathogens causing disease, which would enable fast, targeted treatments.