Lab Members

PI: Eric Alm

ericAlm The human microbiome plays a key role in human health and disease. Research in my group includes both computational/theoretical and experimental approaches to understanding and engineering the human microbiome. Our research is focused on translating basic science discoveries rapidly into the clinic, where they can contribute to better outcomes for patients. Some areas of special interest include:
  • Developing therapeutics based on synthetic microbial communities
  • Personalized medicine
  • Monitoring human activities through Smart Sewers
  • Smart Toilets that track human health
  • Discovering low-cost non-invasive biomarkers
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Shandrina Burns
Administrative assistant
burnss at mit dot edu
Franciscus Chandra
Lab Technologist (SMART Alm Lab)
franciscus.chandra at smart dot mit dot edu


federica_armas Federica Armas
My field of expertise ranges from the mycobacteria to probiotics. I have always focused on a single, one person, one animal, but now, I am moving my attention to a population level, looking at a neighbourhood or entire cities. I am excited to work with the Alm Singaporean group to look into into new wastewater population biomarkers to study public health in cities that will help us predict an infectious disease outbreak to act promptly and maintain our population health... Read more
xiaoqiong Xiaoqiong Gu
I am interested in the relationship between the viromes, human-inducted factors and public health in the city based ecosystem. In the future, I would like to apply the viral metagenomics not only in environmental samples, but also human clinical samples, to capture the virome patterns in these clinical samples and correlate with human disease... Read more

weilin Wei Lin Lee
As part of the Alm lab in Singapore, I work on wastewater-based methods for proactive early infectious disease outbreak detection. Disease transmission commonly go undetected when populations with symptoms below the testing threshold fail to be clinically detected and reported, as epitomized by COVID-19. Read more
tu Tu Nguyen
Our body is in constant interaction with the microbial communities inhabiting not only our gastrointestinal tract but also our respiratory system, skin and the reproductive tissues. These diverse microbial communities outnumber our own cells by a 10 to 1 ratio and have been increasingly reported to play important roles in human health and diseases... Read more
jen Jen Nguyen
I study how bacterial physiology influences ecology. In the Alm Lab, I'm developing synthetic microbial communities and culturing protocols to improve experimental models of the human microbiome. This project tickles my research fancies by (1) optimizing a model system that we can controllably perturb, observe, and explain what caused what... Read more

hussain1 Fatima Aysha Hussain
I study the ecology and evolution of microbes living in the human vagina, or the vaginal microbiome. The composition of a persons vaginal microbiome can impact their susceptibility to preterm birth, bacterial vaginosis, and HIV infection. In the Alm lab, I am building an isolate and genome collection of vaginal microbes to use genome wide association studies (GWAS) to map genotypes to phenotypes of interest... Read more
anniz An-Ni Zhang
Over the last 4 years, I build a framework to mine new knowledge and potential applications by bioinformatics. I'm now developing the next stage of my career by applying my whole package to this brand new field of human microbiome. I'm building an integrated framework to combine genomes, meta-omics, and isolates... Read more

Graduate Students

Haixin Sarah Bi
amy Amy Xiao
I am interested in developing methods to use wastewater surveillance data to track infectious diseases and infer their incidence/prevalence in a population. In particular, I have been working with Alm lab members and collaborators at Biobot Analytics to track COVID-19 in wastewater across the United States and model viral shedding.... Read more

Current Members
Former Members