Eric Alm, PhD



Professor of Biological Engineering


Engineering microbial ecology to improve human health
Engineering the human microbiome
Non-invasive monitoring of human health
Environmental surveillance
Sewage epidemiology


Eric Alm earned his Bachelors from the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana), his Masters from the University of California (Riverside), and his PhD from the University of Washington (Seattle). He held a postdoctoral appointment at the University of California (Berkeley) and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab before joining the faculty at MIT. His research group is an interdisciplinary team of computer scientists, computational biologists, molecular biologists, and microbial ecologists.


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 biomarker

Research Areas: