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Exploring the Dark Matter of the Microbial World

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Date and time
Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Microbes are virtually everywhere on the planet and all life depends on this microbial foundation. However, 99 percent of these microbes – the “dark matter” have not been identified. **Dr. Slava Epstein** explains why it is so difficult to isolate and identify microbes in general, and why there is an urgent search for bacteria for developing antibiotics.

Dr. Slava Epstein received his Ph.D in Microbial Ecology from the Russian National Academy of Sciences in 1986. In 1992 he joined the biology faculty at Northeastern University in 1992. Dr. Epstein and his colleague at Northeastern, Dr. Kim Lewis, are famous for an innovation called the iChip, which solved the problem of obtaining new microbe candidates for antibiotics and for the development of a breakthrough antibiotic they called Teixobactin. For this dual breakthrough Drs. Epstein and Lewis received numerous honors.