Epstein Lab


Our lab is driven by passion for microbial discovery. The more challenging, the better. The opportunity is enormous, and has no parallels in biology: an overwhelming part of global microbial diversity, which is to say, the entire diversity of life on the planet, has never been studied or explored, and is remaining microbial “dark matter.” This is the case since most microbial species have never been cultivated – the phenomenon known as the “Great Plate Count Anomaly.” This phenomenon is as important as it is old: the Anomaly was first discovered right around the time R. Koch introduced solid media into microbial cultivation (historical background). This makes it the oldest unresolved microbiological phenomenon. Over the course of the last 15 years, our lab has been at the forefront of global efforts to solve the puzzle, access the microbial dark matter, and use the knowledge gained to advance microbial biology and revolutionize drug discovery from microbial sources.

To achieve these strategic objectives, we

1) designed, tested, and applied several cultivation technologies that radically depart from conventional thinking,

2) use these novel technology platforms to cultivate and study biology of “missing” microbial species and their communities from both the environment and human microbiome, and

3) utilize the potential of these species in antibiotics discovery – to mitigate one of the largest health risks on the planet: the rise of antibiotics resistance.

The development of the novel technology platforms, and their successful use in basic science and biotechnology, has been extensively covered by scientific and public media, most recently by The New Yorker.  These include Nature, Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, Science, Scientific American, Popular Science, The Scientist, and also BBC, NPR, NYT, German, Dutch, Danish, Chinese and S.Korea public TV stations, among others.  Here is a sample of the coverage:

The New Yorker


Nature Reviews Drug Discovery


The Chronicle of Higher Education

Popular Science

CSA News

The Scientist Magazine®


Furthermore, the work in our lab has led to Slava Epstein being honored as one of the worlds Leading Global Thinkers.

Slava Epstein: For Finding Medicine in a Pile of Dirt

The Leading Global Thinkers of 2015

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Make sure to check back – we are always in the process of new discoveries!!!! If you have any questions, please contact Brittany Berdy at berdy.b@husky.neu.edu


Website created December 1, 2015

One Comment

  1. Reply
    admin December 12, 2015

    Thank you, we certainly intend to continue with our work and will keep you updated!

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