Slava Epstein uncovers the mystery of The Dark Matter found in the microbial universe. By rethinking the cultivation process and using a low-tech device iChip, he is able to access the previously unexplored 99.9% spiecies of bacteria and use this revolutionary technology to find new antibiotics.
Slava Epstein is a Distinguished Professor at the College of Science, Northeastern University in Boston, U.S.A. For the past 15 years, Slava’s lab has been working on one of the most intriguing biological phenomena: why 99 % of microbial diversity has gone missing from the lab. The basic and applied potential of this microbial “dark matter” is unprecedented, and so his lab has focused on, developed, and reduced to practice innovative approaches to sample and utilize this pool of unexplored species. These approaches created a novel platform for drug discovery that beats the industry standards by orders of magnitude.