Eric Stewart

Eric StewartResearch Assistant Professor

Department of Biology
Northeastern University
309 Mugar Life Sciences
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115 USA

Lab Website:

Academic Education

  • Ph.D., Harvard University
  • B.S., Pennsylvania State University


  • Research Assistant Professor, Northeastern University, Boston, MA (2008-present)
  • Senior Research Scientist, Northeastern University, Boston, MA (2006-2008)
  • Young Investigator, INSERM/Université René Descartes, Paris, France (2005-2006)
  • Post-doctoral Fellow, Université René Descartes, Paris, France (1999-2004)
  • Research Assistant, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (1991-1999)

Other Professional Activities

  • Outreach field microbiology programs at local elementary schools
  • Editorial Advisory Board member, Current Aging Science

Research Interests

My research, and that of the unculturable group in the Antimicrobial Discovery Center at Northeastern University, is focused on growing previously unculturable bacteria, and identifying the molecular mechanisms responsible for uncultivability. It is estimated that 99% or more of all bacteria in the environment do not grow under standard laboratory conditions, drastically limiting the diversity of microorganisms that are available for research. It is likely that within this ‘missing’ diversity, there are novel classes of antibiotics and other biologically active compounds that will remain hidden, unless it becomes possible to culture the organisms that manufacture them. We use a combination of growth in the natural environment and co-culture with neighboring bacteria to identify factors inducing growth, and increase the diversity we are able to cultivate in the lab. We are also culturing and identifying previously uncultured bacteria from the human microbiome, in order to identify their roles in health and disease.


  • D’Onofrio A.*, Crawford J.M.*, Stewart E.J., Witt K., Gavrish E., Epstein S., Clardy J., Lewis K. (2010) Siderophores from Neighboring Organisms Promote the Growth of Uncultured Bacteria. Chemistry & Biology 17(3)256-264.
  • *Both first authors contributed equally
  • Babic A., Lindner A.B., Vulic M., Stewart E.J., Radman M. (2008) Direct Visualization of Horizontal Gene Transfer. Science 319: 1533-1536
  • Veening J.W.*, Stewart E.J.*, Berngruber T.W., Taddei F, Kuipers O.P. and Hamoen L.W. (2008) Bet-hedging and epigenetic inheritance in bacterial cell development. PNAS 105(11): 4393–4398 *Both first authors contributed equally
  • Lindner A.B., Madden R. Demarez A., Stewart E.J., Taddei F. (2008) Asymmetric segregation of protein aggregates is associated with cellular aging and rejuvenation. PNAS 105(8): 3076–3081
  • Fontaine F., Stewart E.J., Lindner A.B., Taddei F. (2008) Mutations in two global regulators lower individual mortality in Escherichia coli. Molecular Microbiology 67(1): 2–14
  • Stewart E.J., Madden R., Paul G., Taddei F. (2005) Aging and Death in an Organism that Reproduces by Morphologically Symmetric Division. PloS Biology, 3(2): e45
  • Guyon J., Bize A., Paul G., Stewart E.J., Delmas J-F., Taddei F. (2005) Statistical Study of Cellular Aging. ESAIM Proc., 14: 100-114. Proceedings of CEMRACS 2004: Mathematics and Applications in Biology and Medicine.
  • Stewart E.J., Katzen F., Beckwith J., (1999) Six conserved cysteines of the membrane protein DsbD are required for the transfer of electrons from the cytoplasm to the periplasm of Escherichia coli. EMBO J. 18(21): 5963-5971
  • Stewart E.J., Åslund F., Beckwith J., (1998) Disulfide bond formation in the Escherichia coli cytoplasm: an in vivo role reversal for the thioredoxins. EMBO J. 17(19): 5543-5550
  • Murphy C.K., Stewart E.J., Beckwith J., (1995) A double counter-selection system for the study of null alleles of essential genes in Escherichia coli. Gene 155(1): 1-7