Erik Wright, PhD, MS

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Informatics
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Computational and Systems Biology

Education & Training

  • PhD in Microbiology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • MS in Civil & Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • BS in Electrical & Computer Engineering, Cornell University

Research Interests

Dr. Wright's research integrates experimental and computational approaches to tackle the problem of antibiotic resistance. Although antibiotics have been used by microorganisms for eons, it remains unclear how these organisms have mitigated the rise of antibiotic resistance in their competitors. Dr. Wright studies the strategies that naturally antibiotic-producing bacteria have evolved to discourage the build-up of resistance, how we might employ similar tactics in the clinic, and how some pathogens have adapted to overcome antibiotics while paying a minimal price for resistance. The goal of this research is to develop new strategies for treating infectious disease, ultimately turning the tide against increasing antibiotic resistance.


Wright ES and Vetsigian KH. 2016. Inhibitory interactions promote frequent bistability among competing bacteria. Nat Commun. 7: 11274.

Wright ES and Vetsigian KH. 2016. Quality filtering of Illumina index reads mitigates sample cross-talk. BMC Genomics. 17: 876. 

Murali A, Bhargava A and Wright ES. 2018. IDTAXA: a novel approach for accurate taxonomic classification of microbiome sequences. Microbiome. 6: 140. 

Wright ES and Baum DA. 2018. Exclusivity offers a sound yet practical species criterion for bacteria despite abundant gene flow. BMC Genomics. 19: 724. 

Wright, ES and Vetsigian KH. 2018. Stochastic exits from dormancy give rise to heavy-tailed distributions of descendants in bacterial populations. bioRxiv. doi:

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