Food Systems Integrity, Hopkirk Research Institute, AgResearch Ltd, Palmerston North, New Zealand.
Dr. Eric Altermann received his Ph.D. in Microbiology in 1999 at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern (Germany) with Prof. Bernhard Henrich. He spent 3 years as a Post Doctoral Fellow and then Scientist at the North Carolina State University, Department of Food Science (NC, USA) with Professor Todd Klaenhammer (a member of the National Academy of Sciences until his death in March 2021), working on one of the first microbial genome sequencing projects (Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM). In these roles, he pioneered bioinformatic tools and algorithms for microbial genome annotation and comparative lifestyle analyses. During this time, Dr. Altermann also participated in the Lactic Acid Bacteria Genome Consortium (led by Prof David Mills, UC Davis, USA) which, together with the Joint Genome Institute (CA, USA), carried out the first large-scale bacterial genome sequencing project. In 2006, Dr. Altermann moved to New Zealand to begin work on greenhouse gas mitigation at AgResearch Ltd, one of the 7 national Crown Research Institutes. For over a decade he contributed bioinformatic leadership on rumen methanogens within the Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium (PGGRC) methane mitigation programs. In 2009 he accepted a position at the Riddet Centre of Research Excellence as an Associate Investigator, analyzing the genetic blueprint of intestinal lactobacilli to better understand gut microbe-host interactions and how to modulate the gut microbiota through diet. He now holds a position as a Principal Scientist with a strong interest in the food-grade accelerated evolution of commercial bacterial starter strains for new flavors and textures during food fermentation. Dr. Alterman serves as a Chief Science Officer at PPDx (Oregon, USA), commercializing microbially produced tailored bioparticles as a biotechnology platform in the areas of pest control, wound care, separation chemistry, biomedical applications, and biosafety.
Bacterial genomes, Comparative genomics, Applied bioinformatics, Lifestyle adaptation