Erik Wright, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor
  • Biomedical Informatics

Education & Training

  • BS, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Cornell University, 2007
  • MS, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2012
  • PhD, Microbiology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2016

Research Interest Summary

The Wright Lab uses experimental evolution and comparative genomics to study how microorganisms fight for survival.

Research Categories

Research Interests

Erik's research integrates comparative genomics and experimental evolution 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. Erik studies the strategies that naturally antibiotic-producing bacteria have evolved to discourage the build-up of resistance, and how some bacteria have adapted to overcome antibiotics while paying a minimal price for resistance. The goal of this research is to develop new strategies for treating pathogens in the clinic, ultimately turning the tide against increasing antibiotic resistance.

Representative Publications

Wright, E. S. & Vetsigian, K. H. (2016). “Quality filtering of Illumina index reads mitigates sample cross-talk”, BMC Genomics.

Wright, E. S. (2016). “Using DECIPHER v2.0 to Analyze Big Biological Sequence Data in R”, The R Journal.

Wright, E. S. & Vetsigian, K. H. (2016). “Inhibitory interactions promote frequent bistability among competing bacteria”, Nature Communications.

Wright, E. S., & Vetsigian, K. H. (2016). “DesignSignatures: a tool for designing primers that yields amplicons with distinct signatures”, Bioinformatics.

Wright, E. S. (2015). “DECIPHER: harnessing local sequence context to improve protein multiple sequence alignment”, BMC Bioinformatics.

Wright, E. S. (corresponding author), Yilmaz, L. S., Corcoran A. M., Ökten, H.E., & Noguera, D. R. (2014). “Automated  Design  of  Probes  for  rRNA-targeted  Fluorescence  In   Situ  Hybridization  Reveals  the  Advantages  of Using  Dual Probes  for  Accurate  Identification”, Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Wright, E. S., Yilmaz, L. S., Ram, S., Gasser, J. M., Harrington, G. W., & Noguera, D. R. (2014). “Exploiting Extension Bias in PCR to Improve Primer Specificity in Ensembles of Nearly Identical DNA Templates”, Environmental Microbiology.

Wright, E. S., Strait, J. M., Yilmaz, L. S., Harrington, G. W., & Noguera, D. R. (2013). “Identification of Bacterial and Archaeal Communities From Source to Tap”, Water Research Foundation, 1–76.

Wright, E. S., Yilmaz, L. S., & Noguera, D. R. (2012). “DECIPHER:  A Search-Based Approach to Chimera Identification for 16S rRNA Sequences”, Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Full List of Publications