Who We Are


Dr. Xiaoqiong Gu

Dr. Gu Xiaoqiong received her PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the National University of Singapore in 2018. Her PhD efforts involved analysing viral communities in urban water cycles and translating the results derived from environmental surveillance into meaningful public health datasets. She developed a bioinformatics pipeline for viral communities in diverse water systems. She joined SMART under Prof Eric Alm’s group in 2018 where she started the project on investigating the role of the human gut microbiome in antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD). 


Antibiotic-associated diarrhea (AAD) occurs in a significant proportion of patients who receive antibiotics, potentially leading to premature antibiotic discontinuation and sub-optimal treatment of infection. However, it remains unclear why only a subset of patients develop AAD and if the microbiome composition is associatedwith risk of AAD. Through using 16S rRNA amplicon and metagenomics sequencing, she focused on discovering the main difference of the human gut microbiome between individuals who developed AAD and those that did not. The aim is to translate these basic discoveries on the human microbiome into clinical application for improving healthcare. 


Concurrent to her work on human microbiomes, she is also involved in sewage-based surveillance for rapid outbreak detection and intervention in Singapore, particularly in response to COVID-19. The Alm group as a team established a method and pipeline for detection of SARS-CoV-2 in sewage and was one of the first few groups in the world to report successful detection of SARS-CoV-2 in sewage. 

 Her research goals are to develop a solid bioinformatics pipeline and perform robust data mining to study microbial ecology in the environmental and clinical microbiome field. 


Current research interests:

  • Human gut microbiome
  • Viral metagenomics
  • Microbial ecology
  • Wastewater based epidemiology