Research Scientist Microbial Genomics, IFSH High-Throughput Sequencing, IIT


Doctor of Philosophy in Microbial Genomics, Meta genomics, Microbial Ecology, Host-microbe Interaction, Bioinformatics

Master of Science in Microbial Genomics, Food borne Pathogen, Bioinformatics

Bachelor of Science in Biological Science

Research Interests

Microbial Genomics; Metagenomics; Host-microbe Interaction; Gut Microbiome; Environmental Microbiology; Development of Bioinformatics Tools

I have been doing extensive studies on the diversity, ecology, function and evolution of microbes in environments of food, soil, groundwater, coastal water, deep-sea water, sediment and animal gut using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) and long-read sequencing (e.g. Nanopore) technologies. I am also interested in genomics of animal such as insect mealworm which can digest plastics. In terms of bioinformatics, I am interested in algorithm design and implementation, and pipeline development. To automate data analysis, I have developed pipelines for automated process and analysis of NGS sequencing data, including amplicon sequence (16/18S rRNA and ITS), genomic sequence, and metagenomic sequence.


  1. Tian, R., Ning, D., He, Z., Zhang, P., Spencer, S.J., Gao, S., Shi, W., Wu, L., Zhang, Y., Yang, Y. and Adams, B.G., 2020. Small and mighty: adaptation of superphylum Patescibacteria to groundwater environment drives their genome simplicity. Microbiome8(1), pp.1-15.
  2. Tian R-M, Zhang W, Cai L, Wong Y-H, Ding W, Qian P-Y. Genome reduction and microbe-host interactions drive adaptation of a sulfur-oxidizing bacterium associated with a cold seep sponge. Msystems. 2017;2(2):e00184-16.
  3. Tian R-M, Wang Y, Bougouffa S, Gao Z-M, Cai L, Zhang W-P, et al. Effect of copper treatment on the composition and function of the bacterial community in the sponge Haliclona cymaeformis. Mbio. 2014;5(6):e01980-14.
  4. Tian RM, Wang Y, Bougouffa S, Gao ZM, Cai L, Bajic V, et al. Genomic analysis reveals versatile heterotrophic capacity of a potentially symbiotic sulfur‐oxidizing bacterium in sponge. Environmental microbiology. 2014;16(11):3548-61.
  5. Tian RM, Sun J, Cai L, Zhang WP, Zhou GW, Qiu JW, et al. The deep‐sea glass sponge L ophophysema eversa harbours potential symbionts responsible for the nutrient conversions of carbon, nitrogen and sulfur. Environmental microbiology. 2016;18(8):2481-94.
  6. Tian R-M, Li T, Hou X-J, Wang Q, Cai K, Liu Y-N, et al. The complete genome sequence of Clostridium botulinum F str. 230613, insertion sites, and recombination of BoNT gene clusters. Genome. 2011;54(7):546-54.
  7. Tian R-M, Lee OO, Wang Y, Cai L, Bougouffa S, Chiu JMY, et al. Effect of polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) treatment on the composition and function of the bacterial community in the sponge Haliclona cymaeformis. Frontiers in microbiology. 2015;5:799.
  8. Tian R-M, Cai L, Zhang W-P, Cao H-L, Qian P-Y. Rare events of intragenus and intraspecies horizontal transfer of the 16S rRNA gene. Genome Biol Evol. 2015;7(8):2310-20.
  9. Li T, Tian R (co-first author), Cai K, Wang Q, Chen F, Fang H, et al. The Effect of pH on growth of Clostridium botulinum type A and expression of bontA and botR during different growth Stages. Foodborne pathogens and disease. 2013;10(8):692-7.


Microbial Genomics

Gut Microbiome

Host-microbe Interaction

Development of Bioinformatics Tools

Contact Information

708.563.8169 6502 South Archer Rd. Office 235, Bldg. 90 Bedford Park, IL 60501