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Alvin H

- Research Program Mentor

PhD candidate at Stanford University


Pathogens, Microbiomes, Microbiology, Immunology


I'm Alvin, a third year PhD student at Stanford University. I study interactions between the environment, the host, and the gut microbiome. I am also working on projects related to profiling new mechanisms of antibiotic resistance in pathogens and diagnostic methods for SARS-CoV-2. In the past, I've had my hands in many scientific cookie jars, from studying arctic soils to tomato pathogens, from zebrafish metabolism to bird population recovery in South Africa. Outside of research, I love birdwatching, nature photography, hiking, and pretty much anything involving the outdoors. I'm also a huge sucker for holing up indoors with a good video game. I also enjoy teaching and scientific outreach! Currently, I tutor students in oral communications at Stanford's Hume Center and have mentored students in various contexts, from high school science projects to NSF proposal writing.

Project ideas

Project ideas are meant to help inspire student thinking about their own project. Students are in the driver seat of their research and are free to use any or none of the ideas shared by their mentors.

Fact and fiction in the world of probiotic supplements

With interest in gut microbiome-related therapies on the rise, I think a cool project would be to try and dig into the world of probiotic supplements. There's a lot of misinformation, but also a lot of very cool clinical data about how well these work. A final product might be a web page, video, or podcast detailing an assessment of what we can believe and what we can't regarding these probiotics.

Coping with change

Environmentally transmitted microbes, whether they are bacterial, eukaryotic, or viral, all need to deal with a problem: hosts and the world around them are two very different environments. How do these microbes, both pathogenic and commensal, deal with and adapt to these divergent environments? How does this improve their transmission

Coding skills

Python, Bash, R

Languages I know

Mandarin Chinese

Teaching experience

I am currently a tutor at Stanford's Hume Center for Oral Communication. Essentially, I work with students both in classes and drop-in sessions to develop speaking skills, refine presentations or mock interviews, and whatever else people happen to drop in with. I have also been a mentor for Stanford Biosciences' NSF GRFP writing program, which entails me meeting with and revising students' NSF GRFP applications throughout the autumn quarter. One of my mentees was awarded an honorable mention, the other received the fellowship. I have also been a mentor for Stanford's FAST program, in which I walked a group of high school students though a science project, from hypothesis generation to result presentation. Finally, I have been a teaching assistant for the Advanced Topics in Pathogenesis course for graduate students at Stanford this Spring.


Work experience

Hume Center (2020 - Current)
Oral Communications Tutor
Cornell University (2017 - 2017)
Summer Scholar Program Awardee
Duke University (2016 - 2016)
Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Undergraduate Fellow
Roche Molecular Diagnostics (2015 - 2015)


Duke University
BS Bachelor of Science (2018)
Unknown Degree candidate
Stanford University
PhD Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Microbiology and Immunology

Completed Projects

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