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HOU Shengwei
Assistant Professor


Dr. Shengwei Hou received his PhD in Bioinformatics at Freiburg University in 2018 under the supervision of Prof. Wolfgang R. Hess in Germany. After that, he collaborated with Prof. Jed A. Fuhrman at the University of Southern California (USC) for his postdoctoral study on marine microbial ecology until July 2021. In August 2021, Dr. Hou started the Computational Microbial Ecology & Evolution (CMEE) lab in the Department of Ocean Science and Engineering at the Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) as an assistant professor. He is interested in biogeography and interactions of marine microbes, host-virus interactions, mechanisms of microbial environmental adaptation and microbial driven biogeochemical cycles, with the objective of understanding microbial responses to global climate change including but not limited to global warming, ocean acidification and hypoxia, etc. Dr. Hou has published more than 20 papers in top-ranking journals including The ISME J, PNAS, Environ Microbial and RNA Biol, etc. Currently, Dr. Hou is a guest editor of Frontiers in Microbiology and a review editor of Frontiers in Marine Science. He is also an experienced reviewer for influential journals including Nature Microbiology, The ISME J, Microbiome, Nature Communications, etc.

Educational Background

2018 Ph.D., Faculty of Biology, Albert-Ludwig University of Freiburg, Bioinformatics

2013 Master, Institute of Hydrobiology, Chinse Academy of Sciences, Molecular Genetics

2009 Bachelor, Southwest University, Biotechnology

Professional Experience

2021 - present Assistant Professor, Department of Ocean Science and Engineering, Southern University of Science and Technology (DOSE, SUSTech)

2018 – 2021 Postdoctoral Scholar – Research Associate, Marine and Environmental Biology, University of Southern California (MEB, USC)


1. Participated in the Simons Collaboration on Computational Biogeochemical Modeling of Marine Ecosystems (CBIOMES) project, funded by Simons Foundation, 2017-2022.

2. Participated in the USC Microbial Observatory at the San Pedro Ocean Time series (SPOT) project, funded by NSF & Moore Foundation, 1998-2022.

3. Participated in the Marine Microorganisms: Cultivation Methods for Improving their Biotechnological Applications (MaCuMBA) project, funded by the European Union, 2012-2016.


1. J. L. Weissman, S. Hou, J. A. Fuhrman. Estimating maximal microbial growth rates from cultures, metagenomes, and single cells via codon usage patterns. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2021 Mar 23;118(12):e2016810118.

2. A. M. Long#, S. Hou#, J. C. Ignacio‑Espinoza, and J. A. Fuhrman. Benchmarking microbial growth rate predictions from metagenomes. The ISME J. 2020: 1‑13.

3.  S. Hou#, M. López‑Pérez#, U. Pfreundt, N. Belkin, K. Stüber, B. Huettel, R. Reinhardt, I. Berman‑Frank, F. Rodriguez‑Valera and W. R. Hess. Benefit from decline: The primary transcriptome of Alteromonas macleodii str. Te101 during Trichodesmium demise. The ISME J. 2018 Jan 15:1.

4.  S. Hou, M. Brenes, A. M. Muro‑Pastor, W. R. Hess. CRISPR‑Cas systems in multicellular cyanobacteria. RNA Biol. 2018 Aug 15:1‑12.

5. X. Tan#, S. Hou#, K. Song, J. Georg, S. Klähn, X. Lu, W. R. Hess. The Primary Transcriptome of the Fast‑Growing Cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus UTEX 2973. Biotechnol Biofuels. 2018 Aug 4;11:218.

6. J. E. Teikari#, S. Hou#, M. Wahlsten, W. R. Hess and K. Sivonen. Comparative genomics of the Baltic Sea toxic cyanobacteria Nodularia spumigena UHCC 0039 and its response on varying salinity. Front Microbiology 2018 Mar 8;9:356.

7. S. Hou, U. Pfreundt, D. Miller, I. Berman‑Frank, W. R Hess. mdRNA‑Seq analysis of marine microbial communities from the northern Red Sea. Sci Rep. 2016 Oct 19;6:35470.

8. S. Hou, F. Zhou, S. Peng, H. Gao and X. Xu. The HetR‑binding site that activates expression of patA in vegetative cells is required for normal heterocyst patterning in Anabaena sp. PCC 7120. Sci Bull. 2015 Jan;60(2):192‑201.