Anne Madden

Microbiologist, inventor and strategist
Whether brewing better beer, discovering novel antibiotics or chronicling the lives of the microscopic creatures living in the dust under the couch, Anne Madden seeks to understand and utilize the microbial world around us.

Why you should listen

Dr. Anne Madden studies the ways that our dimly understood microbial neighbors can yield surprising discoveries, including solutions to many of our human problems. Alongside her colleagues at North Carolina State University and the University of Colorado, she discovers what life exists around us, and how it can be employed to make our lives better, from new medications to new food and beverage flavors. She's helped create novel brewing technology (see more in her 2016 TEDx Charlotte talk), discovered a new fungus species living inside wasp nests and cataloged the astonishing diversity of some of the microscopic and macroscopic life in our homes by investigating the DNA in our dust.

In addition to her research work at North Carolina State University, Madden is chief strategist and partner at the brewing yeast company Lachancea LLC and consults for a variety of industries from biotechnology and lifestyle companies to textile and food companies. Her work has been featured on numerous media platforms, including National Geographic, Newsweek, Scientific American and PBS NewsHour.

What others say

“Your dust bunnies, it seems, have some stories to tell. By examining the DNA in dust, researchers have shown that we share our houses with a legion of mysterious creatures. And they’ve created the first map showing their range across the US.” —, November 22,1 2016

More news and ideas from Anne Madden

Live from TED2017

Bugs and bodies: The talks of Session 8 of TED2017

April 27, 2017

In the eight session of TED2017, hosted by TED’s Head Curator Chris Anderson, eight speakers — and one unforgettable live jetpack demo — showed us that there’s wonder all around us, from the bugs that live in our backyards and on our skin to the dreams that live inside our minds, waiting to be unleashed. Below, […]

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