Scott Olesen

I am an epidemiologist, modeler, and multidisciplinary data scientist with experience in infectious disease, microbiome science, microbiology, antibiotic resistance, statistics, computing, and mathematical modeling. I have developed skill sets in facilitation, technical communication, and project management.

I am a part-time Research Analyst in the Center for Public Health Preparedness and Resilience in the Institute for Public Research at CNA. CNA is a nonprofit research institute that provides objective analysis to Federal, state, and local government. At CNA, my work has focused on advising US Navy, Federal agencies, and state and city officials, especially on COVID-19.

I also work as an consultant for Biobot, a wastewater epidemiology currently focused on COVID-19 surveillance for places like Boston, MA. As an independent epidemiological consultant with Dr. Yonatan Grad, I co-designed a model used to inform the design of the National Basketball Association’s “bubble” for the 2020 play-offs.


My main research interests are antimicrobial resistance and microbiome science.

I was previously Scientific Director at OpenBiome, a non-profit stool bank based in Boston. OpenBiome provides material for fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) for use in treating C. difficile infection and for research.

I did my postdoctoral training with Yonatan Grad at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, where I focused on antimicrobial resistance, and my PhD with Eric Alm at MIT, where I worked in environmental microbiology, human microbiome science, and clinical trial design.

At MIT, I was a founding member of MIT’s Biological Engineering Communciation Lab, where I co-led the development of the first CommKit, a guide to communication tasks designed by scientists for scientists. I was also a founding member of the MIT Biological Engineering REFS, a peer-to-peer conflict management and mentoring program, and a Diversity Chair on the department’s graduate student board. During my postdoc I served as the President of the Harvard Chan Postdoc Association and served on the School’s Committee for Diversity and Inclusion.