Tiong Gim Aw, PhD

Vice Chair & Associate Professor

Program Director, PhD in Environmental Health Sciences
Suite 2100

Education & Affiliations

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Michigan State University
PhD, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
B.Eng, University of Technology, Malaysia


Tiong Aw is a public health microbiologist with diverse training background including environmental engineering, microbiology, virology and bioinformatics. His primary research areas are coastal water quality and the interactions among disease-causing microorganisms (pathogens) and their environment. The research on coastal water quality addresses the sources and persistence of microorganisms which contribute to pollution in coastal environments. This knowledge is important in formulating management policies and engineering practices designed to protect human and ecosystem health at the coastal margins.  The research on pathogens is concerned with how environmental factors and climate change affect the prevalence and distribution of pathogenic bacteria and viruses in coastal environments and engineered water systems. This knowledge is critical to minimizing the risk of human exposure to waterborne and foodborne pathogens. His other areas of expertise include rapid detection of waterborne and foodborne pathogens by advanced molecular techniques, viral metagenomics, fate and transport of viruses in urban water catchments. He is keen to bring scientific discovery and translational research to the water industry. Prior to joining the faculty at Tulane, he was a research associate at the Michigan State University. He received his PhD in environmental microbiology from the Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and his BEng in environmental engineering from University of Technology Malaysia.

Dr. Aw has recently been named a ByWater Institute Fellow. Through this fellowship, he plans to foster more collaboration between SPHTM and ByWater Institute in water and health research.

AW Lab – Environmental Health Microbiology and Water Quality Research Group


Research Areas

  • Public health microbiology and virology
  • Water quality
  • Environmental microbiome (metagenomics)

Honors & Awards

  • Appointed to the Scientific Advisory Board of the Shedd Aquarium, Chicago “The Aquarium Microbiome Project”
  • Appointed as Technical Advisor for the qPCR techniques and Quality Assurance Manager to Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ)
  • Delta Omega Public Health Honor Society


View Dr. Aw's publications at his NCBI profile page.


ENHS 6560 Environmental Health Microbiology