Rakesh Sharma is a Senior Principal Scientist at CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology and Professor of Biological Sciences at Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research (AcSIR), New Delhi. He did his Ph.D. from CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology, Chandigarh in Industrial Microbiology and postdoctoral research at Wayne State University, Detroit, USA on bacterial metal transporters. He developed an interest in microbial diversity and metagenomics at University of Delhi, Delhi, India, where he worked as Assistant Professor before moving to CSIR-IGIB. He is interested in understanding microbial diversity and their functions in environment and host using metagenomics and molecular genetics. His group exploited metagenomes from various habitats for identification of industrially important enzymes and stress tolerance genes, including genes for arsenic resistance. His group is also actively working on exploiting human skin microbiome for novel antimicrobials. He has identified a number of microbial isolates from human skin, including a new genus (Auricoccus indicus); several of these isolates produce antimicrobial compounds and peptides. Combination of genomic and bioassay-guided approaches is being used to identify the genetic machinery and peptides/secondary metabolites. One of the current activities in the laboratory is to understand microbiomes in open waste water drains in New Delhi and their impact on river Yamuna.