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The microbiome is transmitted through generations. Mammals are born colonized with live microbes acquired from their mother during labor, which play a role in healthy development of the body’s organs and systems. In people, practices such as Cesarean section (C-section) and modern antimicrobial practices can reduce microbial transmission or perturb the microbiome. The consequences to health include an association with increased risk for immune and metabolic diseases. Dr. Dominguez-Bello will also discuss the impact of changes in lifestyles, such as increasing urbanization, on the microbiome; the need for research on microbes that become “lost”; and future restoration strategies.
Dr. Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello received her Ph.D. in microbiology and her master’s degree in animal nutrition from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. She conducted postdoctoral work at Purdue and Cornell universities, the French National Institute for Agricultural Research, and the Rowett Institute, University of Aberdeen. Her research integrates the fields of immunology, pediatrics, nutrition, anthropology, environmental engineering, architecture, and urban studies. Dr. Dominguez-Bello is a Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American Academy of Microbiology. Funders of her research include the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and the National Science Foundation.
The human microbiome is the community of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi that naturally live in and on our bodies. These talks will focus on specific components of the gut microbiome and natural products of interest produced by these organisms that might confer health benefits. Natural products and their potential effects on health promotion and various clinical conditions are a priority research area for NCCIH.
Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, Ph.D., Henry Rutgers Professor of Microbiome and Health and Interim Director of the New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health, Rutgers University