• Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello
  • Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello
  • Henry Rutgers Professor of Microbiome and Health and Professor Anthropology, SAS
  • Specialization: Microbiome development and impacts of modern practices
  • Degree and University: Ph.D. U Aberdeen, Scotland, 1990
  • Office: BIO-208D; IFNH-Lipman
  • Office Hours: Spring 2024 - Monday and Thursday after class, 1:30 pm




My research interest focuses on the microbiome development from birth, functions for the host, impact by practices that reduce microbial transmission or disrupt the microbiota, and strategies for restoration. We also study how Westernization changes environmental microbes and human exposures, integrating the fields of anthropology and architecture/urban studies into microbial ecology.


Recent article on microbiome research

C-section-like microbiota and alterations of immune responses.
(Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, JDRF) The major goal of this study is to determine microbial factors that increase or decrease T1D outcomes, using the NOD mouse model.

Effect of water disinfection agent and by-products on the developing microbiome and host physiology
This work explores the antimicrobial effects of residuals in water on the microbiota. The results will contribute to understanding the link between antimicrobials and urban diseases.

The microbiome of isolated peoples
(C&D Fund, Emch Fund)
Hunter-gatherer societies bring a unique opportunity to understand the microbiome before the impact of modern life practices. Little attention has been paid to the microbiomes of isolated peoples, away from practices including antibiotics, C-sections, hygienic practices, that may impact microbial populations. This project studies the community structure and function of the bacterial populations from traditional peoples, and their protective effect against current epidemic diseases of the modern urban world.



  1. Ruiz-Calderon JF, Cavallin H, Song AS, Novoselac A, Pericchi LR, Hernandez JN, Rios R, Branch OR, Pereira H, Paulino LC, Blaser MJ, Knight R, Dominguez-Bello MG. Walls talk: Microbial Biogeography of Homes Spanning Urbanization. Science advances. 2016: 2(2):e1501061-e1501061. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501061
  2. Amato, KR, Martinez-Mota R, Righini N, Raguet-Schofield M, Corcione FP, Marini E, Humphrey G, Gogul G, Gaffney J, Lovelace E, Williams L, Luong A, Dominguez-Bello MG, Stumpf RM, White B, Nelson KE, Knight R, Leigh SR. Phylogenetic and ecological factors impact the gut microbiota of two Neotropical primate species. Oecologia. 2016:180(3):717-733. DOI: 10.1007/s00442-015-3507-z
  3. Dominguez-Bello MG, De Jesus-Laboy KM, Shen N, Cox LM, Amir A, Gonzalez A, Bokulich NA, Song SJ, Hoashi M, Rivera-Vina JI, Mendez K, Knight R, Clemente JC. Partial restoration of the microbiota of cesarean-born infants via vaginal microbial transfer. Nature Medicine. 2016: 22(3):250-253. DOI: 10.1038/nm.4039
  4. Shin H, Price K, Albert L, Dodick J, Park L, Dominguez-Bello MG. Changes in the eye microbiota associated with contact lens wearing. MBio. 2016:7(2):e00198-e00198. DOI: 10.1128/mBio.00198-16
  5. Mueller NT, Shin H, Pizoni A, Werlang IC, Matte U, Goldani MZ, Goldani HAS, Dominguez-Bello MG. Birth mode-dependent association between pre-pregnancy maternal weight status and the neonatal intestinal microbiome. Nature Scientific Reports. 2016: 6:23133-23133.DOI: 10.1038/srep23133
  6. Bokulich NA, Chung J, Henderson N, Jay M, Battaglia T, Perez-Perez G, Chen Y, Schweizer W, Contreras M, Dominguez-Bello, MG, Blaser MJ. Antibiotics, birth mode and diet shape microbiome maturation during early life. Science translational medicine. 2016: 8(343):343ra82-343ra82. DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aad7121
  7. Dominguez-Bello MG, Peterson D, Noya-Alarcon O, Bevilacqua M, Rojas N, Rodríguez R, Alango Pinto S, Baallow R and Caballero-Arias H. Ethics of exploring the microbiome of native peoples. Nature microbiology. 2016: 1(7):16097-16097. DOI: 10.1038/NMICROBIOL.2016.97
  8. Hoashi M, Meche L, Mahal LK, Bakacs E, Nardella D, Naftolin F, Bar-Yam N, Dominguez-Bello MG. Human Milk Bacterial and Glycosylation Patterns Differ by Delivery Mode. Reproductive sciences. 2016: 23(7):902-907. DOI: 10.1177/1933719115623645
  9. Nelson, DB, Shin H, Wu J, Dominguez-Bello MG. The Gestational Vaginal Microbiome and Spontaneous Preterm Birth among Nulliparous African American Women. American Journal of Perinatology. 2016:33(9):887-893. DOI: 10.1055/s-0036-1581057
  10. Dominguez-Bello MG. A Microbial Anthropologist in the Jungle. Cell. 2016:167(3):588-594. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2016.09.047
  11. Bik HM, Maritz JM, Luong A, Shin H, Dominguez-Bello MG, Carlton JM. Microbial community patterns associated with Automated Teller Machine (ATM) keypads in New York City. mSphere. 2016:1(6). DOI: 10.1128/mSphere.00226-16
  12. Blaser, MJ; Dominguez-Bello, MG. The Human Microbiome before Birth. Cell host & microbe. 2016:20(5):558-560. DOI: 10.1016/j.chom.2016.10.014
  13. Mueller, N T; Mao, G; Bennet, W; Hourigan, S; Dominguez-Bello, M G; Appel, L J; Wang, X. Does vaginal delivery mitigate or strengthen the intergenerational association of overweight and obesity? Findings from the boston birth cohort. International Journal of Obesity 2016: 41(4):497-501. DOI: 10.1038/jio.2016.219
  14. Bardele C, Schultheiss S Wright AD, Dominguez-Bello MG, Obispo NE, Lynn DH. Aviisotricha hoazini n. gen., n. sp., the morphology and molecular phylogeny of an anaerobic ciliate from the crop of the hoatzin (Opisthocomus hoazin), the cow among the birds. Protist. 2017:168(3):335-351.DOI: 10.1016/j.protis.2017.02.002
  15. Smits SA, Leach J, Sonnenburg ED, Gonzalez CG, Lichtman J.S, Reid G, Knight R, Manjurano A, Changalucha J, Elias JE, Dominguez-Bello MG, and Sonnenburg JL. Seasonal Cycling in the Gut Microbiome of the Hadza Hunter-Gatherers of Tanzania. Science. 2017: 357(6353):802-806. DOI: 10.1126/science.aan4834
  16. Thompson LR, Sanders JG, McDonald D, Amir A, Ladau J, Locey KJ, Prill RJ, Tripathi A, Gibbons SM, Ackermann G, Navas-Molina JA, Janssen S, Kopylova E, Vázquez-Baeza Y, González A, Morton JT, Mirarab S, Xu ZZ, Jiang L, Haroon MF, Kanbar J, Zhu Q, Song SJ, Kosciolek T, Bokulich NA, Lefler J, Brislawn CJ, Humphrey G, Owens SM, Hampton-Marcell J, Berg-Lyons D, McKenzie V, Fierer N, Fuhrman JA, Clauset A, Stevens RL, Shade A, Pollard KS, Goodwin JD, Jansson JK, Gilbert JA, Knight R & The Earth Microbiome Project Consortium. A communal catalogue reveals Earth’s multiscale microbial diversity. Nature 2017, 551: 457–463, doi:10.1038/nature24621
  17. Martinez II KA, Devlin JC, Lacher CR, Yin Y, Cai Y, Wang J, Dominguez-Bello MG. Increased weight gain by C-section: functional significance of the primordial microbiome. Sci Advances. 2017: 3:eaao1874. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aao1874
  18. Mueller NT, Shin H, Pizoni A, Werlang IC, Matte U, Goldani M, Goldani HAS, and Dominguez-Bello MG. Impact of Cesarean Delivery on Neonatal Gut Microbiota Structure, Delivery Mode and the Transition of Pioneering Gut-Microbiota Structure, Composition and Predicted Metabolic Function. Genes 2017: 8, 364; DOI: 10.3390/genes812036
  19. Ward TL, Dominguez-Bello MG, Heisel T, Al-Ghalith G, Knights D, Gale CA. Development of the human mycobiome over the first month of life and across body sites. mSystems 2018, 3 (3): e00140-17.
  20. García-Amado, ME, Shin H, Sanz V, Lentino M, Martínez M, Contreras M, Michelangeli F, Domínguez-Bello MG. Comparison of Gizzard and Intestinal Microbiota of Wild Neotropical Birds. PONE 2018, 0194857. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0194857.
  21. Vargas-Robles D, M, Morales M, de Koningc MNC, Rodríguez I, Nieves T, Godoy-Vitorino F, Sánchez GI, Alcaraz LD, Forney LJ, Pérez ME, García-Briceño L, van Doorn L, Domínguez-Bello MG. The role of the microbiome in human development. mSphere 2018 3 (3): e00176-18.
  22. Martinez KA, Romano-Keeler J, Moore DJ, Brucker M. Bacterial DNA is present in the fetal intestine and overlaps with that in the placenta in mice PONE, 2018, D-17-43953R2.
  23. Fragiadakis GK, Smits SA, Sonnenburg ED, Van Treuren W, Reid G, Knight R, Manjurano A, Changalucha J, Dominguez-Bello MG, Leach J, Sonnenburg JL. Links between environment, diet, and the hunter-gatherer microbiome. bioRxiv 2018: 319673.
  24. Debelius JW, McDonald D, Ackermann G, Fahimpour AK, Gilbert JA, Green JL, Gonzalez A, Huttenhower C, Hyde E, Kelley ST, Knights D, Ladau J, Morgan X, Navas-Molina J, Montassier E, Rahnavard G, Pollard KS, Sangwan N, Shorenstein J, Thompson L, Thackray V, Wischmeyer P, The American Gut Consortium, Knight R. American Gut: an Open Platform for Citizen-Science Microbiome Research. mSystems 2018, 3(3): e00031-18.


  pdf Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello CV (264 KB)