About the Lab:
The Dominguez-Bello laboratory is in the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. Research in the lab focuses on the co-evolution of the microbiota and host, and impacts exerted by Western lifestyle practices. We perform comparative microbial surveys of vertebrate colonized organs, and currently study the human microbiota spanning Westernization. We focus on its development from birth, immune and metabolic functions, impact by modern practices and restoration strategies. We also study the role of the built environment in microbial transmission, integrating the fields of anthropology and architecture into microbial ecology.
- Effects of early life stressors on development
Microbes modulate host development, and we are investigating perinatal stressors that impair development and predispose to metabolic and brain disfunctions, using mice to demonstrate microbiome causality.
- Breastfeeding and the infant microbiome
Breastfeeding protects against obesity and alleviates the impact of microbiome stressors on the baby. We are characterizing breastmilk and determining maternal breastmilk factors that alter the microbiome and baby physiology.
- The microbiome of isolated peoples
Hunter-gatherer societies bring a unique opportunity study to pre-urban life practices (void of many antimicrobial exposures). We are characterizing the microbiome structure and function in multiple body sites, and urbanization-associated changes, and determining microbiota effects on mouse models. This is relevant to finding preventive strategies against modern immune and metabolic diseases.