CHES Faculty & Full Members

CHES Faculty & Full Members

Stephen Stich

Stephen StichDetails will be posted soon

Liping Zhao

Dr. Zhao ImageProfessor, Biochemistry and Microbiology 


B.S. Plant Protection, Shanxi Agicultural University, Taigu, China, 
Ph.D Molecular Plant Pathology, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing China

Dr. Zhao is currently the Eveleigh-Fenton Chair of Applied Microbiology at Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University. He is a fellow of American Academy of Microbiology. He is a senior fellow of Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR). He serves on Scientific Advisory Board for the Center for Microbiome Research and Education of American Gastroenterology Association (AGA).


Dr. Zhao and his team have pioneered the approach of applying metagenomics-metabolomics integrated tools and dietary intervention for systems understanding and predictive manipulation of gut microbiota to improve human metabolic health. Following the logic of Koch’s postulates, Dr. Zhao has found that an endotoxin-producing opportunistic pathogen isolated from an obese human gut can induce obesity in germfree mice. Their clinical trials published in Science and EBioMedicine showed that dietary modulation of gut microbiota can significantly alleviate metabolic diseases including a genetic form of obesity in children and type 2 diabetes in adults. The Science magazine featured a story on how he combines traditional Chinese medicine and gut microbiota study to understand and fight obesity (Science 336: 1248,


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Dr. Zhao's web page on the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology

Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello

Dominguez BelloProfessor, Microbiology



Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello joined Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology as a Henry Rutgers Professor of Microbiome and Health, in 2018. Maria Gloria received her undergraduate degree in 1983 from Simon Bolivar University –Venezuela-, her Masters in 1987 and her PhD in 1990 from University of Aberdeen –Scotland- did a postdoc at the Institute National de la Recherche Agronomic, France, worked at the Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Research in Venezuela, at University of Puerto Rico, and at NYU School of Medicine before joining Rutgers University in Jan 2018.

She is a member of the American Academy of microbiology, an IDSA fellow, belongs to the editorial board of several journals and has over 110 scientific publications.



Research in her lab focuses on the study the co-evolution of the microbiota and host, and impacts exerted by Western lifestyle practices. We study human microbiome development, structure and function and characterize the effect of perturbations, and explore restoration strategies. We also study the role of the built environment in microbial transmission, integrating the fields of anthropology and architecture into microbial ecology. Her research work has involved the synergy of a network of collaborators in Venezuela, Bolivia, Peru, Brazil, and the US.


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.

The ancestral and the early microbiome

(C&D Fund)

Westernization leads to reduction of microbiota diversity and to increased risks of diseases related to immune malfunction such as T1D, celiac disease, autism, allergies, asthma, and obesity. There is evidence that microbial factors are associated with these diseases. This project will assess the magnitude of microbial losses in the human microbiome associated with Westernization, and assess restoration modalities.


The microbiome of isolated peoples

(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.

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. 


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Lab Website





  1. Ruiz-Calderon JF, Cavallin H, SongAS, 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, MatteU, 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, ShinH, 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. PLoS One 2018
  21. Dominguez-Bello MG, Godoy-Vitorino F, Knight R., Blaser MJ. The role of the microbiome in human development. The Lancet 2018 (accepted).
  22. 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 (accepted).

John McGann

McGann John

John McGann, a Professor in the Rutgers Psychology Department, is a neuroscientist who studies the interaction of learning and sensory processing in the brain. He received a BA and MS in Psychology in 1998, an M.Phil. in Neuroscience in 2000, and a PhD in Neuroscience in 2003, all from Yale University. He did his postdoctoral training at Boston University and joined the Rutgers faculty in 2009. He was tenured in 2013 and promoted to full Professor in 2019. He directs the Laboratory on the Neural Basis of Sensory Cognition (colloquially known as the McGann Lab), which is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders. Dr. McGann teaches undergraduate courses on Sensation & Perception and Research Design & Methods, as well as graduate neuroscience courses covering neuroscientific methodology, computational neuroscience, and sensory processing.

Dr. McGann is interested in how the brain’s sensory systems use information learned from the environment to optimize the perception of incoming stimuli and choice among potential behavioral responses. Most of his work is performed in the mouse and human olfactory systems, which exhibit remarkable neural plasticity with experience. His most prominent findings include the discovery that olfactory sensory neurons selectively change the signals they send the brain for odors that predict an impending shock (Kass et al. 2013 in Science). He has also recently published work illustrating the excellence of the human sense of smell and tracing the anthropological and neuroscientific origins of the myth that humans are ‘microsmatic’ (McGann 2017 in Science). This work demonstrates that brain regions should not automatically be judged in terms of their relative size.

To learn more about Dr. McGann, please visit his website.

Siobain Duffy

siobainAssociate Professor, Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources

Siobain Duffy has been in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences since 2009.  Rutgers is her alma mater: she majored in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and conducted years of undergraduate microbiology research in the Food Science department.  Her PhD research at Yale University used experimental evolution to model RNA viral emergence on novel hosts, and her postdoctoral research at Penn State University centered on bioinformatic analysis of DNA viral evolution.

The Duffy lab focuses on fast-evolving viruses (those with RNA and single-stranded DNA genomes).  We are interested in how various viruses create and maintain the genetic variation they need to emerge in novel hosts, how epistasis affects evolutionary trajectories and improving how viral evolution is modeled, especially for public health applications.


Experimental evolution of cassava mosaic disease-causing viruses to understand insect-transmitted plant virus pathosystems

The evolutionary genetics of constraint and evolvability in an RNA bacteriophage

Evolution of cassava-infecting viruses in Eastern and Central Africa

Deep phylogenic relationships among the circular, eukaryote-infecting, Rep-containing single-stranded DNA viruses


Lab Website

Publications on PubMed


Faculty Emeriti
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