• Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello
  • Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello
  • Professor, Microbiology
  • Focus Area: Evolutionary and Modern Human Genetics
  • Click for Website

    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.


    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. 


    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 https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0194857.
    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).



    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.