Modern humans faculty

Modern humans faculty

Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello

dominguezProfessor, 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).

Robin Fox

fox(PhD, U London, 1965; Univ Prof)

Kinship and marriage, evolution of behavior, social theory;

N Amer, northwestern Europe

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Gyan Bhanot

Gyan Bhanot

Associate Professor, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry & Physics

Gyan Bhanot has been a Professor at Rutgers University since 2006 with joint appointments in the Departments of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and Physics. He obtained his PhD in theoretical physics from Cornell University in 1980 and then did research in particle physics and statistical mechanics at Brookhaven Lab, IAS Princeton, ITP Santa Barbara, Florida State University and CERN until 1989. From 1989 - 2006, he worked at Thinking Machines Corporation and IBM Research on parallel supercomputer applications. His current research interests are in Computational Biology and Translational Medicine.

Evolutionary Genetics including human migration, phylogeny, disease association studies and patterns of mutations correlated with longevity and complex disease phenotypes.


Lab Website

Publications on PubMed

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

Jinchuan Xing

xing jin vert 500wAssistant Professor, Genetics

Jinchuan Xing joined Department of Genetics as an Assistant Professor at Rutgers in 2012. Dr. Xing is a human/primate geneticist and received his Ph.D. from Louisiana State University in 2005. After spending an additional year at LSU as a postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Xing moved to University of Utah as a postdoctoral fellow and studied human population genetics and natural selection until 2011.

The long-term research interest of his laboratory is to understand the mechanisms and consequences of human genomic variation, with focuses on mobile DNA elements, evolutionary genetics, and human disease. They will combine computational and experimental tools to perform genome-wide analyses. His previous projects involve elucidating human population history and genetic adaptation at both global and regional scale, with or without disease implication.

Dr. Xing's current projects include studying genetic/phenotypic adaptation in a Mongolian population living on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau, and investigating the human evolutionary history in South Asia.

Mobile element biology

Human demographic history and population diversity

Disease-causing genes identification using genome-wide data

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Lab Website

Download CV (links to external website)

Xing, J.*, T. Wuren*, T. S. Simonson*, W. S. Watkins, D. J. Witherspoon, W. Wu, G. Qin, C. D. Huff, L. B. Jorde, and R. L. Ge (2013) Genomic analysis of nature selection and phenotypic variation in high-altitude Mongolians. PLOS Genetics

Xing, J., D. J. Witherspoon, and L. B. Jorde (2013) Mobile element biology – new possibilities with high-throughput sequencing. Trends in Genetics 29(5):280–289

The 1000 Genomes Project Consortium (2012) An integrated map of genetic variation from 1,092 human genomes. Nature 491:56–65

Xing, J., W. S. Watkins, Y. Hu, C. D. Huff, A. Sabo, D. M. Muzny, M. J. Bamshad, R. A. Gibbs, L. B. Jorde, and F. Yu (2010) Inference of human expansion in Eurasia and genetic diversity in India. Genome Biology 11:R113

The 1000 Genomes Project Consortium (2010) A map of human genome variation from population scale sequencing. Nature 467:1061-1073

Xing, J., W. S. Watkins, A. Shlien, E. Walker, C. D. Huff, D. J. Witherspoon, Y. Zhang, T. S. Simonson, R. B. Weiss, J. D. Schiffman, D. Malkin, S. R. Woodward and L. B. Jorde (2010) Toward a more Uniform Sampling of Human Genetic Diversity: A Survey of Worldwide Populations by High-density Genotyping. Genomics 96:199–210

Simonson, T. S., Y. Yang, C. D. Huff, H. Yun, G. Qin, D. J. Witherspoon, Z. Bai, F. R. Lorenzo, J. Xing, L. B. Jorde, J. T. Prchal, and R. Ge (2010) Genetic Evidence for High-Altitude Adaptation in Tibet. Science 329 (5987):72-5

Xing, J., Y. Zhang, K. Han, A. H. Salem, S. K. Sen, C. D. Huff, Q. Zhou, E. F. Kirkness, S. Levy, M.A. Batzer, and L. B. Jorde (2009) Mobile elements create structural variation: analysis of a complete human genome. Genome Research 19(9):1516-26

Xing, J., W. S. Watkins, D. J. Witherspoon, Y. Zhang, S. L. Guthery, R. Thara, B. J. Mowry, K. Bulayeva, R. B. Weiss, and L. B. Jorde (2009) Fine-Scaled Human Genetic Structure Revealed by SNP Microarrays. Genome Research 19(5):815-25

Xing, J., W. S. Watkins, Y. Zhang, D. J. Witherspoon, and L. B. Jorde (2008) High Fidelity of Whole-Genome Amplified DNA on High-Density Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Arrays. Genomics 92(6):452-6

Xing, J., D. J. Witherspoon, W. S. Watkins, Y. Zhang, W. Tolpinrud and L. B. Jorde. (2008) HapMap tagSNP transferability in multiple populations: general guidelines. Genomics 92:41-51

Xing, J., D. J. Witherspoon, D. A. Ray, M. A. Batzer and L. B. Jorde (2007) Mobile elements and primate evolution. American Journal of Physical Anthropology Suppl 45: 2-19

Xing, J., H. Wang, Y. Zhang, D. A. Ray, A. J. Tosi, T. R. Disotell and M. A. Batzer (2007) A mobile element based evolutionary history of guenons (Tribe Cercopithecini). BMC Biology 5:5

Xing, J.*, H. Wang*, V. P. Belancio, R. Cordaux, P. L. Deininger and M. A. Batzer (2006) Emergence of new primate genes by retrotransposon-mediated sequence transduction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 103: 17608-17613

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