1. The Microbiome of Isolated Peoples
We are performing comparative microbiome studies spanning human cultures, to determine the impact of Westernization on the human microbiome diversity, characterizing lost functions associated with Westernization and impact on the microbial diversity of homes, and childhood exposure.
2. Assembly of the Mammalian Newborn Microbiome
We have recently initiated studies to determine the successive assembly of the microbiome in mammals, the consecutive emergence of new functions, the importance of the maternal vaginal microbiome seeding and the impact of mode of delivery.
3. Developmental impacts on the early microbiota
Our studies will add new information on the impact of altering the natural exposure at birth on the developmental physiology. We will use microbiota stressors (C-section, antibiotics, chemicals) to determine the effect on the microbiome, and causative roles in adverse health outcomes (metabolic and immune) associated with the stressors. Data in humans supports associations between decreases in microbiome diversity with urbanization practices, and links of C- sections with increased risk of asthma, celiac disease, type 1 diabetes and obesity. Causation and multigenerational data are not yet available