The human microbiome—a complex ecosystem of bacteria that inhabit and interact with our tissues and organs—plays an important role in oral health and disease. Researchers at the College of Dental Medicine participate in the Columbia University Medical Center Microbiome Working Group, a multidisciplinary community that supports and cultivates research in this growing field.
Although we have learned a great deal in recent years about the microbiota and their effects on human biology, the mechanisms by which the microbiome influences the host are not yet well understood. We are still lacking data to precisely define the health-associated oral microbiome. To better understand how the microbiome affects oral and whole-body health, we are working with colleagues throughout the medical center to pursue metabolomic approaches, biological experiments in improved animal models, and novel methods for manipulating and shifting particular microbes within the microbial community.
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