Baylor is a pioneer in a relatively new field, the microbiome. The human microbiome – the microbial communities that inhabit and live on the human body – defined as thecommunities of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, fungi and other single-celled organisms that live in the human body – contributes to human health in numerous ways. Made up of billions of organisms, the microbiome helps the body to sense and respond to the environment and to harvest nutrients from food. It also aids the immune system in preventing disease
and controlling inflammation.
The Alkek Center for Metagenomics and Microbiome Research was established in 2011 by Joseph Petrosino, Ph.D. in the Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology as a hub to understand how the microbiome affects health and disease and to translate this knowledge into microbiome-based therapeutics and diagnostics. Our research scientists are pursuing hundreds of individual microbiome-related projects with more than 150 collaborators worldwide.