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Program Directory

Big Picture Science

There’s no place like ome.” Your micro­bio­me is high­ly influ­en­tial in deter­min­ing your health. But it’s not the only ome” doing so. Your expo­some – envi­ron­men­tal expo­sure over a life­time – also plays a role. 

Hear how sci­en­tists hope to cal­cu­late your entire expo­some, from food to air pol­lu­tion to water contamination.

Plus, new research on the role that microbes play in the devel­op­ment of neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­eases such as Parkinson’s, and the hot debate about when microbes first col­o­nize the body. Could a fetus have its own microbiome?

Also, choose your friends wise­ly: stud­ies of microbe-swap­ping gazelles reveal the ben­e­fits – and the down­sides – of being social. 

And, why sen­sors on future toi­lets will let you do micro­bio­me analy­sis with every flush.


  • Rob KnightPro­fes­sor of Pedi­atrics, Com­put­er Sci­ence and Engi­neer­ing, and Direc­tor of the Cen­ter for Micro­bio­me Inno­va­tion at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia, San Diego
  • Vanes­sa Ezen­waEcol­o­gist at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Georgia

  • Indi­ra MysorekarMicro­bi­ol­o­gist at Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­si­ty in St. Louis, Missouri

  • Gary MillerPro­fes­sor of pub­lic health at the Rollins School of Pub­lic Health and direc­tor of the HER­CULES Expo­some Research Cen­ter at Emory Uni­ver­si­ty. After August 2018, his lab will be at Colum­bia University.