University of Vermont

College of Medicine

Office of Medical Communications

Vermont Public Radio interviews Professor Gary Mawe regarding microbes

On Tuesday, May 28, Gary Mawe, Ph.D., professor of neurological sciences, joined Dartmouth's Deb Hogan and VPR host Jane Lindholm on VPR's "Vermont Edition." The three discussed the trillions of microbes that live in and on our bodies, and their important role in the digestive process and in combatting infectious diseases and allergies.  Most of these microbes are acquired during birth and early in life, but at a certain point the colonies stabalize. There is still much that scientists don't know about these microbiom: how they work, how we get them, where we get them, and why we get them.  The pressing question is; what do these microbes do to us? Dr. Mawe explains that the human body is "a jungle," with some of our bacteria "potentially harmful," while some of them "we have with us most of our lives." There is evidence suggesting that these microbes help us in many ways, and could even be used in the future to battle diseases such as cystic fibrosis. "This is still a new and emerging field," Dr. Mawe explains, but, "the amount of information coming in is stunning."

Listen to the full interview.