MIAEH's coffee hour and seminar: Exploring the bacterial microbiota associated with commercial tobacco products
The Maryland Institute of Applied Environmental Health will hold its weekly coffee hour and seminar for graduate students on Friday, April 28. Leena Padmanabhan, a doctoral student at the Maryland Institute of Applied Environmental Health, will give a talk on her research, ”Exploring the bacterial microbiota associated with commercial tobacco products.” The event kicks off with coffee at 9:30am.
Tobacco research conducted over the past 50 years has provided immense knowledge regarding the chemical and physical composition of tobacco products. Yet, there scant data regarding the microbial constituents of these products. Microbial communities are integral constituents of tobacco products, possibly originating from the tobacco plant itself and also acquired during the curing and manufacturing processes, where they may play an active role in the production of tobacco-specific N-nitrosamines. More importantly, these microbial constituents of tobacco may play a key role in the development of infectious and chronic diseases among users. Traditional culture-based methods of study have limitations, and through her research Ms. Padmanabhan intends to harness the power of next-generation sequencing technologies to fully characterize the bacterial communities in tobacco products. Additionally, Leena’s project is also aimed at identifying which bacterial groups, from the total bacterial communities identified using sequencing approaches, are metabolically active.