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Rodney Dietert, PhD

Dr. Rodney Deitert

Department of Microbiology and Immunology

Professor Emeritus of Immunotoxicology 

Department of Microbiology and Immunology
Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
C5 135 VMC
Ithaca, NY 14853

Office: 607.253.3400

Research Interest

My research and public health interests concern risk reduction for noncommunicable diseases (also known as chronic diseases).  The initiatives include:  1) microbiome-based strategies for self-completion of the infant and microbiome management for improved later-life health, 2) determination of immunological risk in early life from environmental chemicals, foods, and drugs, 3) identification and prevention of co-morbid, noncommunicable diseases, and 4) integrated approaches to reduce the risk of noncommunicable diseases.


PhD (University of Texas - Austin)

Biography/Professional Experience

Rodney R. Dietert, B.S. (Duke, 1974), Ph.D. (University of Texas at Austin, 1977), is Professor Emeritus of Immunotoxicology in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY USA. Professor Dietert was a Senior Fellow in Cornell’s Center for the Environment who directed the Graduate Field of Immunology, the Institute for Comparative and Environmental Toxicology, and the Program on Breast Cancer and Environmental Risk Factors. His extensive publications (>300 publications in 70 different scientific journals) concern the developing immune system, the microbiome, communicable and non-communicable diseases, safety testing, and public health. He introduced the microbiome to Cornell’s basic science DVM curriculum and was designated a “Microbiome Hero” by the inaugural World Microbiome Day Committee. Dietert is a member of the Society of Toxicology (Past-President of the Immunotoxicology Specialty Section) and the Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention 2014 Best Paper of the Year award for his microbiome paper. Rodney is also a leader in the Microbiome First Initiative for Sustainable Healthcare: Microbiome First Summit - Pathway To Sustainable Healthcare

Additional Relevant Links:

Personal website:

Video of an invited lecture at the National Academy of Sciences 2019:


Goggle Scholar - Complete Listing

Selected publications

Dietert, R.R. and Dietert J.M. Using Microbiome-Based Approaches to Deprogram Chronic Disorders and Extend the Healthspan following Adverse Childhood Experiences. Microorganisms 2022, 10(2), 229.

Dietert, R.R. Microbiome First Medicine in Health and Safety. Biomedicines 20219, 1099.

Dietert, R.R. Microbiome First Approaches to Rescue Public Health and Reduce Human Suffering. Biomedicines 20219, 1581.

Dietert, R.R. and Dietert, J.M.. Microbiome First Approaches in Pain Prevention and Management. Am J Biomed Sci & Res. 2021 - 14(2). AJBSR.MS.ID.001976.

Dietert, R.R.; Coleman, M.E.; North, D.W.; Stephenson, M.M. Nourishing the Human Holobiont to Reduce the Risk of Non-Communicable Diseases: A Cow’s Milk Evidence Map Example. Appl. Microbiol. 20222, 25-52.

Dietert, R.R. The Microbiological Basis of Human Superorganism Freedom. Am J Biomed Sci & Res. 2021 - 13(6).AJBSR.MS.ID.001933.

Coleman, M.E.; North, D.W.; Dietert, R.R.; Stephenson, M.M. Examining Evidence of Benefits and Risks for Pasteurizing Donor Breastmilk. Appl. Microbiol. 20211, 408-425.

Coleman, M.E.; Dietert, R.R.; North, D.W.; Stephenson, M.M. Enhancing Human Superorganism Ecosystem Resilience by Holistically ‘Managing Our Microbes’. Appl. Microbiol. 20211, 471-497.

Dietert, R.R. and Dietert, J.M. Twentieth Century Dogmas Prevent Sustainable Healthcare. Am. J. Biomed Sci & Res 2021 - 13(4). AJBSR.MS.ID.001890.

Dietert, R.R. Lessons For Human Holobiont Medicine in The Era of SARS-Cov-2. Am J Biomed Sci & Res. 2021 - 13(2). AJBSR.MS.ID.001849.

Sutherland VL, McQueen CA, Mendrick D, Gulezian D, Cerniglia C, Foley S, Forry S, Khare S, Liang X, Manautou JE, Tweedie D, Young H, Alekseyenko AV, Burns F, Dietert R, Wilson A, Chen C. The gut microbiome and xenobiotics: identifying knowledge gaps. Toxicol Sci 176(1):1-10. 2020.  doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfaa060

Dietert, R.R. A focus on microbiome completeness and optimized colonization resistance in neonatology.  NeoReviews 19(2): e78.  2018.

Mendrick, D.L., Dieh,l A.M., Topor, L.S., Dietert, R.R., Will, Y., La Merrill, M.A., Bouret, S., Varma, V., Hastings, K.L., Schug, T.T., Emeigh Hart, S.G., Burleson. F,G. Metabolic syndrome and associated diseases: from the bench to the clinic. Toxicol Sci. 162(1):36-42. 2018.

Dietert R.R. Editorial: Safety and risk assessment for the human superorganism. Human and Environmental Risk Assessment 23(8): 1819-1829. 2017.

Dietert, R.  The Human Superorganism. (Dutton Penguin/Random House), NY,  2016.

Awards and Honors

James G. Wilson Award. Society for Birth Defects Research and Prevention 2014 Best Paper of the Year Award for his microbiome paper.

World Microbiome Day Committee: Awarded the designation “Microbiome Hero” for the First World Microbiome Day.

Professional/Academic Affiliations

Dr. Dietert is a member of the following Graduate Fields: