In mid-October members of the BioBE center, co-director Brendan Bohannan and Biology graduate student Ashley Bateman, attended the Skin Microbiome Workshop in Boulder, CO. The 2-day meeting was facilitated by Rob Knight from UC-Boulder and Wally Buchholz from the Army’s Life Sciences Division, and was intended to provide a forum for diverse members of the Skin Microbiota community (including physicians, biological scientists, and biophysicists) to meet and form potential collaborative partnerships while formulating both observational and hypothesis-driven approaches and questions to address the most pressing questions in the field.
Many of the questions that came out of the workshop have been and continue to be fundamental to the BioBE’s mission: what is the relationship between the environment (including the built environment) and an individual’s microbiome? Is an individual’s microbiome consistently unique, and do we leave a fingerprint of our uniqueness on the built environment? What kinds of implications might this have for future forensic approaches? It was a beneficial and productive workshop, and we at the BioBE center look forward to continuing our work that will address these important questions! Thanks to Rob Knight and Wally Buchholz for facilitating a wonderful workshop!