Tagged: workshop

Design Champs

Last week, the staff of the Biology and the Built Environment Center presented cutting-edge science from the Center and beyond to a group of interested practitioners. The Design Champs webinar series is intended to communicate new scientific advances in the field of indoor microbial ecology research to architects, engineers, and other interested parties. For this second seminar in the series, we had representatives in attendance from:

  • ZGF Architects
  • HOK
  • Thornton Tomasetti
  • SRG Partnership
  • Hacker Architects

The group was lively, and participated in a active discussion of some of the science we’ve been doing at the BioBE Center lately. In particular, we briefed them on some thoughts on hygiene that we’ve been having lately, and then discussed how that might impact the way we think about design; next, we discussed the human microbial cloud, tying the idea into the discussion of hygiene and design; this led smoothly to a discussion of some of our most recent work, focusing on the transmission of microbes to the human skin microbiome. After discussing how hygiene serves as a conceptual frame for understanding both of those studies, we went on to talk about antimicrobial compounds in built environments, and how that relates to the spread of antibiotic resistance genes.

The webinar finished with a preview of related new work — a much larger study on antibiotic resistance genes in indoor microbiota, conducted across dozen of gyms in the Pacific Northwest, and including the synergistic use of next-generation sequencing for metabarcoding and metagenomics, and targeted LC-MS/MS and intensive antibiotic-resistance culture assays in association with colleagues at Northwestern in Chicago.

OSU & The Corvallis Art Center: “Microbiomes: To See the Unseen”

Klari Reis petri dish art (https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwjspNmOlefOAhUY52MKHWJGCgkQjRwIBw&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pinterest.com%2Fpin%2F574771971167874557%2F&bvm=bv.131286987,d.cGc&psig=AFQjCNFaZz7_KZ2NSeBdt7Nb1ihd2rQT6w&ust=1472578615934970)
Klari Reis petri dish art

Graduate student Ashley Bateman recently contributed to the workshop portion of the The Microbiome Art Project, a collaboration between OSU and the Corvallis Arts Center. Artist workshops like the one she attended, bring graduate researchers and artists together to communicate & discuss current microbiome research while inspiring fantastic microbiome art! The art exhibition, “Microbiomes: To See the Unseen“, is scheduled for April 13-May 27, 2017 and will include visual artists, musicians, and poets.

Recent activities at the BioBE Center

April was a busy month at the BioBE Center! Read more about our recent activities below:

BioBE Center Director Jessica Green presented “Building Wellness: Creating Healthier Homes, Hospitals, and Offices with Microbiology” at the Heinz Distinguished Lecture Series hosted by the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering (April 5). She also presented at the Genomes Environments Traits (GET) Conference hosted at Harvard Medical School in Boston (April 25-27), contributing to Session II: Microbiomes, Health and the Built Environment along with Rob Knight (UCSD), Erika von Mutius (University of Munich) and Jack Gilbert (University of Chicago).

Senior Research Associate Jeff Kline presented “The Impact of Weatherization on Microbial Ecology and Human Health” with Scot Davidson of Enhabit at the 2016 ACI National Home Performance Conference & Trade Show in Austin, Texas (April 5). The following week, Kline and ORI research scientist Deb Johnson-Shelton presented a poster at the AIA Design and Health Research Consortium 2016 Convening held in Alexandria, Virginia (April 12-13). This project is a collaboration between the BioBE Center, Oregon Research Institute and Enhabit, and is funded by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

ESBL Director Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg and PhD student Gwynne Mhuireach presented “The impacts of design on energy and health in the built environment”  to 50 7th-grade students at Ohara Elementary School in Eugene (April 12). The event included a 60-minute workshop with presentations and hands-on exercises.

Postdoc Roxana Hickey attended the Sloan Microbiology of the Built Environment Data Analysis Workshop in San Diego (April 3-5). The workshop was led by researchers from University of California San Diego and the Marine Biological Laboratory and featured training in QIIME, QIITA and VAMPS for analysis and visualization of built environment data. Hickey also attended the Northwest Biology Instructors Organization (NWBIO) Conference hosted by the University of Oregon and Lane Community College in Eugene (April 15-17).

Postdoc Erica Hartmann attended OA Strategic Leadership Conference at the University of Oregon (April 18). This one-day event featured sessions and networking opportunities designed to enhance professional development in the areas of management and strategic leadership.

Hartmann and Hickey attended the Sloan Early Career Workshop in Chicago (April 26-29). The workshop was hosted by researchers at the University of Chicago and featured a series of seminars by leading experts in microbial ecology, building science and architecture, followed by a team grant proposal writing activity. Check out tweets from the event under hashtag #mobeECW16.

The Green lab and BioBE Center hosted visiting graduate student Anders Nygaard from Oslo and Akershus University College in Norway. Anders met with Center members to learn about facilitating research between biologists, architects and engineers.

BioBE hosts Microbiome Science Youth Outreach event

The BioBE Center hosted its inaugural Microbiome Science Youth Outreach workshop this past Saturday, March 12. The event featured hands-on activities covering microbiology, bioinformatics and architecture led by volunteers from the Green lab and Energy Studies in Buildings Laboratory. It was attended by 21 middle-school and high-school students and mentors from the Youth Mentoring Program of the Centro Latino Americano (CLA). CLA is a multicultural nonprofit organization in Eugene dedicated to the empowerment of the local Latino community. The Youth Mentoring Program offers one on one mentoring relationships, group mentoring, and facilitates educational and enriching activities for students in Lane County.

Photo Mar 13, 8 46 24 AM

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Skin Microbiome Workshop in Boulder, CO

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!

QIIME/VAMPS Workshop Wraps Up at CU-Boulder

Built environment researchers from all over the country got together last week to improve the functionality of two of the most commonly-used bioinformatics pipelines, QIIME and VAMPS, and to facilitate data sharing. Rob Knight and Mitch Sogin were on hand to discuss current capabilities of the software packages, and Greg Caporaso wrapped up the meeting with an excellent tutorial for using QIIME on the Amazon Cloud. Researchers from the major built environment labs each presented current bioinformatics approaches and challenges, including James Meadow (BioBE Center), who discussed our most recent findings from the Lillis Business Complex Project. MicroBEnet has aggregated presentation slides and videos on their blog.