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Nov 20 2020

11/20 – Jack Gilbert, UC San Diego School of Medicine

November 20, 2020

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


Chicago, IL

Watch this webinar live with Zoom>>

Title: The Microbiome of the Built Environment: A new way of looking at an old problem

Abstract: The microbiology, including bacteria and fungi, of our built environment can have significant influences on our health in myriad ways, from disease burden to health promotion. However, we are only just starting to characterize many of these mechanisms. Through detailed investigation of the bacteria and fungi that inhabit our homes, hospitals, offices and the environment around us, we have built up a global map that can be used to discover novel ways of manipulating these microbial communities to promote human health and reduce disease. We have quantified the degree of impact and speed of contamination of the human microbiome in our indoor environments, the influence of pet microbes on our homes and health, and the point sources of the microbiota found in our air and water that can exacerbate diseases such as asthma and cancer. These analyses are manifold, and comprehensively integrated with building and urban science to appropriately capture the physical, chemical and biological variables that influence the colonization, succession and function of the urban microbiome. We are also exploring the forensic potential of these data, which are suggestive of unique signatures from individuals and specific environmental, animal, industrial, and commercial point sources. It is possible that these forensic signatures can be used to track microbial contamination in urban environments, or even as trace evidence for criminal activity. Through new sensors and sophisticated molecular detection tools we have designed novel interventions to reduce antibiotic resistance and virulence of bacteria that survive in our buildings. These interventions could revolutionize how buildings are designed, built and maintained.


Date posted

Sep 1, 2020

Date updated

Nov 13, 2020