The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are conducting a consensus study that will examine the formation and function of microbial communities in built environments, the impacts of such microbial communities on human health, and how human occupants shape complex indoor microbiomes. This study is intended to provide an independent, objective examination of the current state of science regarding built environment microbiomes and their impacts on human health, and then attempt to bridge gaps in moving this research to an application stage, in which building materials and architecture will be designed with microbiomes in mind. The study is being conducted by a committee of experts and the consensus report is expected to be released in 2017.
The study’s first public meeting will be held on April 11, 2016 in Washington, DC. You may view the webcast of the public sessions, to be held from 10:30am – 5:00pm EDT by clicking here.
This study is sponsored by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Monday, April 11
10:30am Welcome Public Observers and Study Sponsors
Committee Member Introductions
What are microbiomes of built environments and why is the study topic a
compelling one to address? Joan Bennett, Committee Chair
10:45 Discussion of Statement of Task with Study Sponsors Sponsoring organizations will provide perspectives on the context for the study, how the study
relates to their missions, and what they see as key needs and challenges for understanding
microbiomes in built environments. Invited speakers will each provide 10 minutes of opening remarks.
Paula Olsiewski, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
Tina Bahadori and Laura Kolb, Environmental Protection Agency
David Tomko, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Lisa Chadwick, NIEHS, National Institutes of Health (remotely)
Committee Discussion with Sponsors
1:30 Setting the Stage for the Study Presentations will highlight developments and challenges in several background areas.
Invited speakers will each give 15 minute presentations.
1:40 Built environment microbiome interfaces: Why is improving our understanding of
these interactions an exciting topic and perspective on the eld? Gary Andersen, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and University of California, Berkeley
2:00 Understanding and modeling building systems: What’s known and how might these
parameters impact indoor microbiomes?
Jelena Srebric, University of Maryland
2:20 Example of built environment microbiome studies and their potential human health
Benjamin Kirkup, Naval Research Laboratory
2:40 Understanding microbes in water systems Amy Pruden, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
3:00 Committee Discussion with Speakers
Light snack will be provided
3:50 Further Discussion: Major Issues Relevant to the Study Opportunity for committee members, sponsors, speakers, and meeting participants to further
discuss points raised during the presentations and to identify additional topical areas, gaps, or
needs that may be relevant to the study’s statement of task.
4:30 Public Comment Period Opportunity for meeting participants to share additional information or ideas they would like
the committee to consider.
5:00 Meeting Adjourns