UO center at intersection of biology, architecture receives new support

The Biology and the Built Environment Center at the UO was recently awarded a two-year, $1.3 million grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to investigate the relationship between architectural design and the indoor microbiome — the collection of bacteria, fungi and viruses found inside of buildings.

“The University of Oregon’s BioBE center has become the nation’s leading multidisciplinary research institution in the emerging science of indoor microbial ecology,” said Paula J. Olsiewski, director of the Sloan Foundation’s program on the Microbiology of the Built Environment.  “We are proud to be able to support their pioneering work.”

The new grant will support BioBE’s next phase of research. UO researchers will be investigating the role of cleaning chemicals in promoting antibiotic resistance indoors.

“Although humans in the developed world spend 90 percent of their lives in enclosed buildings, we know very little about the biology of the built environment,” said Jessica Green, director of the BioBE Center. “Our next phase of research will look into the implications of antibiotic resistance, which impacts hospitals, clinics, schools and, of course, our own homes.”

For more about the grant and UO’s BioBE center, see “Sloan Foundation renews support for UO center examining biology, architecture” on the Office for Research and Innovation website.