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Ongoing funded projects


Humidity and Microbial growth in ISS Dust  (HUMID)

Sponsor: NASA

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This project will utilize vacuumed dust to be returned from the ISS from collection in an existing project, “Divert Unwanted Space Trash (DUST).” The goal of this project is to characterize microbial communities and function that may occur on the ISS if areas were to experience high relative humidity and condensation.

  • Aim 1: Characterize microbial growth in ISS dust under different relative humidity conditions in a laboratory chamber study.
  • Aim 2: Identify potential microbial function that can occur in dust onboard the ISS.

Our results will go beyond microbial measurement to predict moisture-related changes to the indoor microbiome and astronaut exposure.

Urban fungal exposure, sensitization and asthma among a low-income population

Sponsor: HUD, through Columbia University

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The goals of this study are to link fungal exposure early in life to the development of allergic sensitization and asthma and to characterize domestic fungal communities and related environmental and behavioral determinants, specifically among children living in lower-income neighborhoods, where asthma is more prevalent and combustion byproduct exposure is higher.

CHEMM: Chemistry of homes – environmental microbes and moisture

Sponsor: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, through the University of Califonia, Berkeley

The goal of this project is to expand our understanding of the roles that microorganisms play in shaping the chemistry of the indoor environment.

Application of the time-of-wetness concept to microbial growth in carpet

Sponsor: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

The goal of this project is to establish methods and feasibility for determining how diurnal daily) variation in relative humidity affects microbial communities and growth in carpet.

Evaluation of fungal growth in household products

Sponsor: The Ohio State University Institute for Materials Research

The goal of this work is study fungal growth in the home environment through microscopy.


 Completed funded projects


Smartphone App for Residential Testing of Formaldehyde (SmART-Form)

Sponsor: NSF


The goal was to develop and launch an accessible, inexpensive and reliable formaldehyde detection technique for use by citizen scientists and concerned citizens.

Microbial Activity in House Dust and Interactions with Phthalate Esters (PEs)

Sponsor: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

The goal was to evaluate microbial activity and function in house dust.

NCSE 2017 conference and global forum symposium proposal

Sponsor: Alfred P. Sloan Foundation

The goal was to run a symposium titled “Microbiology of the Built Environment: Implications for Health and Design” at NSCE 2017.

Sleep Loss and Environmental Exposures in Asthma Patients (SLEEAP)

Sponsor: The Ohio State University Discovery Themes Sustainable and Resilient Economy

We spend nearly one third of our lives in our bedrooms where we are exposed to a complex mixture of chemicals and microbes that may influence our health. The goal of this study was to determine associations between indoor exposures to microbes and traffic pollutants in the bedroom and asthma control, focusing on sleep disruption.