CEE Seminar: Cracking an Old Problem with New Technology; the Case of Mold in the Built Environment
We spend more than 90% of our life in buildings, where microbial and chemical concentrations are typically higher than outdoors. A central and longstanding microbial problem in buildings is exposure to mold growing on damp building materials, yet prior epidemiology studies have not yielded causal relationships between mold taxa and the myriad negative health impacts known to occur in occupants of homes with visible mold growth or water damage. Over the last 5 years, our research group has leveraged the big data produced through genomic and transcriptomic studies on building fungal communities to draw new insights into the fungal ecological and physiological features that are related to human health. We have also built gene-based tools for the mold remediation industry to effectively inspect and clear damaged homes.