The Hospital Microbiome Project has established collaborations with multiple organizations focusing on the common goal of understanding the microbiology of the built environment.
The Microbiology of the Built Environment Network, or MicroBE.net, is a centralized location for the sharing of information related to indoor microbiology research. By facilitating interaction among Sloan Foundation grantees through conferences, programs, and social media, MicroBE.net enables development and growth of collaborative efforts in this field of research.
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is committed to advancing the field of indoor microbiology by funding novel investigations of microbial ecology in built environments such as homes, offices, retail stores, and healthcare facilities. Despite the fact that humans spend approximately 90% of their time indoors, few studies examined the microbes that shared these spaces with us. With the investment from the Sloan Foundation we continue to acquire a much better understanding of the microbiomes we most interact with.
Sample collection and analysis will be conducted at Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago. Both of these Chicago-area institutions have contributed significant advances to the fields of microbiology and medicine, often through collaborative efforts. Through this collaboration, the Hospital Microbiome Project is able to draw upon the expertise of microbiologists, statisticians, architects, and medical professionals to provide an integrated interpretation of this study’s results.
The Earth Microbiome Project (EMP) is a collection of microbial sequencing endeavors from around the world, and additional includes data derived from host-associated microbiomes such as those found on the skin and in the gut of mammals and insects. The EMP sets forth a standard protocols for the collection, processing, and analysis of samples in order to increase the degree to which comparisons can be made between studies. As a participant in the EMP, the Hospital Microbiome Project will follow these standards and add the results of this study to the rapidly growing collection of microbiomes available through the EMP website.
The Biology and the Built Environment (BioBE) center at the University of Oregon focuses on developing hypothesis-driven, evidence-based approaches to understand the “built environment microbiome” as a means to optimize the design and operation of buildings to promote both human health and environmental sustainability. A distinctive feature of the BioBE program is an emphasis on training undergraduate and graduate students in this emerging field of research.