University of Colorado, Boulder

To conduct a longitudinal analysis of the microbiomes of dormitories and their inhabitants at the US Air Force Academy (USAFA)

  • Amount $516,490
  • City Boulder, CO
  • Investigator Christopher Lowry
  • Year 2016
  • Program Research
  • Sub-program Microbiology of the Built Environment

This grant provides partial support for a longitudinal study of the microbiomes of dormitories and their inhabitants at the U.S. Air Force Academy (USAFA). Over the course of nine weeks, a University of Colorado research team led by principal investigator Christopher Lowry and Lt. Col. Andrew Hoisington will sample indoor and outdoor surfaces at USAFA dormitories, characterize environmental conditions, and take skin and stool samples from a cohort of 48 U.S. Air Force cadets. Samples will then be analyzed to determine the degree to which the dorm room locations of cadets and their interactions with each other influence the microbial profiles of the cadets and their dorm rooms. The uniformity of the dorm room construction and the unique standardization in diet, lifestyle, and age among cadets makes them a particularly attractive target for study that will maximize researchers’ ability to detect confounding factors that impact host-derived microbial colonization of the dormitories. The team plans to share its findings through conference presentations, open access peer-reviewed publications, social media, and websites. The team also plans a symposium to share findings and discuss how current and future research directions in human and built environment microbiomes might advance the aims of the Department of Defense.

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