2017 Innovation Lab on Quantitative Approaches to Biomedical Data Science Challenges in our Understanding of the Microbiome

Quick post here sharing an interesting sounding event “2017 Innovation Lab on Quantitative Approaches to Biomedical Data Science Challenges in our Understanding of the Microbiome“.   From the website:


The BD2K Training Coordinating Center is organizing an Innovation Lab to foster new interdisciplinary collaborations among quantitative and biomedical researchers to address data science challenges in our understanding of the microbiome. The scope of microbiome, as defined here, broadly describes the corresponding high-dimensional big data derived from microbiota associated with a health or biomedical research objective. A more detailed description of the Lab can be found in the document Detailed information on 2017 Innovation Lab. Some exemplar areas of quantitative interest are suggested in the document Quantitative Topics of Expertise Needed and biomedical interest are suggested in the document Biomedical Topics of Expertise Needed.

The Innovation Lab process entails participation in an intensive five-day residential workshop in order to facilitate the development of new teams of early-career biomedical and quantitative investigators who generate multidisciplinary cooperative research programs through a real-time and iterative mentoring process. The concept of the Innovation Lab program is to organize intensive multidisciplinary interactions involving around 30 participants, with the aim of developing new and bold approaches to address grand challenge questions for topics that could benefit from a fresh or divergent perspective. Prior knowledge of research at this interface is not required; rather, applicants with either quantitative or biomedical expertise who demonstrate their willingness to engage in collaborative multidisciplinary research are sought. Teams are highly encouraged to develop proposals for submission to the funding agencies after the conclusion of the workshop. Professional facilitators and senior scientists (mentors) with relevant expertise and exposure to the topic area assist the participants. The scientific experts serve as mentors and act as impartial referees during the process. Working under the guidance of the mentors, participants will form teams during the workshop to develop interdisciplinary projects to solve a data science challenge arising from a biomedical research question involving the microbiome.

The lab will include opportunities for learning about NIH and NSF funding through interaction with program officers.

Application Procedure:

Applications accepted Starting February 1, 2017
11:59PM, Eastern Time, Sunday, March 12, 2017

Applications will be considered from researchers in quantitative disciplines (mathematics, statistics, computer science, engineering, as well as other data-intensive areas including but not limited to finance, physics, climate modeling, and astronomy) and biomedical disciplines (including but not limited to biological, behavioral, social, environmental, and clinical domains). Researchers coming from a broad diversity of quantitative and biomedical backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Researchers in the biomedical domain must demonstrate their experience working with microbiome big data (e.g. data from sources including but not limited to whole or metagenomics analyses, transcriptomics, metabolomics, or other big data approaches involving microbial communities from human and/or other environmental niches with a health or biomedical research implication). A committee will select approximately 30 applicants to take part in the Lab. Selected participants will have their travel and hotel expenses fully covered by BD2K TCC. Applicants must be willing to commit to stay for the entire Innovation Lab.

ISIAQ Healthy Buildings 2017 Asia

Of interest to many microBEnet readers.   From the website:

On behalf of the Organizing Committee, we cordially invite you to attend the Healthy Buildings 2017-Asia (HB2017-Asia), being held from September 2 to 5, 2017, at the College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University in Tainan, Taiwan. The HB2017-Asia inscribes itself on the path of a series of Conferences that, since 1988, have been organized around the world with a focus on the quality of the indoor environment viewed from a holistic perspective.



GSC19 (Brisbane, Australia) Registration is Open !!

We are happy to announce that registration for GSC19 is now open !!

Theme:  Extending Standards to Viruses and Microbial Eukaryotes
Date: May 15th-17th, 2017
Location: Stamford Plaza, Brisbane, Australia
Host: Philip Hugenholtz          
Australian Centre for Ecogenomics, University of Queensland
The agenda is packed with exciting sessions and topics:
  • Viral classification and genome standards
  • Microbial eukaryote classification and genome standards
  • Bioinformatic workflow standards (large scale, reproducible, cost-effective)
  • Microbiomes of Australia
  • Modes and tempo of evolution
  • Genome taxonomy
Check out specific session details and confirmed speakers on the GSC19 homepage.  Please direct GSC19 inquiries to the GSC contact page.
Meeting Organizers:Philip Hugenholtz, Caroline Moniz, Lynn Schriml, Folker Meyer and Pelin Yilmaz
We are looking forward to seeing you in Brisbane !!

EPA Webinar Series: Preparing for FY17 Tribal Housing Funding Opportunities

(Webinar series of possible interest, text below from e-mail)

U.S. EPA Indoor Environments Division and the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals present

Tribal Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) Healthy Homes Webinar Series, Fall 2016

Preparing for FY17 Tribal Housing Funding Opportunities

Learn about innovative green and sustainable building design and projects from tribal building experts.
Learn how to be effective in gaining support from your tribal council and tribal members.
Hear from key federal tribal housing grant program coordinators about how to prepare for upcoming fiscal year 2017 opportunities in federal tribal housing funding.

Primary audience:
Tribal healthy housing professionals,
public health and environmental professionals interested in healthy tribal housing.

Date: October 18, 2016
Time: 2:30 4:00 p.m. EDT

Please sign up to attend the webinar by clicking on the link below:


Scott Moore y Medina
Principal Architect and Community Builder
Blue Star Studio Inc.

Blue Star Studio is an Indigenous American-owned small business focusing on quality design and smart community building. It offers green architecture design, place-based solutions for community development, grant writing, fund sourcing, marketing support, graphic renderings and comprehensive master planning.

Elizabeth Jacobs
St. Regis Mohawk Tribe (NY) Akwesasne Housing Authority

Tedd Buelow and Lynn Trujillo
U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development
Low-Income Housing Repair Grant/Loan Program

Hilary Atkin
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Native American Programs
Indian Community Development Block Grant Program and other grant programs

Leon Litow
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families
Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program

For more detailed information, please contact
Mansel Nelson at mansel.nelson@nau.edu or Chris Griffin at griffin.chris@epa.gov.

Healthy Buildings 2017, Europe. Call for Abstracts due October 31st

Received this by e-mail, of potential interest to many at microBEnet:

Healthy Buildings 2017- Europe
July 2-5, 2017, Lublin, Poland


Call for Abstracts Deadline: October 31, 2016

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to invite you to Healthy Buildings 2017 – Europe — one of ISIAQ’s flagship conferences, which in 2017 will be held in Lublin, Poland, during 2-5 July.

Healthy Buildings Europe 2017 is the second European edition of our regional conference series. We are proud to bring it to Poland, organized and hosted by the Lublin University of Technology — a modern university located in the Eastern part of the European Union, in the Renaissance city of Lublin.

We hope you will join us and transform this event into a successful platform for researchers, engineers and industrial professionals to present your research results and develop activities in indoor air quality and climate. The technical program will focus on regional issues, multi-sectoral collaboration and practical aspects of research.

With this Call for abstracts, we solicit 300 word abstracts for contributions on all topics within the broad field of indoor air sciences. The potential topics below demonstrate the broadness of our discipline and are not exclusive:


Please visit our website for the full list of the topics.

We encourage you to contribute to these topics by indicating that your abstract fits the
topic during the submission process, but you can also select “others” on the submission system.

Your work is the beating heart of the conference and we are counting on everyone in the community to support the technical program by submitting an abstract and extended abstract or paper. The submission page is now open.

ISIAQ Student Conference Attendance Awards!
We are deeply committed to involve students in HB2017. To allow students to attend the conference, we will offer students whose short abstract will be accepted the possibility to apply for Students Awards covering registration fees and accommodation.

Important dates
The schedule of the submission process leading up to the conference is as follows:

–      abstract submission opens: August 15, 2016
–      abstract submission closes: October 31, 2016
–      abstract acceptance notification: December 2016
–      extended abstract / full paper submission opens: December 2016
–      extended abstract / full paper submission closes: February 2017
–      paper review notification: April 15, 2017

For further information, please visit the conference website at hb2017-europe.org

Register here to receive our newsletter.

All inquiries related to the conference can be sent to us through the contact form on the website or by email at hb2017@pollub.pl.

Follow us and spice up the conference with your suggestions.

Please forward this announcement to colleagues and peers.

Thank you, we are looking forward to welcoming you in Lublin!

The Organizing Committee of Healthy Buildings 2017 — Europe

MoBE symposium to be held during NCSE Conference in Washington, DC in Jan 2017

We are excited to announce that the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation will be sponsoring a symposium at the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) Conference and Global Forum in Washington, DC from Jan 24-26, 2017 (http://www.ncseconference.org/). The 2017 conference has the theme “Integrating Environment and Health” and typically brings together between 1,000-1,200 attendees from a diverse array of backgrounds including the academic community, scientific organizations, federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, state and local government agencies, international entities, and private businesses.

The symposium is titled “Microbiology of the Built Environment: Implications for Health and Design” and will engage the broader scientific and policy community in microbiology of the built environment research. The symposium will have chair Karen Dannemiller (Ohio State University) and co-chair Mark Weir (Ohio State University), and additional speakers will include Michael Morowitz (University of Pittsburgh), Amy Pruden (Virginia Tech), Jessica Green (University of Oregon), and Jade Mitchell (Michigan State University). Topics will include use of DNA sequencing for microbiology of the built environment research, premise plumbing systems, childhood asthma, hospital microbiomes and neonatal development, antibiotic resistance, risk modeling, and building design and mitigation.  More information, including links to registration and travel information, can be found on the NCSE website at http://www.ncseconference.org/.

The symposium itself will be held on Tuesday, January 24 from 3:30-5:00 pm.

EPA Webinar and Discussion: What Have We Learned about the Microbiomes of Indoor Environments?


Paula Olsiewski just pointed us to this upcoming webinar and discussion hosted by Brent Stephens.   This presumably relates closely to his article on the same topic which is a must-read.

What Have We Learned about the Microbiomes of Indoor Environments?

Presented by: Brent Stephens, PhD, Associate Professor of Architectural   Engineering,   Illinois Institute of Technology

Date and Time: Thursday, September 22, 2016, 11 a.m. – Noon (EDT)

Q&A Session:   Noon—12:30 p.m. EDT

Hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Within the built environments, in the air, water, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, and on surfaces, there exist a vast number and diversity of species of bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa. These microbial communities or “microbiomes” are influenced by interactions with humans, animals and plants. They are also affected by factors such as air flow, temperature, humidity, chemical exposures and building materials. These factors are in turn, shaped by the design, construction, operation and use of the built environments.

For a better understanding of microbiomes in the built environment and their impacts on human health, the US EPA along with NASA, NIH and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation tasked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) to convene a panel of experts to examine the formation and function of microbial communities in the built environment, their impact on human health, and how human occupants shape complex indoor microbes.

Dr. Brent Stephens, Associate Professor of Architectural Engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology, presented a well-received overview of the current state of the science on microbiomes and the built environment to NAS’s microbiome consensus study panel of experts. Dr. Stephens has agreed to reprise (with some modifications) his overview as part of this webinar.

Please register for Microbiomes in the Built Environment on Sep 22, 2016 11:00 AM EDT at:


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Workshop on Viruses to be Held in Singapore, January 2017

(posted on behalf of Jordan Peccia)

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Workshop on Viruses to be Held in Singapore, January 2017

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has approved a grant to host a two-day workshop in Singapore on the topic of infectious viral disease in the built environment. Objectives of the workshop include identifying the key research questions on viruses in buildings that will help trigger new, and focus existing research and; strengthening ties between Alfred P. Sloan Microbiology of the Built Environment (MoBE) grantees and East Asian building microbiome researchers. Holding the workshop in Singapore allows for harnessing the recognized building virology expertise in East Asian countries and helps build capacity in an area that has been understudied by the MoBE Program.

The workshop will be held during the second week of January, 2017 and will run for two days, including one planned joint session with SinBerBEST’s 2017 annual symposium on building technology (http://sinberbest.berkeley.edu/). For more information on this workshop, please contact the workshop organizer, Jordan Peccia, Yale University (Jordan.Peccia@Yale.edu).

Travel Grant for Microbiomes of the Built Environment: From Research to Application meeting

Travel Grant Opportunity – Attend Microbiomes of the Built Environment: From Research to Application

October 17-18, 2016 in Irvine, California

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are conducting a study on the formation and function of microbial communities in built environments and implications of this knowledge for building design and operations to impact sustainability and human health. Read more about this study here:  http://nas-sites.org/builtmicrobiome

The committee conducting this study is meeting at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center at the University of California, Irvine on October 17-18, 2016. This meeting will feature discussions on viral and fungal communities and ecology; potential tradeoffs and interventions in altering the microbiomes of the built environment; case studies of indoor microbiomes and how they are similar and different to one another; and tools to study indoor microbiomes, as well as how these techniques can be improved in the future.

The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has generously provided funding for up to 20 travel grants of $900 each for young researchers, faculty members, and professionals in microbial ecology, microbiology, health, environmental engineering, building science and associated fields to participate in the meeting and benefit from the content presented and networking opportunities available.

Anyone interested in the intersection of microbiomes of the built environment, building science, and human health is invited to apply for a travel grant – including but not limited to academics, engineers, architects, contractors, doctors, nurses, and public health professionals. The Academies are especially interested in providing travel grants to professionals at the beginning of their career and from underrepresented ethnic and racial minorities. All applications will be considered, but higher priority will be given to individuals who fall into categories above.

Please complete the application below before September 9, 2016. Academies staff, in concert with the Microbiomes of the Built Environment committee, will review all applications and final decisions for funding will be made by September 16.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email builtmicrobiome@nas.edu and a member of The Academies’ staff will get back to you as soon as possible.

Link to application:  http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3007947/bdc8383f118c

Wish I were going: ISME-International Society for Microbial Ecology – Aug 21-26 #ISME16

Sadly I am not able to go to this this year but it looks really good.  21-26 August 2016 | ISME-International Society for Microbial Ecology. Lots of great sessions and speakers.  Follow along via Twitter hashtag #ISME16.