This week on IAQradio+ we welcome Karen Dannemiller, PhD, Assistant Professor at The Ohio State University. Dr. Dannemiller's interdisciplinary research integrates engineering with microbiology and addresses emerging health challenges and environmental concerns using -omics approaches. Within the indoor environment, we are simultaneously exposed to thousands of chemicals and microorganisms which compose our indoor exposures, and these exposures are different from those of our ancestors. Broadly, the goal of Dr. Dannemiller's work is to understand these exposures, their sources, and their impact on human health. Her unique background combines training in both engineering and public health to tackle difficult questions, particularly with regards to exposures in the built environment where we spend 90% of our time.
Dr. Dannemiller graduated with honors in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering from Brown University and earned her PhD at Yale University in Chemical and Environmental Engineering. During this time she completed an internship at the California Department of Public Health in the Indoor Air Quality Program. She also completed a Microbiology of the Built Environment postdoctoral fellowship. Her work improved our understanding of human exposures linked to childhood asthma development and severity. Her research also elucidated resident microbial populations and fundamental transport processes occurring in homes. Dr. Dannemiller is currently an Assistant Professor at Ohio State University and her current research is on microbial activity in house dust and health outcomes associated with early-life exposures to fungi. She is also working on the development of new system to detect formaldehyde indoors by coupling colorimetric badges with a Smartphone app.
In addition to a fundamental background in engineering and quantitative sciences, her skill set in microbiology includes phylogenetics, metagenomics, proteomics, and transcriptomics and allows for exploration of microbial communities and biological processes. Dr. Dannemiller has extensive experience with next-generation DNA sequencing of fungi and bacteria, and using this data she has also addressed relevant challenges in bioinformatics, including software development, and in statistics, to demonstrate complex associations with human health outcomes.