CURRENT RESEARCH PROJECTS INCLUDE:

The influence of antibiotic use on intestinal microflora in infants -- This project is funded by CIHR to determine the impact of use of antibiotics in early life antibiotic on the acquisition of gut flora by comparative metagenomics and high throughput sequencing.  Quantitative populations of keystone species will be evaluated by qPCR.

The Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study is a 5,000 subject birth cohort to investigate the environmental determinants of allergic disease. Funded by CIHR and AllerGen NCE, this study will follow children from birth to age 6 in 4 regional centres across Canada.  Our laboratory is the national centre for processing and storage of house dust samples.

Biophysical properties of influenza virus bioaerosol -- This project is funded by the WSIB to conduct size-selective air sampling in proximity to actively infected in patient in hospitals and long-term care homes in the Greater Toronto Area.  Influenza virus is detected in size-resolved fractions by qRT-PCR.

Molecular genetic characterization of microbes in outdoor and indoor air and dust -- This project is funded by AllerGen NCE and CIHR to examine the biological constituents of fine and course particulate matter (PM) in outdoor air, and indoor fine settled dust using high-throughput next generation DNA sequencing.

Biological contaminants in metalworking fluids -- This project is funded by WSIB to examine the biological diversity associated with machining coolants using standard culture methods, dip slide assays, biochemical analysis, high-throughput next generation DNA sequencing and air sampling.

Role of volatile organic compounds in fungal colonization biology -- This project examines the influence of exposure to common microbial VOCs such as ethanol on the germination and growth of microfungi.  To this end, we have studied extensively members of the genus Baudoinia, commonly associated with ethanol emissions from industrial processes such as the spirit aging and baking.