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Engineering Professor Studies Wastewater Treatment
For years, scientists have been aware of the potential problems of antibiotics being present in wastewater, and the research of Dr. Olya Keen is now showing that treatments to clean wastewater may actually be creating new antibiotics and further contributing to the development of antibiotic resistance in the environment.
An assistant professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Dr. Keen began her current research into the behavior of antibiotics in wastewater in the summer of 2014. She recently presented her initial findings at a conference of the American Chemical Society held in Denver, Colorado.
"This research is a small piece of a larger question," Dr. Keen said. "There are varieties of antibiotics found in wastewater, and at this point we are just testing one. It is in a class of antibiotics that all have similar compositions, so we anticipate that other antibiotics in this class may respond the same way."