Published August 19, 2021

Professor Paul Vanouse Named Falling Walls 2021 Winner

"Labor," Photo: Douglas Levere.

"Labor," by Paul Vanouse, UB art professor and director of the Coalesce Center for Biological Art, uses bacteria to manufacture the smell of human exertion. Photo: Douglas Levere


“Labor,” a biological art project by UB faculty member Paul Vanouse that uses bacteria to recreate the smell of human sweat, was named one of 10 winners in the art and science category at the international science competition Falling Walls 2021.

The annual event, which coincides with the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, showcases the work of scientists from around the world. Scholars are recognized across 10 categories that range from the life sciences to science engagement for entries that explore the theme of breaking walls in science and society. 

Judges will whittle down the 10 art and science entries to one Science Breakthrough of the Year in Art and Science award. If selected, Vanouse will present his work to a global audience at the Falling Walls Conference on Nov. 9 in Berlin, Germany. 

“This was a major project for me and I’m glad that it continues to foster discussion,” says Vanouse, professor of art, College of Arts and Sciences, and director of the UB Coalesce: Center for Biological Art.

Collaborators on the project include Solon Morse, Coalesce lab manager, and Gerald Koudelka, scientific adviser and professor of biological sciences, College of Arts and Sciences. The work is supported by the Genome, Environment and Microbiome (GEM) Community of Excellence at UB.