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Speakers announced for Developing antibiotic alternatives: A discussion of new approaches to overcoming antimicrobial resistance



These are the biographies of some of our accepted speakers and chairs.  Not all our speakers are listed here

Mubashir Arain, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Mubashir Aslam Arain is a Senior Research and Evaluation Consultant with Alberta Health Services. Mubashir’s research focuses on health services evaluation and primary health care. His areas of expertise are in quantitative research as well as mixed methods. He holds a PhD in Health Services Research from the University of Sheffield, United Kingdom.

Silvia Buroni, University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy

Silvia Buroni achieved a PhD in Genetics and Biomolecular Sciences at the University of Pavia in 2007. Since then she has been a PostDoc at the Laboratory of Molecular Microbiology headed by Prof. Giovanna Riccardi. Her research topics include the characterization of the role of efflux transporters in intrinsic resistance in Burkholderia cenocepacia and the identification of new drugs against B. cenocepacia and M. tuberculosis and of their mechanisms of action.

Since 2015 she holds the Experimental biology laboratory course for Biotechnology degree.

She is co-author of 26 international peer-reviewed publications, four book chapters and 43 international abstracts.

Yves Briers, Laboratory of Applied Biotechnology, Ghent University – Campus Schoonmeersen, Gent, Belgium

Yves Briers completed his Ph.D. in Bioscience Engineering at the University of Leuven (2008). As a protein engineer, he developed Artilysin®s, novel enzyme-based antibiotics. Artilysins are currently commercialized by Lysando AG. As a postdoctoral researcher he stayed at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich – Switzerland) (2009-2011), for which he was granted a long-term fellowship from the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). In 2012, he returned as a postdoc to the University of Leuven. Since May 1, 2015 he is appointed as assistant professor at Ghent University at the Deparment of Applied Biosciences

Tom Defoirdt, Ghent University, Gent, Belgium

During the past 15 years, dr. Defoirdt performed pioneering research on the impact of quorum sensing and quorum sensing inhibition to control bacterial disease in aquaculture. This research has resulted in the publication of more than 50 papers in top journals in aquaculture, and also in the fields of microbiology, biotechnology and multidisciplinary sciences. Authoritative reviews in the field currently cite his work as one of the success stories showing the potential of quorum sensing inhibition to control bacterial disease.

Elizabeth Martin Kutter, Lab I, The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA, United States

Dr. Kutter has a 1968 PhD in Biophysics from the University of Rochester, NY,, focusing on the transition from host to viral metabolism after infection of E. coli by bacteriophage T4, and has headed a Lab of Phage Biology at the Evergreen State College ever since she started teaching there in 1972.

Conrad Lichtenstein, Nemesis Bioscience Ltd, United Kingdom

Conrad co-founded Nemesis Bioscience in March 2014 after eight years as CSO for Population Genetics Technologies developing methods to enable the rapid, low-cost, simultaneous analysis of candidate genes in multiple genomes and the identification of rare variants in mixed DNA samples from human, plant and microbial sources.

Following a PhD in Molecular Biology at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, he held a post-doctoral position at the University of Washington, Seattle. After this, he took a faculty position at Imperial College London, followed by an appointment as Professor of Molecular Biology at Queen Mary, University of London.

Jim O’Mahony, Department of Biological Sciences, Cork Institute of Technology, Cork, Ireland

Dr Jim O’Mahony is a Senior Lecturer and Principal Investigator at BIOEXPLORE based in Cork Institute of Technology, Ireland. His main focus is based on improving the way in which we detect and treat infectious disease. A signifcant part of his research relates to the use of bacteriophages as viable alternatives to antibiotics in terms of treating disease. Much success has been demonstrated against well known pathogens including MRSA and mycobacteria

Magdalena Plotka, University of Gdansk, Department of Microbiology, Gdansk, Poland

Magdalena Plotka has a PhD from Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology, UG&MUG, Gdansk, Poland. She is an experienced molecular microbiologist. For three years, she was a postdoctoral research assistant at the University of Oxford, Great Britain. Dr Plotka is currently a Senior Research Associate at the Department of Microbiology, University of Gdansk. Currently, she is involved in the Virus-X project “Viral Metagenomics for Innovation Value” founded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme. The Virus-X project aims to discover genes in viruses in seawater and hot springs, which can be used for biotechnological innovation.

Clive Smith, Sphere Fluidics Limited, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Clive Smith read Chemistry at University College Cardiff (B.Sc., 2.1, Honours, 1980) and completed a synthetic chemistry Ph.D. there under Dr Garry Procter (1980-3). He completed two post-doctoral fellowships, first at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (1983-5) and then at the Middlesex Hospital Medical School (1985-88). Moving into industry he worked at Cruachem Limited, Glasgow as their senior research chemist (1988-91) and then moved to GlaxoSmithKline as a synthetic organic chemist (1991-2009). A third post-doctoral fellowship was completed in the Microdroplet group at Cambridge University (2009-2012) and is currently a principal scientist working on picodroplet ESI-MS at Sphere Fluidics Limited.

Iryna Sorokulova, Auburn University, Auburn, United

Professor of Microbiology, Auburn University, Auburn, AL, USA. She received her MS degree in Microbiology from the National University of Kyiv (Ukraine) and  Ph.D. and D.Sc. Degrees in Microbiology from the Institute of Microbiology and Virology, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. Dr. Sorokulova is the author of more than 90 refereed scientific publications, 4 books, and 23 patents. She served as a Vice-president of the National Control Authority for Biological Products of Ukraine. She has receives a solid background in regulation of biological products during the training courses in Bureau of Biologics (Canada) and Massachusetts Biologic Laboratories (USA). She is a recipient of the Ukraine State Prize in Science and Technology.

Menachem Shoham, Case Western Reserve University, U.S.A.

Menachem Shoham received his Ph.D. from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, did postdoctoral studies with Tom Steitz at Yale, spent several years as junior and senior scientist at the Weizmann Institute. In 1988 he spent a sabbatical year at the Dupont Company in Wilmington, DE.

Since 1989 he is a faculty member in the Biochemistry Department at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

Research in his laboratory is focused on drug discovery against bacterial infections, in particular quorum-sensing inhibitors.

Makrina Totsika, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia

Dr Makrina Totsika is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia. Her group investigates common infections caused by multidrug resistant bacteria and evaluates novel antimicrobials against them. She has authored 57 scientific papers and reviews and was awarded a Discovery Early Career Reseracher Award from the Australian Research Council in 2013. She currently holds grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council and a QUT Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fellowship. Dr Totsika is orginally from Greece and received her BSc(Hons), MSc and PhD from the University of Edinburgh, UK.

Maria Grazia Cusimano, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy

Maria Grazia Cusimano graduated with a degree in Biological Science with 110/110 cum laudae in AA 2000/2001. She got her Ph.D. in Cell Biology in 2006 at the University of Palermo.From 2006 to 2010 she collaborated with Prof. Pujol in the serch for new compounds with antitumolal and antiinflammatory activity. Since 2006 she collaborates in research projects that are interested in the biological evaluation of sinthetic and natural compounds as antimicrobial and antibiofilm agents. She is the authors of 28 scientific papers published in peer reviewed International journals.

Deborah Hung, Harvard Medical School, Boston, United States

Dr. Deborah Hung is an associate professor in the Department of Molecular Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital and in the Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology at Harvard Medical School, and the director of the Infectious Disease Program at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. She also holds positions as an infectious disease physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital and is an attending critical care physician in the Pulmonary and Critical Care Division, attending in the Medical Intensive Care Unit at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She has been awarded the American Society for Microbiology Merck Irving S. Sigal Memorial Award, a Pew Scholars Award in the Biomedical Sciences, Kavli fellowship from the National Academ of Sciences, and a Doris Duke Foundation Clinical Scientist Development Award. She has served on the Scientific Advisory boards of the New England Center for Excellence in Biodefense, of the Pew Foundation Initiative in Antibiotic Resistance, and contributed to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology report on Combatting Antibiotic Resistance.  She has chaired the Boston Area Antibiotic Resistance Network Symposium and a Keystone meeting on the Challenges of Antibiotic Resistance.

She received her A.B. from Harvard University, Ph.D. from Harvard University, and M.D. from Harvard Medical School. She completed a residency in internal medicine and fellowships in infectious disease and critical care medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Stella Maria Cascioferro, Università degli Studi di Palermo, Palermo, Italy

Stella Cascioferro graduated with a degree in Pharmacy with honors in 1999, she got her Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry in 2004 at the University of Palermo. In 2004 she joined the Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory, at the University of Oxford as part of the group led by Professor Graham Richards. Her research interests include the design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of heterocyclic compounds as antitumoral, antinfective, and antiinflammatory agents. She is the author of 30 scientific papers published in peer reviewed international journals and a reviewer for several journals in the field of medicinal chemistry.

Tania Raquel Martins dos Santos, Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária, Lisbon, Portugal

Raquel Santos has a degree in Biology and Molecular Genetics from the Faculty of Sciences, University of Lisbon (UL), since July 2010; a Master in Molecular Genetics and Biomedicine from the Faculty of Sciences and Technology, Nova University of Lisbon, since December 2012; a degree in Veterinary Sciences from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine / UL, since July 2015; and is currently doing her PhD studies in Veterinary Sciences by UL. Her research interests include human and veterinary bacteriology, namely antimicrobial resistance, biofilms and virulence factors. She is currently focused in developing new and alternative approaches to tackling antibiotic resistance.

Oral Presentations

Paula Parreira e Guerra, Cebal- Centro de Biotecnologia Agrícola e Agro-Alimentar do Alentejo, Beja, Portugal

Paula Parreira has a BsC in Microbiology (2007) and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering (2013). Her PhD studies provided new insights for development of alternative therapeutics against Helicobacter pylori, based on bioengineered surfaces able to specifically bind this pathogen. Later, she joined the Bioactives Research Group at Centro de Biotecnologia Agricola e Agro-Alimentar do Alentejo (CEBAL), where currently her Postdoctoral research focuses on the characterization of the biological profile of several bioactive compounds, obtained from different natural matrixes, as possible alternatives for antibiotics against H. pylori infection

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Oral abstract submission deadline September 20th 2016

Early registration deadline September 20th 2016

Poster submissions deadline October 25th 2016

Invited speakers and their talks Include

Talk TitleSpeakerAffiliationCountry
Antivirulents instead of antibioticsDr Menachem ShohamCleveland, OHUnited States
Disarming Pathogens: Benefits and Challenges of developing antimicrobials that target virulence instead of viabilityDr. Makrina TotsikaQueensland University of TechnologyAustralia
Novel enzyme-based antibacterials against Gram-negative pathogens that do not provoke resistance developmentDr Yves BriersGentBelgium
Talk title to be confirmedDr Carolina Santillán Torres TorijaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMexico
High-Throughput Screening of Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria in Picodroplets Dr. Clive SmithSphere Fluidics LimitedUnited Kingdom
Complementary and Alternative Medicine as an alternative to antibioticsDr. Mubashir ArainUniversity of CalgaryCanada
New strategies for detection and control of antibiotic resistant bacteriaDr. Iryna SorokulovaAuburn UniversityUnited States
Extremely thermostable enzymes of bacteriophage origin - their use against Gram-negative bacteriaDr Magdalena PlotkaUniversity of GdanskPoland
Novel antivirulence agents against bacterial pathogensDr.Menachem ShohamCase Western Reserve UniversityUnited States
Talk title to be confirmedDr Manuel Jose Vieira SimõesFaculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do PortoPortugal
Beyond conventional antibiotitics Dr. Deborah HungHarvard Medical SchoolUnited States
New perspectives to fight Burkholderia cenocepacia, a very dangerous Cystic Fibrosis pathogenDr Silvia BuroniUniversity of PaviaItaly
Talk title to be confirmedProfessor Conrad LichtensteinNemesis Bioscience LtdUnited Kingdom
Curcumin's derivatives as potential alternative agents to antibiotics on farmDr. Maria Grazia CusimanoUniversity of PalermoItaly
Guar gum as a new antimicrobial peptide delivery system against diabetic foot ulcers Staphylococcus aureus isolatesTania Raquel Martins dos SantosFaculdade de Medicina VeterináriaPortugal
Bacteriophages as Natural, Self-Regulating and Self-Limiting AntimicrobialsDr Elizabeth Martin KutterThe Evergreen State CollegeUnited States
Quorum sensing inhibition to control bacterial disease: aquaculture as a case studyProfessor Tom DefoirdtGhent UniversityBelgium
The viability of using bacteriophages to target infectious disease Dr. Jim O'MahonyCork Institute of TechnologyIreland
Bacteriophage therapy- still promising, but not yet deliveringDr. David R. HarperEvolution BiotechnologiesUnited Kingdom
New molecules interfering with Staphylococcus aureus biofilm formationDr. Stella Maria CascioferroUniversità degli Studi di PalermoItaly

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