Day 1 :
University of Illinois, USA
Time : 9.30AM
Awards RESEARCH & SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS 2015 Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology 2014 Faculty Excellence Award (one award given per year within the School of Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Illinois). 2004 Award for Excellence in Research and Scholarship at the Associate Professor Level - University of Houston (one university award per year at each academic rank). 2002 Award for Excellence in Research and Scholarship at the Assistant Professor Level - University of Houston (one university award per year at each academic rank). 1999 Young Investigator Award, 10th International Meeting Campylobacter & Helicobacter. 1997 Natural Science and Mathematics Alumni Association Award. 1996 Oakridge Junior Faculty Award for Life Sciences Research. 1981 NSF Undergraduate Research Award. TEACHING AWARDS AND RECOGNITION 2010, 2013 Cited as a Teacher ranked as outstanding by their students for Molecular and Cellular Biology/Life Sciences and College of Medicine Courses. 2008, 2009 Cited as a Teacher ranked as excellent by their students for Molecular and 2011, 2012 Cellular Biology/Life Sciences and College of Medicine Courses. 1999 Teaching Excellence Award, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. 1998-1999 University of Houston Enron Award for Excellence in Teaching at the University level. RECENT LECTURESHIPS, MEETING CHAIRS, LEADERSHIP POSITIONS 2015 Vice-Chair, Gordon Conference on Chemical & Biological Terrorism Defense, Ventura, CA, March 2015. 2013 Chair, Bacteria-Host Interactions (2013) 2013 International Conference on Bacillus anthracis, B. cereus, and B. thuringiensis, Victoria, Canada, September 2, 2013. 2013-2014 Chair, Division B (Microbial Pathogens) of ASM. 2013 Discussion Leader/Session Chair, Organizing Committee, 2013 Gordon Conference on Chemical & Biological Terrorism Defense, Ventura, CA, March 10-15, 2013. 2012-2013 Chair Elect, Division B (Microbial Pathogens) of ASM, 2012-2013. 2011 Session Chair, Organizing Committee, 2011 International Conference on Campylobacter, Helicobacter, and Related Organisms, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, August 28 – September 1, 2011. 2011 Keynote Speaker, 23rd Annual Buffalo Conference on Microbial Pathogenesis – Witebsky Center for Microbial Pathogenesis and Immunology (2011) Of Persistence, Cancer, and Asthma: The Curious Case of Helicobacter pylori, Buffalo, NY, April 29, 2011. 2011 Organizing Committee, and Discussion Leader/Session Chair, 2011 Gordon Conference on Chemical & Biological Terrorism Defense, Ventura, CA, March 20-25, 2011.
There is increasing recognition that localized microbe-host interactions inrnhumans can influence the physiology and function of distal tissue and organrnsystems in a manner that can have profound impact on human health andrndisease. For example, human gut microbiota communicate with the centralrnnervous system (CNS) via the neural, endocrine and/or immune systems,rnthereby influencing brain function. Cytokines from the peripheral immune systemrninteract with the central nervous system (CNS) via active transport across thernblood brain barrier as well as direct entry via the circumventricular organs. Here,rnwe evaluated the hypothesis that chronic gastric infection with the humanrnpathogenic bacterium Helicobacter pylori (Hp) is causal for elevated systemicrninflammation and neuro-inflammation. Chronic Hp infection is characterized byrnsustained inflammation of the gastric mucosa, which is highly associated withrnprogression to gastric ulcer disease or gastric cancer in approximately 10% andrn2% of infected individuals, respectively. Our studies employing a Sprague-rnDawley rat model for chronic Hp infection revealed sustained gastricrninflammation and tissue damage. What is more, Hp-infected rats demonstratedrnelevated inflammation with the bloodstream and CNS, with activated microgliarnand elevated TNF-α detected in the brain of the infected animals. The causalrnrelationship between gastric Hp infection and brain sequelae was supported byrnthe loss of elevated systemic and CNS inflammation upon clearance of Hprn infections following antibiotic administration. Because approximately half thernworld’s population is infected with Hp, these results have implications for thernimpact of microbes on cognition and behavior during human brain development.
The University of Notre Dame Australia, Australia
Time : 10.00AM
Professor George L. Mendz has an MSc from the University of Barcelona (Spain), and a PhD from the University of NSW. He has been Lecturer at the College of Natural Sciences, the University of Puerto Rico (San Juan); Research Associate at the School of Chemistry and the Department of Biochemistry, the University of Sydney; ARC Senior Research Fellow and Associate Professor at the School of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, the University of NSW; Associate Professor at the Department of Bacteriology, the University of Bordeaux II; and Associate Professor at the School of Medical Sciences, the University of NSW.
Background: In pregnancy, the mother’s anatomy, physiology and immune function are dynamically altered to accommodate the developing infant. Current understanding supports the view that the indigenous microbiota of the mother’s genital tract has a pivotal role in shaping the host environment.rnPreterm birth: In 2010, there were about 15 million of preterm births in the world, defined as delivery before 37 weeks gestation. Babies born prematurely have increased risk of short and long-term complications, mainly owing to the immaturity of multiple organ systems and neurodevelopmental disorders. There is overwhelming evidence to implicate genital infections in up to 40% of preterm birth cases.rnAccess to the intra-amniotic cavity is difficult, and evidence supports the hypothesis that a major path of invasion is the ascending of microorganisms from the vagina to the uterus. The changes induced in the vaginal microbial populations of pregnant women in health and disease are the subject of intense investigations to establish the type and rate of changes in this microflora during pregnancy, as well as to elucidate the changes in the microbiome resulting from the presence of pathogens.rnThe human microbiome: Cultivation-independent studies of the human microbiota performed using new generation sequencing and applying state-of-the-art biostatistical tools, have revealed the presence of trillions of microorganisms in various body microhabitats, which have a great diversity of microbial species organised in different population structures, and include a large number of dynamic interactions between microbes and with the host. In particular, the vaginal microbiome has a role in human development, physiology and immunity. rnThe vaginal microbiome: The results of many studies of the vaginal microbiota of pregnant and non-pregnant women indicate a relationship with the racial background of the woman. The data show the important role Lactobacillus bacteria have in the health of this organ, as well as the presence of vaginotypes characterised by bacterial profiles in which a single taxon dominates the population. However, modeling disease as the result of a decrease in the percentage of lactobacilli and concomitant overgrowth by other bacterial species has turned out to be too simplistic to explain the complexity, diversity and balance of the bacterial ecosystem of the vagina.rnCurrent studies of the vaginal microbiome of pregnant women can be grouped in three types:rn(1) cross-sectional studies provide snapshots of the structure of bacterial communities in the vagina at specific moments during pregnancy; rn(2) longitudinal studies address the temporal changes in this microbiome during pregnancy; andrn(3) reviews cover a broad range of issues from microbial pathogenic mechanisms to clinical practice. rnWork on the vaginal microbiome has made an invaluable contribution to understanding preterm birth; nonetheless, basic questions such as the structure of vaginal bacterial communities in women giving birth preterm or at term, or the presence/abundance of specific taxa in these two populations and their relations to infection have been given contradictory answers and remain to be elucidated.rn
Dr. Rath Research Institute BV, USA
Keynote: New Non-synthetic Antibacterial Agents Challenging the Active and Persistent Forms of Borrelia ssp.
Time : 10.30AM
Dr. Goc obtained her M.S. and Ph.D. from the Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland. She conducted her postdoctoral training at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, and the University of Georgia, Athens, GA. She also worked as a Research Biologist at the VA Medical Center, Augusta, GA. Currently, as a Head of Infectious Diseases Division at Dr. Rath Research Institute, Santa Clara CA, she leads a Lyme disease project. Dr. Goc has published over 30 peer-reviewed publications, two book chapters, and has presented her research at numerous national and international scientific meetings. She is also an active member on one editorial board and the recipient of several national and international awards.
Lyme borreliosis is a tick-borne bacterial infection caused by the spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato. It has become a major public health concern for humans and animals worldwide. The primary treatment is based on the administration of antibiotics. However, relapse often occurs when such treatment is withdrawn. One of possible explanations for this clinical observation is the ability of Borrelia sp. to adapt different persistent forms. Thus, there is a continuous search for new compounds that would be effective not only against spirochetes but also these persisters. Naturally occurring agents signify a growing theme in antimicrobial defense. Often they represent a starting point for the development of novel treatment approaches and/or serve as a base for their modified alternatives as well. However, little is known about their anti-borreliaea efficacy. Thus, 50 non-synthetic agents such as plant-derived active compounds and plant extracts were tested in this study for their in vitro effectiveness against active and latent forms of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu stricto (predominant in the USA) and Borrelia garinii (predominant in Eurasia). From that screening, several new substances have been identified. These, described in this work, agents showed to have significant effects against both active and persistent forms of tested Borrelia sp. Moreover, enhanced reciprocal cooperation with major antibiotics currently prescribed for Lyme disease was observed. This study reveals their potential to combat these bacteria. The depictions here reported are part of ongoing preclinical development plan that could bring them to clinical trials in the near future as well.