Antibiotic resistance is a growing global public health threat. In a recent report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that at least 2.8 million people develop an antibiotic-resistant infection and more than 35,000 people die from these infections yearly in the United States. Fighting this threat is a public health priority. It requires a collaborative global approach across sectors to detect, prevent, and respond to these threats when they occur.
The patients at greatest risk from antibiotic-resistant infections are the ones who are already more vulnerable to illness from viral lung infections like influenza, SARS and COVID-19. Already, some studies have found that one in seven patients hospitalized with COVID-19 has acquired a secondary bacterial infection, and 50% who have died had such infections.
The challenge of antibiotic resistance could stretch critical care units beyond their capacity. This track will cover emerging approaches in antibiotic-resistance diagnostics, antimicrobial stewardship, and antibiotic commercialization.
Manos Perros, Entasis Therapeutics
Jennifer Townsend, Johns Hopkins Medical Center
Antibiotic Resistance Diagnostics
Andrea Kwa, Singapore General Hospital
Dr. Yamamoto is a leader in science and public policy. He has made an indelible impact by simultaneously advocating for Precision Medicine across the .edu, .gov, .com and .org sectors. As Chair of the National Academies Board on Life Sciences, he appointed and served on the study committee that produced “Toward Precision Medicine: Building a Knowledge Network for Biomedical Research and a New Taxonomy of Disease”, the report that enunciated the precision medicine concept. He helped to stimulate President Obama’s interest, which led to the Precision Medicine Initiative, as well as Gov. Jerry Brown’s launch of the California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine. He also promoted a precision medicine approach to Vice President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot, provoked broader participation by the corporate and nonprofit sectors, and directs UCSF Precision Medicine, an institution-wide imperative. In addition, Dr. Yamamoto has led or served on numerous federal or national committees focused on public and science policy, public understanding and support of biological research, research funding and peer review, and science education and the biomedical workforce; he chairs the Coalition for the Life Sciences, and sits on the National Academy of Medicine Council and Executive Committee, and the National Academy of Sciences Division of Earth and Life Studies Advisory Committee. He is a member of the Advisory Board for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of Research!America. At UCSF, Dr. Yamamoto is vice chancellor for science policy and strategy and professor of cellular and molecular pharmacology. He is a leading researcher, investigating transcriptional regulation by nuclear receptors, which mediate the actions of essential hormones and cellular signals; he uses mechanistic and systems approaches to pursue these problems in pure molecules, cells and whole organisms. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Academy of Microbiology, and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Margaret (Peg) Riley has championed an alternative to the current paradigm in antibiotic discovery, one that recognizes the power of targeted therapeutic interventions, resulting in lower levels of antibiotic resistance and reduced collateral damage to the microbiome. She provides “proof of principle” for this approach utilizing the diverse family of bacteriocins. These efforts have identified candidates for use in treating TB and UTI’s. Dr. Rliey and her students created a new venture, Organicin Scientific, whose mission is to develop bacteriocin-based biopesticides for use in treating bacterial disease in plants, such as citrus greening and Fire blight. She is committed to engaging the public in science and has appeared with Bill Nye in his TV shows and podcasts and created the Massachusetts Academy of Sciences in 2007. In 1991 she joined the faculty at Yale, where she was honored with the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award and an NIH FIRST Award. In 2004 she accepted a faculty position at University of Massachusetts Amherst. Peg Riley earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from University of Massachusetts in 1981, her Ph.D. in population genetics from Harvard University, and she conducted her postdoctoral work at the University of Massachusetts.
Manos Perros, Ph.D., has served as our chief executive officer, co-founder and director since May 2015. Prior to this, Dr. Perros worked for AstraZeneca AB as vice president and head of its infection research and early development organization from 2010 to 2015 and as site head for its research center in Waltham, Massachusetts from 2012 to 2015. Prior to joining AstraZeneca, Dr. Perros served as director of the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases in Singapore, and prior to that, as vice-president and chief scientific officer, antivirals, at Pfizer, Inc. A chemist by training, Dr. Perros conducted his Ph.D. work in Belgium, France and Germany, and was an associate in the Biophysics department at Yale from 1993 to 1995. Dr. Perros received the PhRMA Discoverer’s Award in 2010.
Jennifer Townsend completed a residency and fellowship at University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas, Texas. Board-certified in internal medicine and infectious diseases, she has done research on staphylococcal bacteremia, Acinetobacter baumanii, and leptospirosis. Dr. Townsend cares primarily for patients in the outpatient infectious diseases clinic. She also works closely with the Collaborative Inpatient Medical Service, caring for hospital inpatients.
Dr Andrea Kwa received her Doctor of Pharmacy Degree in 2006, from New York's Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Prior to this, she had completed her undergraduate studies at the National University of Singapore in 1996. She completed her two-year postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh's Division of Infectious Diseases, where she researched anti-fungal resistance and molecular diagnostics. Dr Andrea Kwa is currently a Pharmacy Clinician Scientist and Assistant Director of Health Services Related Research Unit at Singapore General Hospital. She is also a faculty member of Duke-NUS Medical School's Emerging Infectious Diseases program. She specializes in critical care medicine, infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance research. Her pet research topics in infectious diseases include population pharmacokinetics/pharmacodynamics of antimicrobials, and molecular diagnostics in fungal diseases among others.