2023-2024 AMR Seminar + Social Series

The AMR Seminar + Social Series is a way for the AMR community to regularly meet and learn about the latest work in the AMR field.

Registration is now closed.  

April 16, 2024 - Dr Robert Bonomo

Seminar + Social

Co-hosted with the Centre de recherche en biologie structurale

Tuesday, April 16, 2024 | 4:00-6:00 pmprofile of Dr Bonomo
Hybrid event | Registration required

In-person: Thomson House Ballroom
(3650 McTavish St) McGill Campus Map
Online: Zoom link sent to registered participants.

Network reception after the event!

Title: The Renaissance of ß-Lactamase Inhibitors

Robert A. Bonomo, MD, FIDSA, AAP, AAM, FESCMID
Associate Chief of Staff for Academic Affairs, Director, Coordinating Center,
VA Science and Health Initiative to Combat Infectious and Life-Threatening Diseases (VA SHIELD), 
Senior Clinician Scientist Investigator, Veterans Health Administration, Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center

Senior Associate Dean, Director, CWRU-Cleveland VAMC Center for Antimicrobial Resistance and Epidemiology, 
Distinguished University Professor of Medicine, Pharmacology, Molecular Biology and Microbiology, Biochemistry, and Proteomics and Bioinformatics, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Rewatch the seminar on YouTube

About our speaker:

Dr. Robert A. Bonomo is Distinguished University Professor of Medicine, Pharmacology, Molecular Biology and Microbiology, Biochemistry, and Proteomics and Bioinformatics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine (CWRU SOM) . As of 2022, he also serves as Senior Associate Dean of CWRU SOM . He is presently Associate Chief of Staff for Academic Affairs at the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center. Formerly, he was Chief of the Medical Service at the Cleveland VA and Vice Chair for Veterans Affairs in the Department of Medicine at University Hospitals of Cleveland for nine years. Dr. Bonomo also served as the Director of the Cleveland Geriatric Research and Education Clinical Care Center (GRECC). Presently, he is the National Director of the Coordinating Center for the VA Science and Health Initiative to Combat Infectious and Life-Threatening Diseases (VA SHIELD), and Director of the CWRU-Cleveland VAMC Center for Antimicrobial Resistance and Epidemiology (Case VA CARES). Recently, he was designated Senior Clinician Scientist Investigator of the Veterans Health Administration. His research interests include the mechanistic basis of resistance to ß-lactam antibiotics and ß-lactamase inhibitors in Gram-negative and Mycobacteria, discovery of novel therapeutic agents effective against multidrug-resistant (MDR) pathogens, the molecular epidemiology of MDR Gram-negative bacteria in long term care facilities and in immunocompromised patients, infections in the elderly, and the implementation of molecular diagnostics in clinical care of elderly patients with infectious disease. He is an elected fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, American Academy of Microbiology, the Association of American Physicians, the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) and has been appointed to PCORI as a representative of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. He was Co-Director of the Laboratory Center of the NIH Sponsored Antibacterial Resistance Leadership Group (ARLG). In 2016 Dr. Bonomo was presented with the Excellence in Clinical Microbiology Award from ESCMID. The William S. Middleton Award by the Biomedical Laboratory Research and Development Service (BLR&D) of the Veterans Health Administration was given in 2017. Dr. Bonomo received the lifetime achievement award from the VA Society of Practitioners of Infectious Diseases (VASPID) in 2018. In 2020, Dr. Bonomo received the Wolcott Award for Excellence in a leadership or management position through exceptional support for direct patient care providers, including support of innovations enhancing the quality of direct patient care delivery.

 

February 9, 2024 - Dr Gautam Dantas

Seminar + Social

Co-hosted with the Microbiome CentreProfile of Dr Gautam Dantas

Friday, February 9, 2024 | 4:00-6:00 pm
Hybrid event | Registration required

Free In-person: Meakins Theater, Room 521
McGill McIntyre Building
3655 Promenade Sir-William-Osler McGill Campus Map
Online: Zoom link sent to registered participants.

Wine and cheese networking reception post-seminar

Program:

"Understanding, Predicting, and Remediating Perturbations to Diverse Microbiomes"
Gautam Dantas, Ph.D. 
Conan Professor of Laboratory and Genomic Medicine
Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis

Departments of Pathology & Immunology, Pediatrics, Biomedical Engineering, Molecular Microbiology, and The Edison Family Center for Genome Sciences & Systems Biology
Co-Chief, Division of Laboratory and Genomic Medicine
Co-Director, PhD Program in Computational & Systems Biology

Abstract:

Antibiotics can acutely and persistently compromise microbiome stability and resilience, enabling enhanced colonization of pathogenic microbes, and loss of host-beneficial functions from depleted commensals. Antibiotics also selectively enrich resistance genotypes in interconnected microbiomes. We apply high-throughput functional metagenomic selections for culture-independent characterization of resistomes encoded by the microbiota of humans, animals, soils, and built-environments. We complement these analyses with community taxonomic and functional profiling through whole metagenome shotgun sequencing, and isolate phenotyping and whole genome sequencing. We use these datasets to model and predict the impact of various biotic and abiotic perturbations on the transmission and evolutionary dynamics of diverse microbiomes and their resistomes across time and habitats, through application of generalized linear mixed models and machine learning algorithms. Hundreds of resistance genes we identify from specific taxa in environmental and commensal microbiomes are identical to resistance genes found in major human pathogens, indicating recent genetic exchange between these microbes. We also find thousands of functionally validated resistance genes which are genetically novel, but flanked by genes involved in horizontal gene transfer, including transposases and integrases. Our genetic, biochemical, and structural analyses of some of these novel environmental resistance enzymes have revealed that they are emerging in pathogens, can destroy latest-generation antibiotics (sometimes preceding clinical deployment), but against which we can design novel small molecule inhibitors to rescue the activity of the parent antibiotics. By integrating community-level analyses of microbiome perturbation and response, with mechanistic analyses of novel microbial resilience functions, we are improving the accuracy and sensitivity of genomics-based methods for diagnosing and treating pathogens and their resistance properties in the clinic and maintaining or rescuing healthy microbiome states.

About our speaker:

Dr. Dantas received his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Washington under the mentorship of David Baker, and post-doctoral training in microbial genomics from Harvard Medical School under the mentorship of George Church. His research interests and training lie at the interface of microbial genomics, biochemistry, systems biology, and computational biology. Research in his laboratory is focused on (1) understanding and predicting how diverse microbiomes respond to chemical and biological perturbations, (2) harnessing these insights to rationally design therapeutic strategies to curtail antibiotic resistant pathogens and remedy pathological microbiome states, and (3) engineering microbial catalysts to convert renewable biomass into value chemicals such as biofuels and pharmaceuticals.

Dr. Dantas has co-authored over 155 research manuscripts, including 8 papers in Science, Nature, and Cell, and hold 5 patents in microbial biotechnology and therapeutics. He leads an interdisciplinary research and training group of ~30 full-time and ~10 part-time basic scientists, engineers, and clinicians, spanning formal expertise in microbiology, biochemistry, genomics, pathology, infectious diseases, pediatrics, gastroenterology, dermatology, radiation oncology, ecology and evolution, systems biology, biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, biostatistics, and computational biology. He is a member of the Edison Family Center for Genome Sciences & Systems Biology and an Associate Member of the Siteman Cancer Center.

Deeply committed to education, mentoring, and training, Dr. Dantas is the co-Chief of Research for the Division of Laboratory and Genomic Medicine and the co-Director of the Computational & Systems Biology (CSB) graduate program. He has served on the steering committee for both the CSB and Molecular Microbiology & Microbial Pathogenesis graduate programs, regularly teaching in 3 graduate-level courses, and has served on over 100 qualifying exam and thesis committees. In November 2019, he participated in the “Maximizing Research Mentoring Relationships Workshop” led by an NRMN-trained facilitator and continues to regularly participate in formal mentor training. Over the past 14 years, he has mentored 18 postdoctoral fellows (12 PhD, 5 MD/PhD, 1 MD), 38 graduate students (including 3 MSTP), 3 medical students, 10 research technicians, and over 100 undergraduate interns. He has graduated 19 PhD, 2 MD/PhD, and 1 MSc students; 3 are independent faculty, 6 are in post-doctoral training, 1 is a K-12 teacher, and 11 work in biotech. 8 of his postdoctoral mentees have earned faculty positions, and 4 work in the biotech industry. He is committed to providing a nurturing, well-supported, and actively mentored environment for my team to collaboratively tackle challenging basic science and translational research problems.

Registration for this seminar is closed.  

November 23rd - Dr Andrew Morris

Seminar + Social WAAW special

Co-hosted with the Trottier Institute for Science and Public Policy

profile of Andrew Morris

November 23, 2023 | 3:00pm - 5:00 pm
Hybrid event - registration required

Free In-person: RI-MUHC - Cruess Auditorium (Block E, ES1.1129)
1001 Decarie Boulevard, Montreal
Online: Zoom link sent to registered participants

Networking Reception  

Program:

"This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things
How to get novel antimicrobials in Canada"

Andrew Morris | Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto and Medical Director, Sinai Health-University Health Network Antimicrobial Stewardship Program

Dr. Morris will be discussing the current reasons behind a dried-up antibiotic pipeline in Canada and globally. He will look at the various epidemiologic and market factors that have resulted in this shortfall of novel high-value antibiotics and propose a made-in-Canada market-based approach to try to fill the antibiotic pipeline again.

Rewatch the seminar on YouTube

Panel discussion:

  • Andrew Morris, Medicine, University of Toronto
  • Anita Melnyk, Project Director, Council of Canadian Academies
  • Rees Kassen, Evolutionary Biology, McGill University, Director of Trottier Institute for Science and Public Policy and Scientific Director of Coronavirus in the Urban Built Environment (CUBE)
  • Andréanne Lupien, Medicine and Microbiology & Immunology, McGill University, and Director of the Containment Level 3 Platform at RI-MUHC   

About our speaker:

Dr. Andrew Morris is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto and the Medical Director of the Sinai Health-University Health Network Antimicrobial Stewardship Program. He is currently Chair of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Committee for the Society for Hospital Epidemiology of America (SHEA) and chairs the Antimicrobial Stewardship Working Group for Accreditation Canada. He was appointed to the Canadian Government’s Expert Advisory Group on Antimicrobial Resistance (EAGAR) in 2015 and is Chair of the Council of Canadian Academies Expert Panel on Antimicrobial Availability (CCA report Overcoming resistance released in Oct 2023).

Dr. Morris obtained his medical degree from the University of Toronto, where he subsequently completed specialty training in Internal Medicine and subspecialty training in Infectious Diseases. He went on to complete a Masters of Science degree in Epidemiology from the Harvard School of Public Health, while completing a Canadian Infectious Diseases Society (now AMMI Canada) research fellowship. He often says that his primary job is coaching basketball, which he started doing over 30 years ago.

​Dr. Morris has worked closely with regional, provincial, and federal governments and interprovincial organizations to help develop and coordinate antimicrobial stewardship efforts. He is widely sought as a speaker and consultant on antimicrobial stewardship, behaviour change, implementation, and quality improvement. He is an author of over 100 peer-reviewed publications.

Registration for this seminar is closed.  

 

 

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