Phage Therapy World Congress 2016 took place at Hotel Saint James Albany, Paris on June 2-3. The congress have welcomed more than 150 academics and industrials attendees coming from 21 countries, from Europe, Asia, Middle East, North and South America.
Phage Therapy 2016 was an exciting moment, where speakers and participants shared scientific knowledge.
At the end of the congress, several awards were discerned:
Prof. Martin Witzenrath, from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany, was awarded for his scientific contribution regarding the phage therapy and especially about Bacteriophage therapy for lung infections.
Prof. Witzenrath, physician and researcher, dedicates his scientific work to the development of novel therapeutic options for lung diseases, including pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, pulmonary hypertension and asthma. Using experimental in vitro, ex vivo and in vivo techniques, his group aims at translating novel achievements of basic science into clinical perspectives. One of the current projects aims at providing scientific evidence for the use of bacteriophages produced under GMP conditions against multiresistant gramnegative bacteria. Preclinical evaluation is currently performed, and randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical studies are planned.
Minmin Yen is currently a PhD candidate in microbiology at Tufts University, Sackler School of Graduate Biomedical Sciences. She was awarded for her short oral presentation regarding the Impact of virulent bacteriophages on vibrio cholerae infection and their use in preventing cholera.
Minmin Yen is completing her thesis research in the laboratory of Andrew Camilli, where she is investigating the population dynamics between Vibrio cholerae, the bacterium that causes cholera, and virulent bacteriophages. Her current work shows that a bacteriophage cocktail is successful in preventing cholera disease in two animal models when administered up to 24 hours prior to V. cholerae infection. Following her graduation, Minmin will continue her bacteriophage cocktail work in the Camilli Lab as well as pursue a Master’s in Public Health at Boston University. In the future, she hopes to combine her background in biological engineering and microbiology to reduce health inequities around the world.
Dr Felix Broecker from Max Planck Institute, Germany, was awarded for his poster presentation about Microbiota and virome changes after fecal transplantation for Clostridium difficile infection in a “Zurich patient”.
Dr Broecker research aims at understanding the role of phages during fecal microbiota therapy (FMT) against Clostridium difficile infections. FMT is a promising therapeutic option for this deadly disease, as antibiotic resistance is emerging. It has recently been shown that human feces contain ten times more phages than bacteria that are transmitted from donor to patient during FMT, implying that this procedure is largely a phage therapy approach. Although phages are known to regulate bacterial populations and to mediate intestinal inflammation, their contributions to C. difficile infection and FMT-mediated cure remain elusive. Together with colleagues from the University of Zurich and the ETH Zurich, we tackle these questions by characterizing fecal viromes (“phageomes”) of C. difficile patients and donors to identify crucial phages that may be harnessed for targeted phage therapy.
Testimonial from Dr Broecker:
Dr Alexander Zurabov received the industrial contribution award with his company “MicroMir”.
Dr Zurabov training is in economic cybernetics and he got his PhD in 1986 for applied mathematics in economics. Having accumulated extensive experience in various businesses (from banking to civil aviation) in 1990-2004 Alexander Zurabov undertakes since then a task of support and promote innovative ventures in biotechnology, microbiology, medicine and some other areas. Today he is the major stakeholder and investor in several enterprises: Scientific and Research Center “MicroMir”, Moscow (bacteriophage therapy), Stem Cell bank “Pokrovsky”, St. Petersburg (cord blood bank and regenerative therapy medical center), Moscow Insurance company MAKS (general and medical insurance) and others. Alexander Zurabov is the CEO of “Micromir” since its inception ans sees his role in bringing basic and applied research in bacteriophages conducted by leading russian specialists in this area Eugene Zhilenkov and Valentina Popova and their team to clinical practice in Russia and beyond.
To access to the final program of Phage Therapy 2016, please click here.