Join the fight against superbugs with cutting edge science as your defence.
Antibiotic drugs have saved millions of lives since the 1940s. However, while disease-causing bacteria have changed, our pharmaceutical defences have not, raising the threat of deadly armies of superbugs and a return to the dark days of uncontrolled infection. The medical and scientific community is rallying but will they crack the microbial codes in time?
Our panel will discuss how science, government and industry must join forces to defend us in the escalating war of resistance.
Jennifer Broom is an Infectious Diseases Physician at the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service and an Advance Queensland Senior Research Fellow. She is the clinical leader of a research programme in collaboration with UNSW School of Social Science, identifying and addressing the social influences that result in overprescribing of antibiotics in hospitals. Jennifer is very interested in collaboration between professional groups and different sectors of society to address the issues of antibiotic overuse in Australia.
Makrina Totsika is a Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow and Group Leader at the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology. Originally from Greece, Makrina completed a PhD in bacterial genetics at the University of Edinburgh before moving to Australia in 2007. Her research is at the forefront of anti-virulence therapies, which are promising to revitalize the drug development pipeline and offer effective therapeutic alternatives for common bacterial infections that are no longer treatable with antibiotics. Makrina is a frequent science communicator and was the 2016 Queensland Young Tall Poppy of the Year and the winner of the Queensland Senior Researcher 2016 Award by the Australian Society for Medical Research.
Krispin Hajkowicz is the Director of Infectious Diseases at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and founded the Queensland Statewide Antimicrobial Stewardship Program – a Queensland Government program to ensure the optimal use of antibiotics in rural hospitals. He has published widely in the international infectious diseases literature and was the invited international speaker at the 2015 Indian Infectious Diseases Society conference where he saw the disastrous consequences of widespread emergence of the antimicrobial resistance in Asia.
MODERATOR: KATE SEIB
Dr Seib is a Group Leader at the Institute for Glycomics, Griffith University (Gold Coast). She completed a PhD in microbiology in 2004 from the University of Queensland, spent several years at Novartis Vaccines (Siena, Italy), and returned to Australia in 2012. Her research is currently focused on understanding the processes involved in host colonisation and disease, with the aim to identify therapeutic targets of bacterial pathogens including Neisseria gonorrhoeae (causes the sexually transmitted infection gonorrhoea, which can lead to infertility), Neisseria meningitidis (causes sepsis and meningitis) and Moraxella catarrhalis and non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae (causes middle ear infections and exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
90 minutes - no interval