We are excited to welcome Tim van Opijnen, PhD, an Associate Professor of Biology at Boston College and an Affiliate member of the Levy CIMAR, to present for our May 2021 Science Lunch. His talk is titled, “From Detection to Predicting Infectious Disease and Antibiotic Resistance Outcomes: Employing Experimental Evolution, Omics-Stress Mapping and Computational Biology to Determine and Predict What Matters in Antibiotic Resistance.”
Dr. van Opijnen and his lab focus on the development and application of experimental and computational Systems Biology tools to study infectious diseases as complete systems while in interaction with their environment (e.g. the host and/or drugs). The group’s ultimate goal is to develop approaches to predict and detect the emergence of (drug-resistant) infectious diseases and strategies to eradicate them. To achieve this, Dr. van Opijnen and team employ a unique mixture of approaches from the fields of Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Computer Science, including a variety of sequencing strategies, microfluidics, robotic automation, immune system monitoring, in vivo disease models, computational modeling and machine learning.
Edward Geisinger, MD, PhD, an Assistant Professor of Biology at Northeastern University in Boston and an Affiliate member of the Levy CIMAR, will present for our June 2021 Science Lunch. Check back soon for more information on the talk.
Dr. Geisinger and his lab investigate the molecular basis of antibiotic resistance and disease development in infections with hospital-acquired pathogens. Their primary focus is the troublesome microbe Acinetobacter baumannii, a frequent cause of pneumonia and sepsis in intensive care units that has developed resistance to virtually all clinically useful antibiotics. The team examine unique strategies used by the pathogen to build and fortify its cell envelope, including regulatory networks hardwired to amplify resistance and virulence upon detection of antimicrobial stress. They employ a variety of tools ranging from systems biology and molecular genetics to animal models of infection. Long-term, Dr. Geisinger and his group will exploit these strategies as targets for novel therapies against nosocomial diseases.
Erin Duffy, PhD, is Chief of Research and Development at the Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria Biopharmaceutical Accelerator, or CARB-X—a global partnership hosted at Boston University that is focused on supporting developers of promising new antibiotics, diagnostics, and vaccines that tackle the threat of untreatable bacterial infections. Dr. Duffy leads the growth and oversight of CARB-X’s portfolio of antibiotics, diagnostics, vaccines and other life-saving products addressing antibacterial resistance on a global level. She will present for our July 2021 Levy CIMAAR Science Lunch on the CARB-X portfolio as well as the science behind it. (More to come.)
Dr. Duffy joined CARB-X with 17+ years of drug-discovery experience in the antibiotic arena. She joined then Rib-X Pharmaceuticals (now Melinta Therapeutics) as it was nucleating in New Haven, Connecticut, where in increasing roles she helped to build and sustain a team of researchers that translated the company’s scientific platform into next-generation and novel antibiotics that target the ribosome. Her team’s most recent achievements include the de novo design and optimization of a completely new class of antibiotics, the pyrrolocytosines, which were supported in part by CARB-X.
The Levy CIMAR’s own Dr. Andrew Camilli, a Professor of Molecular Biology and Microbiology at the Tufts University School of Medicine, will present on “Phage Prophylaxis of Cholera.” Bacteriophages are viruses that specifically target and kill bacteria, preventing bacterial infections, and Dr. Camilli and his lab study the bacteriophages that kill V. cholerae.
Dr. Camilli is co-founder and scientific advisor to PhagePro, Inc., a Boston-based startup aiming to use bacteriophages to prevent bacterial infections. With the unmitigated rise of antibiotic resistance and the known negative consequences of gut dysbiosis caused by broad-spectrum antibiotics, bacteriophages provide a side effect-free alternative for preventing disease in clinical and community contexts.
Articles on Our Past Events:
Veterinary pathologist Amanda J. Martinot (DVM, MPH, PhD) of the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine presented for our Monthly Science Meeting on Thursday, January 28, on two articles of interest in the COVID-19 pandemic: The first on the pre-clinical results for the Regeneron monoclonal Ab for SARS CoV-2 in hamsters and monkeys (Science), with additional discussion of the
Trials and Tribulations of Antimicrobial Drug Development: Assessing the Economic and Political Landscape
As an internationally recognized expert on drug development science and policy, the Levy CIMAR's Dr. Kenneth I. Kaitin writes and speaks regularly on factors that contribute to the slow pace and high cost of pharmaceutical R&D and efforts to improve the development process. He has provided public testimony before the U.S. Congress on pharmaceutical development, regulation, and policy issues, and
The Levy CIMAR hosted our second annual collaborative workshop titled “Fighting AMR Together” earlier this month, offering a platform for investigators and clinicians to showcase their research and promoting opportunities for partnership both within and outside of the Tufts network. The two-day workshop, held Nov. 5-6, 2020, began with welcoming remarks from Levy CIMAR Director Helen Boucher, MD, Senior Leadership
We at the Levy CIMAR are honored to be named for Dr. Stuart B. Levy, whose pioneering work in fighting antibiotic misuse and resistance was a key inspiration behind our Center. During his more than four decades at Tufts University and Tufts Medical Center, Dr. Levy led the paradigm shift in how we view antibiotic use and stewardship. In his
Tufts Mini-Med School dovetails with CIMAR’s mission in that it is uniquely interdisciplinary in its One Health approach. The program draws on an array of schools beyond the School of Medicine dedicated to the health science and medicine at Tufts University, including: the School of Dental Medicine, the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, the Friedman School of Nutrition Science &
CIMAR hosted 33 students from Boston-area Brockton High School last week for a rare educational and networking opportunity. Students presented posters depicting original experiments and data on antimicrobial resistance to a wide audience of Tufts University and Tufts Medical Center members.
Breaking the Chain of Infection: Tufts@Kendall Event Connects Tufts Researchers and the Biomedical Industry
Tufts and MassBio held the first Tufts@Kendall event, bringing together CIMAR researchers and clinicians with more than 80 members of the biomedical community to discuss the latest advances in infectious disease and antimicrobial resistance at Tufts University.
Drug-Resistant Superbugs: CIMAR Symposium Examines the Intersection of People, Animals, Food, and the Environment, and Their Impact on Health
The event brought together over 175 clinicians and researchers from academia, medicine, and industry, all interested in fighting drug-resistant diseases via a “One Health” approach. One Health prioritizes the relationship among people, animals, the environment, and the foods we all consume as critical avenues by which drug-resistant bacteria spread from one to another
The Tufts Center for Integrated Management of Antimicrobial Resistance (CIMAR) hosted its first event last month to introduce the Center to the local scientific community and to offer a platform for investigators and clinicians to showcase their research and promote collaborations.