HIPS Talk online: “Combination therapy as the key to eradicating biofilm infections”

Tuesday, June 8, 2021, at 17:00 s.t. via YouTube

Prof. Dr. Tom Coenye (Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Microbiology – Ghent University) will give a presentation entitled
“Combination therapy as the key to eradicating biofilm infections”

When?: Tuesday, June 8, 2021, at 17:00 s.t.
Where?: via YouTube: https://hips.saarland/youtube
Host: Jun.-Prof. Dr. Gregor Fuhrmann

Guests are welcome!

Biofilms are communities of microbial cells that are embedded in an at least partially self-produced matrix. In vivo biofilms occur as surface-attached communities (e.g. on implanted medical devices) or cellular aggregates embedded in host material (e.g. sputum in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients, wound tissue). Biofilm-associated micro-organisms are phenotypically very different from planktonic cells and one of the hallmarks of biofilm infections is their recalcitrance to conventional antimicrobial therapy.
In this presentation I will give an overview of the mechanisms involved in biofilm-associated tolerance to antibiotics, with a focus on the role of cell-cell communication (quorum sensing) and metabolic adaptation. A profound understanding of the factors contributing to biofilm tolerance opens the door for novel approaches to tackle antibiotic-tolerant biofilms and I will discuss several examples of experimental combination therapies.

Tom Coenye leads the Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Microbiology at Ghent University (Belgium). His major research interests are in the field of sociomicrobiology, i.e. research on the group behaviour of micro-organisms. More specifically, research is centered around microbial biofilm formation (including biofilm formation on indwelling medical devices), the evaluation of novel strategies to prevent biofilm formation and/or eradicate existing biofilms, and the molecular basis of tolerance and resistance in biofilms. In addition, in his research group host-microbe interactions are studied and host- and microbiota directed approaches to treat bacterial infections and detrimental processes in the host due to the infection (e.g., inflammation) are explored. He is currently chair of the ESCMID Study Group on Biofilms and is one of the founding senior-editors of the journal ‘Biofilm’ (https://www.journals.elsevier.com/biofilm/). For his work he received several awards and in 2019 and 2020 he was included on Clarivate’s list of Highly Cited Researchers.

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