Speaker - Photos 2017
Dr. Samir Agrawal – Chair of the Organising Committee
Senior Lecturer in Haematology, Queen Mary University of London and Consultant Haemato-Oncologist at Barts Health NHS Trust
Dr Agrawal qualified initially at the University of Bristol and subsequently trained at The Royal Marsden Cancer Hospital, being awarded his PhD (in Immunology) at the University of Paris. He is a fluent French speaker.
He is former Director of The Stem Cell Laboratory and Head of Diagnostic Immunophenotyping. He has designed, funded, and implemented studies on myelodysplastic syndromes, invasive aspergillosis, and chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. He is a trustee for CLLSA (the patient-led support organisation for patients in the UK with CLL), as well as a NICE reviewer and the Haemato-Oncology representative on the UK IVIg initiative.
His current activities in the field of invasive fungal disease are:
· A proposal for a study in high-risk haematology patients looking at delivering rapid fungal diagnostics nationally
· Developing clinical guidelines for managing IFD in the high-risk haemato-oncology setting
· Promoting best practice and highlighting new developments through educational meetings and a new website for all interested in fungal disease, including the GAIN initiative.
· Member of the ECIL guidelines group
· Member of the fungal subgroup of government committee on antimicrobial resistance, ESPAUR.
Professor Peter Donnelly – Meeting Co-Chair
Formerly Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre and Nijmegen Institute for Infection, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Professor Peter Donnelly was Coordinator of Studies in Supportive Care at the Department of Haematology, and a member of the Nijmegen Institute for Infection, Inflammation and Immunity, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. He is Chair of the Infectious Disease Group of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC), General Secretary to the International Society for Human and Animal Mycology (ISHAM), Chair of the ISHAM Working Group – European Aspergillus PCR Initiative (EAPCRI), and a member of the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation (EBMT) Infectious Diseases Working Party. He is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists.
Professor Donnelly graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Glasgow, UK, in 1974, earning his PhD on the topic of ‘Viridans streptococci and allogeneic bone marrow transplant’ in 1993. After working in Microbiology Technician posts at Gartnavel General Hospital, Glasgow, UK, and as Senior Scientific Officer at Hammersmith Hospital, London, UK, he moved to the Medical Microbiology department of the University Hospital Nijmegen, The Netherlands, in 1987 and became a staff member of the Department of Haematology.
His current research interests are the epidemiology, diagnosis and management of invasive fungal diseases, mucosal barrier injury, and infection and infectious complications of the neutropenic patient. Professor Donnelly is author of over 200 research and review papers and 15 book chapters. As of January 2015 he is the Editor in Chief of the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. He also is a regular reviewer for top peer-reviewed journals including the Lancet Infectious Diseases and Clinical Infectious Diseases.
Professor Neil Gow – Meeting Co-Chair
Professor of Microbiology, University of Aberdeen
Professor Gow is a microbiologist with specialist research interests in medical mycology and in particular the structure and function of the fungal cell wall in relation to host-pathogen interactions. He is a founding member of the Aberdeen Fungal Group (AFG) which is one of the largest worldwide research centres for medical mycology. Professor Gow is the Director of a Wellcome Trust Strategic Award that coordinates research and training activity in the field of medical mycology and fungal immunology across the UK and in developing countries. He is Co-Director for research in the recently established MRC Centre for Medical Mycology at Aberdeen. He is funded via the MRC, and Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator and Collaborator Awards. He is current President of the Microbiology Society. He was recently elected as an FRS and FMedSci.
Dr. Elizabeth Ballou
BBSRC AFL Fellow, University of Aberdeen
Liz Ballou is a fungal geneticist and molecular biologist who studied at the London School for Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (Molecular Biology of Infectious Diseases) and Duke University (Genetics and Genomics). She earned her PhD in 2012 and joined the University of Aberdeen shortly thereafter as a research fellow. In 2015, Liz was awarded a BBSRC Anniversary Future Leaders fellowship, and her lab is now part of the MRC Centre for Medical Mycology. Her research focuses on the basic biology of the human fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans. Specifically, the Ballou Lab aims to understand the basic biological mechanisms underlying Titan cells, a C. neoformans virulence morphotype found in the host lung that are associated with poor outcome for patients.
Dr. Elaine Bignell
Lead for Infection Studies and Deputy Director of the Manchester Fungal Infection Group, University of Manchester
I am a Reader in Applied Mycology at the University of Manchester (UoM) and Deputy Director of the Manchester Fungal Infection Group (MFIG). I have more than 20 years of experience in molecular genetic manipulation of model and pathogenic fungi and have worked extensively on transcriptional and post-translational regulation of fungal pH signalling. The major focus of my work is characterisation of the host-pathogen interaction during Aspergillus infection. In Manchester our research seeks a mechanistic understanding of this process, with a view to developing novel diagnostics and antifungal therapies. Our approach to studying the host-pathogen interaction transcends multiple experimental scales to address disease outcomes at the molecular, cellular, tissue, organ and whole animal levels. We are currently combining this suite of tools with a systems level approach to define pathogenicity in this organism. Current MRC-funded research programmes include structure-function analysis of a pH-responsive molecular switch required for fungal virulence and a genome scale census for pathogenicity factors in A. fumigatus.
Dr. Tom Chiller
Chief, Mycotic Diseases Branch, Associate Director of Global Programs, Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases, NCEZID, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Tom M. Chiller, MD, MPHTM is the Chief of the Mycotic Diseases Branch. As Branch Chief, Dr. Chiller provides leadership and support for fungal disease activities nationally and internationally. With over 25 years of experience in global health, Dr. Chiller also serves as the Associate Director for Global Programs in the Division of Foodborne, Waterborne, and Environmental Diseases (DFWED). Previously, Dr. Chiller has held numerous positions in DFWED including Associate Director for Epidemiologic Science and lead of the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System for Enteric Bacteria (NARMS). He still remains actively involved in antimicrobial resistance activities for fungal and enteric diseases.
Dr. Chiller is board certified in infectious diseases and is a faculty member in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Emory School of Medicine. He practices infectious diseases at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Atlanta. He has authored numerous articles and book chapters and given many lectures on public health surveillance and infectious diseases. During his past decade with the Mycotic Diseases Branch, Dr. Chiller has fostered strong international collaborations and helped to drive forward fungal public health programs in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and Southeast Asia.
Professor Matthew Fisher
Professor of Fungal Disease Epidemiology, Imperial College, London
Professor Matthew Fisher works on emerging pathogenic fungi and heads a research group at the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, St Mary's Hospital, Imperial College London. His research uses an evolutionary framework to investigate the biological and environmental factors that are driving emerging fungal diseases across human, wildlife and plant species. Wildlife plays a key role in the emergence of human emerging infectious disease (EID) by providing a 'zoonotic pool' from which previously unknown pathogens emerge. Conversely, human action impacts on patterns of fungal disease via the perturbation of natural systems, the introduction, and the spread of pathogenic fungi into naive environments, and by rapid natural selection for phenotypes such as resistance to antimicrobial drugs. His research group is focused on developing genomic, epidemiological and experimental models to uncover the factors driving these EIDs, and to attempt to develop new methods of control.
Prof Herman Goossens
Professor of Medical Microbiology at the University of Antwerp, Belgium, and director of the Laboratory of Clinical Biology of the University Hospital Antwerp, Belgium.
He received several honours and awards, including the American APUA (Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics). Herman Goossens has published more than 500 full papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals. He is the Founder Chair of the Belgian Antibiotic Policy Co-ordination Committee (BAPCOC). He was the Founding Coordinator of the European Surveillance of Antibiotic Consumption (ESAC) project (moved to ECDC in July 2011).
He currently coordinates several EC funded projects, such as the Platform for European Preparedness Against (Re-) emerging Epidemics (PREPARE), LAB-Net of the Combating Bacterial Resistance in Europe project (COMBACTE) and New Diagnostics for Infectious Diseases (ND4ID). He is the founder of the annual European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD). Herman Goossens was elected chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance by his peers. His professional goal is to bridge the gap between basic and clinical research, with a major focus on antibiotic resistance, to enhance the standard of healthcare, public health and professional standards, for the good of the public at large. He is a popular resource person and opinion leader, much sought after by local and international media for views on matters related to public health and infectious diseases.
Dr. Achyut Guleri
Consultant Clinical Microbiologist and Clinical Director of Laboratory Medicine at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire.
He joined the trust in 2006. He is the Lead Consultant for Lancashire Cardiac Centre, and also the strategic clinical lead for community/home IV therapy service (OPAT).
Areas of special interests include clinical mycology; healthcare associated infections and antibiotic stewardship; quality, innovation, productivity and prevention (QIPP), service development and transformational projects;
Dr. Elizabeth Johnson
Consultant Clinical Scientist in Medical Mycology, Director of the Public Health England Mycology Reference Laboratory, Bristol, UK
I have worked in the field of medical mycology since graduating and have been the Director of the Public Health England National Mycology Reference Laboratory and curator of the National Collection of Pathogenic Fungi (Bristol, UK) for the last 17 years. My particular interests are in the areas of antifungal drugs, diagnosis and identification of pathogenic fungi. The laboratory is extensively involved in teaching and we run an annual 4-day course for 30 participants on fungal identification.
I have published many papers and chapters on fungal infection, antifungal susceptibility testing and resistance, and have co-authored two books which are both on their second editions. I am a former President of the British Society for Medical Mycology, a Clinical Scientist assessor for ACB, have served as an editor for the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, an advisor for the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) and I am a mycology section editor for the Manual of Clinical Microbiology.
Professor Chris Kibbler
Professor of Medical Microbiology, University College London
Chris has been a member of the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer-Invasive Fungal Infections Group (EORTC-IFIG) Steering Committee and has also been Chair of the UK National Advisory Committee on Fungal Infection, Chair of the UK Clinical Mycology Network and a member of the European Conference on Infections in Leukaemia (responsible for producing the ECIL guidelines for the management of these infections).
Professor Kibbler is Past President of the British Society for Medical Mycology and Programme Director of the BSMM/UCL International MSc/Diploma in Medical Mycology.
His research interests include infections in the immunocompromised host and mycology, especially diagnostic, therapeutic, and pathogenic aspects of infections caused by Candida and Aspergillus species.
Dr. Jonathan Lambourne
Consultant in Infectious Diseases, Barts Health NHS Trust, London
Dr Lambourne completed his PhD at St George’s University of London, identifying mannose-binding lectin deficiency as a risk factor for invasive aspergillosis.
His particular interests are in infections in the immunocompromised, infections in the returning traveller and the evaluation of diagnostics in these patient groups.
Professor Russell Lewis
Associate Professor, Infectious Diseases, Infectious Diseases Clinic, S. Orsola Malpighi Hospital, Department of Medical Sciences and Surgery, University of Bologna, Italy
Russell Lewis is an Associate Professor of Infectious Diseases and a Clinical Pharmacologist in the Infectious Diseases Unit at S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, in the Division of Medical and Surgical Sciences, at the University of Bologna in Bologna, Italy. Before moving to Italy, Prof. Lewis was a Associate Professor of Pharmacy at the University of Houston College of Pharmacy, and a Clinical Pharmacist in Infectious Diseases at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Prof. Lewis has authored or co-authored over 230 papers and book chapters in the topics of antifungal pharmacology and infections in neutropenic cancer patients. He is a deputy editor for the journal Mycoses and an editor for the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. His past research focused on the pharmacology, resistance, and immunological activity of antifungal therapies. Currently, his research continues to focus on infections in immunocompromised hosts, including new diagnostic approaches and development of clinical risk models and optimized treatment approaches for multidrug resistant (MDR) Gram-negative bacteria and fungi.
Professor Johan Maertens
Associate Professor of Hematology, Universitaire Ziekenhuizen Leuven, K.U.Leuven, Belgium
Dr Maertens is currently Associate Professor of Hematology, Department of Hematology, Universitaire Ziekenhuizen Leuven, campus Gasthuisberg. He received his medical degree from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. He completed an internal medicine residency and clinical hematology fellowship at the University Hospital, Leuven. Dr Maertens is a member of the Immunocompromised Host Society, the International Society of Human and Animal Mycology, the Belgian Infectious Diseases Advisory Board, the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer, the American Society of Hematology, the European Group for Blood and Marrow Transplantation, among other organizations. He served as chair of the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC)-Infectious Diseases Group and is one of the steering committee members for the European Conference on Infections in Leukaemia (ECIL) meetings.
Dr Maertens’s main academic interests are allogeneic stem cell and bone marrow transplantation for hematologic and autoimmune disease and treatment of acute myeloid leukemia and acute lymphoblastic leukemia, as well as supportive care for immunocompromised patients, with special emphasis on treatment of invasive fungal infections. He has published articles on management and diagnosis of fungal infections in several esteemed journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine, Blood, Cancer, Mycoses, and Bone Marrow Transplantation. In addition, he co-edited, with Dr Kieren Marr, the monograph, Diagnosis of Fungal Infections. He also serves as transplant registry coordinator for the Belgian Hematological Society.
Dr. Ronan McMullan
Senior Lecturer & Consultant Medical Microbiologist, Belfast
Ronan McMullan was appointed consultant microbiologist at Belfast Trust in 2006 after having completed specialty training in Northern Ireland. He is also senior lecturer at Queen’s University Belfast where he previously graduated with an MD which was focused on the development and evaluation of a Candida PCR test in ICU patients.
He continues to pursue research on infection in the critical care setting and was founding chair of the Northern Ireland critical care translational research group. His main research interest is in diagnostic test accuracy studies and he has a leadership role in several current national trials, including those funded by Innovate UK, the Wellcome/DH healthcare innovation challenge fund, as well both the health technology assessment (HTA) and invention for innovation (i4i) programmes from NIHR.
Ronan is a senior examiner with the Royal College of Pathologists and is a member of the exam board for the new combined infection certificate exam. He is a member of the GMC curriculum advisory group, served as a co-opted expert member to the 2016 NICE sepsis guideline development group and has previously served as a NIHR reviewer and member of the HTA Board for the antimicrobial resistance themed call.
Dr. Jacques F. Meis
Consultant at the department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at Canisius Wilhelmina Hospital, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Jacques F. Meis is a consultant at the department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases at Canisius Wilhelmina Hospital and an honorary consultant at centre of Expertise in Mycology Radboudumc/CWZ, both in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Dr Meis received his doctorate degree in 1984 from the University of Nijmegen and his medical degree from Radboudumc followed by a fellowship at the Department of Medical Microbiology at Radboudumc, where he worked until 2000 as an associate professor.
Among his interests are treatment of fungal infections in intensive care patients and other compromised patients, resistance of filamentous fungi and molecular typing of fungi. Several articles on these and many other topics have been published in medical journals. Dr Meis is past-president of the Dutch Society for Medical Mycology and the European Confederation of Medical Mycology, vice-president of the International Society for Human and Animal Mycology and a fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, Royal College of Pathologists, European Confederation for Medical Mycology and American Academy of Microbiology.
Dr. Berit Muller-Pebody
Infectious Disease Epidemiologist and currently Head of the Antimicrobial Resistance Section, Healthcare-Associated Infections & Antimicrobial Resistance Department at the National Infection Service, Public Health England (PHE). Honorary Lecturer at the Institute of Child Health, University College London, UK.
Dr Berit Muller-Pebody has a special interest in the surveillance of antimicrobial prescribing and resistance, One Health initiatives, paediatric bloodstream infections and data linkage methods. She is member of the oversight group for the English surveillance programme for antimicrobial utilisation and resistance (ESPAUR) and co-author of the UK One Health Report 2015.Biography
Professor Mihai Netea
Division of Experimental Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Nijmegen University Nijmegen Medical Center, The Netherlands
Mihai Netea was born and studied medicine in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. He completed his PhD at the Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands, on studies investigating the cytokine network in sepsis. After working as a post-doc at the University of Colorado, he returned to Nijmegen where he finished his clinical training as an infectious diseases specialist, and where he currently heads the division of Experimental Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Nijmegen University Medical Center. His main research interests are sepsis and immunoparalysis, pattern recognition of fungal pathogens, primary immunodeficiencies in innate immune system, and the study of the memory traits of innate immunity.
Professor Tom Rogers
Head of Clinical Microbiology in Trinity College Dublin, Consultant Microbiologist, St James’s Hospital Dublin, and Clinical Director of the Irish Mycobacteria Reference Laboratory.
He has a long-standing interest in infections in immunocompromised patients particularly in the setting of haematological malignancy treatment. This has involved research on improving non-culture diagnostics for invasive aspergillosis and more recently detection of triazole resistance in Aspergillus fumigatus.
Other current research interests include use of next generation sequencing for investigation of Clostridium difficile epidemiology and for rapid detection of antibiotic resistance genes in Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
Tom is current President of the British Society for Medical Mycology.
Dr. Silke Schelenz
Consultant Microbiologist and Infection Control Doctor at the Royal Brompton Hospital, London
Silke Schelenz obtained her MD from the Free University of Berlin, Germany. She studied for her PhD on the subject of host response to Aspergillosis and Cyptococcosis at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
She is now the consultant microbiologist and infection control doctor as well as Head of the Microbiology Department at the Royal Brompton Hospital and honorary Senior lecturer at Imperial College. Silke is chair of the UK clinical mycology networks/PHE, member of the English Surveillance Programme for Antimicrobial Utilization and Resistance (ESPAUR): Antifungal resistance and consumption subgroup (PHE/DoH), Council member of the British Society for Medical Mycology, Specialty advisory committee member at the RCPath and UK Standards in microbiology steering committee member for devising standard SOPs for microbiology in the UK.
She has published extensively in the field of infection in particularly clinical mycology and acts as a referee for peer review medical journals and grant awarding bodies.
Dr Jörg Janne Vehreschild
Research Group Leader at the German Centre for Infection Research (DZIF) and Attending Physician at the 1st Department of Internal Medicine at the University Hospital of Cologne. In parallel to studying medicine in Bonn from 1999 to 2005, he worked freelance as a database and software developer from 1998 to 2000 at the Kuttig GmbH, Troisdorf and from 2000 to 2005 at System AG, Lohmar.
Since November 2005, he is a member of the Department of Internal Medicine and is active in patient care and research. Dr Vehreschild is board certified in Internal Medicine, Hematology, Oncology, and Infectious Diseases.
In his epidemiological and clinical research, Dr. Vehreschild has developed and now coordinates the biobanking infrastructures Improving Diagnosis of Infections in Severely Immunocompromised Patients (ISI, Cologne only, liquids and tissue) and the DZIF HIV Translational Platform (DZIF-wide, liquids, pathogens, and tissue). The working group has developed multiple software tools including the HIV Engaged Research Technology (HEnRY) to facilitate data collection, quality and inter-site collaboration.
His working group “Cohorts in Infection Research” (www.idcohorts.net) harbors the full spectrum of epidemiological and clinical data collection and analysis, including semantics, text mining, disease modelling, data privacy concepts, and biobanking. With the Cologne Cohort of Neutropenic Patients and the Cologne-Bonn HIV Cohort, it coordinates two of the largest local cohorts worldwide in their respective fields, allowing epidemiological analyses focused on effectiveness, outbreaks, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacoeconomics. The ClinicalSurveys.net network established by the group serves as a platform for numerous trials on a broad range of infections with support by various national and international funding bodies and sponsors.