Why Superbugs Should Scare You More Than Ebola

21 April, 2015 - 18:00 to 20:00
Customs House, 399 Queen St, Brisbane

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Professor David Paterson, Professor Mark Schembri, Professor Mark Walker & Hosam Mamoon Zowawi

Professor David Paterson
Group Leader, Infection & Immunity, UQ Centre for Clinical Research

David L. Paterson is a Professor of Medicine at The University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research (UQCCR). He is also a Consultant Infectious Diseases Physician, Consultant Microbiologist and Medical Advisor for the Centre for Healthcare Related Infection Surveillance and Prevention (CHRISP).

Professor Paterson's clinical work, research and teaching has been honoured and recognised internationally. He received both his medical degree and PhD from The University of Queensland. In 2007, Professor Paterson returned to Brisbane after spending ten years at The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, one of the leading academic medical institutions in the United States. In 2000 he was one of two recipients of the prestigious American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Merck Irving Sigal Memorial Award for "Significant Research in Microbiology and Infectious Diseases". He received the 2008 Frank Fenner Award for Advanced Research in Infectious Diseases by the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases (ASID) and in 2009 he was the winner of a Queensland Health Senior Clinical Research Fellowship.

Professor Mark Schembri

Professor Mark Schembri is an ARC Future Fellow in the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences at UQ and the Deputy-Director of the Australian Infectious Disease Research Centre. Prof. Schembri’s research is focused on the study of surface proteins that mediate adhesion, aggregation, and biofilm formation, as these are the primary mechanisms used by bacteria to initiate disease.

His research papers have been cited almost 4000 times and his H index is 35. Highlights include papers in leading journals such as Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, EMBO Journal, PNAS, PLoS Pathogens, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Molecular Microbiology and Cellular Microbiology.

Professor Mark Walker

Professor Mark Walker is the Director of the Australian Infectious Disease Research Centre.

Prof. Walker’s research focuses on the mechanism by which the group A streptococcus (Streptococcus pyogenes; GAS) causes invasive disease, with the aim of developing GAS vaccines.

These diseases range from mild skin infections such as pharyngitis, scarlet fever, impetigo, and cellulitis, to severe diseases such as septicemia, streptococcal toxic shock syndrome, and necrotizing fasciitis.

GAS is one of the ten most infectious diseases worldwide and Indigenous Australians suffer the highest rates of affliction with GAS diseases in the world.

Hosam Mamoon Zowawi

Hosam Zowawi is a clinical microbiologist interested in hospital-acquired infections, particularly those caused by antimicrobial resistant organisms (aka, superbugs). Hosam and his team at The University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research have initiated the first collaborative network of hospitals in the Gulf States of the Middle East to study the spread of superbugs on that part of the world. This project will potentially lead to initiating active ongoing surveillance on multidrug resistance in the GCC states and beyond. As a clinical microbiologist he recognizes the need to develop more rapid diagnostic tools to reduce turn-around-time to aid initial medical management, and rapid implementation of infection control precautions. Hence, his research is also focusing on developing innovative diagnostic methods to rapidly identify antibiotic resistant bacteria.