Whoever said “All good things come in threes” clearly hasn’t seen the speaker line-up for this year’s Bacteriophage Therapy Summit. For the 4th time, the phage community will get together to learn about and discuss the hot new topics of clinical bacteriophage research and commercialization.
Between talks given by Sabrina Green of Baylor College, Tobi Nagel of Phages for Global Health, and Saima Aslam of IPATH, it’s hard to decide what to be most excited about. Will it be Valeria Gigante enlightening us about the WHO’s Perspective on Phage Therapies? Or maybe Iddo Weiner showing us how to best predict a phage’s host range from genomic data?
During several Q&A and networking sessions throughout the conference, everyone will get the chance to get to know each other (perfect for newbies like me!) and ask questions that have been burning in their minds.
No matter what your “must-attend” talks are, the one thing that should be marked with a bright red heart in everyone’s calendars are the pre-conference workshops on Monday the 14th! This year on Valentine’s Day, all my love will be dedicated to phages.
Beyond (human) phage therapy
Under the theme of “Identifying & Understanding Commercial Opportunity for Phage-Application Beyond Human Health”, Workshop A explores how phages could revolutionize pathogen control in aquaculture and agriculture, and why we should develop phage cocktails for animals. Given the way COVID has dominated our lives for the last two years, it is only appropriate to kick the workshop off with a talk about phage-based ways to catch and kill COVID-19.
A focus on modified phages and lysins
After a mealtime break, it is time to dive back in, this time with Workshop B, “Harnessing the Potential of Modified Phages & Phage Lysins”. There will be talks about how to tackle some of the most notorious pathogens such as Acinetobacter baumannii and other multidrug-resistant bacteria.
While it might be tempting to invest all your Valentine’s Day love on Monday, this is only the start, so save some passion for Tuesday and Wednesday!
Regulatory hurdles and solutions
On Tuesday, we will take a break from the lab bench and explore the regulatory hurdles that accompany phage therapy with talks given by Cara Fiore (FDA Office of Vaccines Research & Review), Edward Burd (BiomX), and Valeria Gigante (World Health Organization).
Zooming out globally: phage work in resource-limited settings
If the current pandemic taught us anything, it is that health is a global issue. Therefore, we will look at phages in a global setting, from phage isolation from hospital wastewater in the Philippines, phage banks across Asia and Africa to building infrastructure for phage therapy in resource-limited settings.
Phage meets the human body
We round off the day with talks about the efficiency of phage cocktails against Enterococcus, the importance of selecting the right phage for the job, and the immune system’s role in phage therapy.
A focus on formulation
Ringing in the last day, are Danish Malik, Natalie Ma, and Mikael Skurnik under the topic “Formulating & Manufacturing Bacteriophages for Commercial Use”, discussing phages in cosmetics and more.
This session is followed by a closer look at using phages to treat antibiotic-resistant urinary tract infections and the potential of using phages against prosthetic joint infections.
Lessons learned from compassionate use
Currently, phage therapy is almost exclusively employed for compassionate use, so what are the lessons we can and should learn from that? We will hear from experts from Baylor, the Phage Therapy Centre in Georgia, and the Mayo Clinic.
Letting the genetic code be our guide
Last, but by no means least, we will round off the Bacteriophage Therapy Summit by deciphering the genetic code of our favourite little viruses and how this can help determine a phage’s host range and select the appropriate phage for the job.
See you there!
As you can see, there is something for everyone, so keep your schedule clear from February 14th to 16th! Personally, I absolutely can’t wait to meet all of you there and learn many new and exciting phings! (“Typo” is intentional)!
Still need to register? No problem
Register here for the 4th Bacteriophage Therapy Summit, February 14-16, 2022 (online).
For 10% off, use code PHAGE10.