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Viral Treatment of Acute Microbial Infections via Immunophage Synergy
Prof Joshua S Weitz, Professor of Biological Sciences, Physics, and Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
Date : 16 Apr 2018 (Monday)
Time : 4:30 - 6:00 pm
Venue : Chow Tak Sin Lecture Theater (LT-G), HKUST
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Multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacterial pathogens constitute a critical public health threat. Therapeutic use of bacteriophage ('phage') - viruses that infect and lyse bacteria - can, in principle, specifically eliminate MDR pathogens from animal hosts. However, phage is obligated intracellular parasites that are highly specific with respect to their bacterial host range. As such, critical questions remain regarding how phage can eliminate bacterial hosts from animal hosts, both on infection and evolutionary time scales. In this lecture, the speaker will combine principles of viral ecology with immunology to understand mechanisms underlying successful phage-based treatments of acute microbial infections. By combining mathematical models, computational simulations, and in vivo experiments, he will show how phage and the innate immune response can synergistically eliminate acute infections even if neither can do so alone. In closing, he will discuss the consequences of 'immunophage synergy' for advancing the use of phage in therapeutic contexts.


About the speaker

Prof Joshua S Weitz got his AB in Physics from Princeton University in 1997 and PhD in Physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2003. He then started his research career at Princeton University from 2003 to 2006. In 2007, he joined Georgia Institute of Technology as an Assistant Professor of Biology. He is currently the Professor of Biological Sciences, Physics, and Electrical and Computer Engineering, and the Founding Director of the Interdisciplinary Quantitative Biosciences Graduate Program there.

Prof Weitz studies the structure and dynamics of complex biological systems in order to understand how viruses transform human health and the fate of our planet. He has published a book called Quantitative Viral Ecology: Dynamics of Viruses and Their Microbial Hosts in 2015. He also served at the editorial boards of Scientific Reports, Virus Evolution, mSystem and Journal of Theoretical Biology.

Prof Weitz has been the Simons Foundation Investigator in Ocean Processes and Ecology since 2014. Besides, he was the Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) (2017) for his contributions in quantitative viral ecology. 

For attendees’ attention


  The lecture is free and open to all. Seating is on a first come, first served basis.



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