Key Note Presentations
Day 1 & Day 2 Key Note Presentations.
Translating the Microbiome in the Era of Personalised Medicine
By Joesph Petrosino, Interim-Chairman, Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine.
The Alkek Center for Metagenomics and Microbiome Research (CMMR) at Baylor College of Medicine is pursuing numerous research and development efforts in the study of how the microbiome impacts human disease, including autoimmune disease, neurodevelopmental disorders, cancer, and type 1 diabetes. Among these efforts are the benchmarking and validation of protocols and strategies to engage large, complex cohorts and unique sample sources for metagenomic analyses delivered for academia and industry. In addition, we have made a significant investment in preclinical model systems facilitate host-microbe studies and connect association to causality, as this is a critical hurdle for any microbiome research program. Among these models are a large germ free rodent facility and physiologically active human culture systems that mimic host susceptibility and response to determine microbe-host interactions of mucosal diseases. By implementing ‘omics-based approaches with these translational models, we are beginning to reveal host responses to microbial colonization and infection which can inform precision medicine-based targets for the detection and treatment of disease.
Dr. Petrosino is the Cullen Foundation endowed interim-chairman of the Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM). Subsequent to his leadership role in the Human Microbiome Project, Dr. Petrosino launched the Alkek Center for Metagenomics and Microbiome Research (CMMR) in 2011 to catalyze translational microbiome research with clinicians and investigators from around the world. Together, CMMR and Diversigen have engaged in more than 400 diverse microbiome studies with over 200 collaborating groups internationally, leading to more than 130 authored contributions.
Development of Synthetic Biotic MedicinesTM for Patients
By Aoife Brennan, President & CEO, Synlogic Inc.
Synlogic is pioneering the development of a novel class of living medicines, Synthetic Biotic medicines, based on its proprietary drug development platform. Synlogic leverages the tools and principles of synthetic biology to genetically engineer beneficial microbes to perform or deliver critical functions missing or damaged due to disease. Synthetic Biotic medicines are designed to act locally and have a systemic effect to address disease in patients. Synlogic’s two lead programs, SYNB1020 and SYNB1618, are orally administered and target hyperammonemia as a result of liver damage or genetic disease, and phenylketonuria, respectively. Synlogic is also developing SYNB1891 as an intratumorally administered Synthetic Biotic medicine for the treatment of cancer. In addition, the company is leveraging the broad potential of its platform to create additional Synthetic Biotic medicines for the treatment of liver disease, as well as inflammatory and immune disorders, including Synlogic’s collaboration with AbbVie to develop Synthetic Biotic-based treatments for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This presentation will provide an overview of the Company’s strategy and progress to date in achieving the vision of developing new treatments for patients with unmet medical needs.
Aoife Brennan is currently President and CEO at Synlogic Inc. (Nasdaq:SYBX), a clinical stage biotechnology company applying synthetic biology to probiotics to develop novel, living medicines. She joined Synlogic as Chief Medical Officer in September 2016, served as interim CEO from April 2018 and was promoted to the permanent position in October 2018. Previously she was Vice President and Head of the Rare Disease Innovation Unit at Biogen where her work resulted in the approval of ALPROLIXTM, ELOCTATETM and SPINRAZATM as well as the advancement of several early-phase programs and external collaborations. Aoife holds a medical degree from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and completed residency and fellowship training in general internal medicine and endocrinology. She has completed post-doctoral training in clinical research and metabolism at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, is a graduate of the Harvard Medical School Scholars in Clinical Science Program and has > 40 academic publications. She serves as a Director of Ra Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq:RARX) and is a member of the advisory board of the Harvard Masters in Clinical Investigation Program.