Day 2 :
Taijiao Jiang has completed his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology-Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1999 and his Master Degree in Computer Science from Yale University in 2003. After his Postdoc researches in Yale Biology Department (1999-2002) and MIT Biology Department (2003-2005), he got a Professorship at Institute of Biophysics Chinese Academy of Sciences. In 2015, he joined at the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College and cofounded the Suzhou Institute of Systems Medicine. He is the Director of Center of Biomedical Big Data of Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences. He has published more than 40 papers in reputed journals and has been serving as the President of Bioinformatics Branch of the Chinese Biophysics Society since 2017.
Due to the development of high throughput sequencing technologies, large-scale sequencing of pathogens, such as influenza viruses and HIV, has not only become a routine work in surveillance of infectious diseases, but also become indispensable in identification of newly emerging infectious disease in their outbreaks. Besides, analyses of these large-scale sequence data of pathogens will significantly enhance our understanding towards the evolution of diseases, promoting new strategies for prevention and control of these viruses. His research mainly focuses on modeling the evolution of infectious disease from gene data and epidemiological data. Many computational methods have been developed in his lab to understand the origin and evolution of influenza viruses. They were demonstrated to be helpful in influenza vaccine recommendation, estimating the mortality burden and disease lethality, sourcing newly emerging influenza viruses, and so on. They have made a significant influence in the field of bioinformatics and informatics of infectious diseases. Among them, in collaboration with China CDC, the new methods developed for vaccine recommendation of human influenza viruses have now been in use in China CDC for assisting flu vaccine strains selection.
- Zoonotic Diseases: Global Infectious Disease Burden | Evolution and Epidemiological Aspects of Influenza and Zoonotic Diseases Antiviral treatment for flu and public health policy
Location: Fleming 9
Bryan R Cullen
Duke University Medical Center, USA
John A Walsh
University of Warwick, UK
Stanford University School of Medicine, USA
Henry Memczak studied nanotechnology at the University of Kassel, Germany and completed his PhD in biochemistry in 2014 at the University of Potsdam, Germany and the Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology, Germany. He has worked on the development of analytical biosensors for influenza detection and methods for peptide-based biointeraction analysis for several years, published several papers, holds two patents and co-founded the company qpa bioanalytics GmbH for the commercialization of novel peptide biochips. For his dedicated translational research he received several awards and scholarships.
The only cost-effective protection against influenza is vaccination. Due to rapid mutation continuously new subtypes appear, what requires annual reimmunization. For a correct vaccination recommendation, the circulating influenza strains have to be detected promptly and exactly and characterized regarding their antigenic properties. Due to recurring incidents of vaccine mismatches, there is a great need to speed up the process chain from identifying the right vaccine strains to their administration. The monitoring of subtypes as part of this process chain is carried out by national reference laboratories within the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS). To this end, thousands of viruses from patient samples (e.g. throat smears) are isolated and analyzed each year. Currently this analysis involves complex and time-intensive (several weeks) animal experiments to produce specific hyperimmune sera in ferrets, which are necessary for the determination of the antigen profiles of circulating virus strains. These tests also bear difficulties in standardization and reproducibility, which restricts the significance of the results.
To replace this test a peptide-based assay for influenza virus subtyping is developed. The differentiation of the viruses takes place by a set of specifically designed peptidic recognition molecules which interact differently with the different influenza virus subtypes. The differentiation of influenza subtypes is performed by pattern recognition guided by machine learning algorithms, without any animal experiments.
University of Texas Medical Branch, USA
Time : 12:15-12:35
Dr. Slobodan Paessler, is a Professor in the Department of Pathology and Director of Galveston National Laboratory Preclinical Studies Core. Dr. Paessler is a co-principle investigator on the Universal Influenza Vaccine project funded by an NIAID grant at Etubics Corporation. He serves as the Director of Animal Biosafety Level 3 for the Institute of Human Infections and Immunity. He has been Member of Scientific Advisory Board at Etubics Corporation since July 2015. He serves as a Member of the Center for Biodefense & Emerging Infectious Diseases. He received a Dr. Med Vet (D.V.M) at Ludwig-Maximilian University and a Ph.D in Experimental Pathology from UTMB.
Flu epidemics and potential pandemics pose great challenges to public health institutions, scientists and vaccine producers. Creating right vaccine composition for different parts of the world is not trivial and has been historically very problematic. This often resulted in decrease in vaccinations and reduced trust in public health officials. To improve future protection of population against flu we urgently need new methods for vaccine efficacy prediction and vaccine virus selection. Recently, novel bioinformatics platform based on electronic biology was successfully utilized for real-time monitoring of influenza A viruses as well as for prediction of vaccine efficacy in Australia and USA in 2017 and 2018. Here we present wEB platform and its usage in identifying functional biological changes in haemagglutinin protein of influenza A viruses and how this knowledge can be applied for vaccine design, prediction of future vaccine efficacy and real-time virus evolution monitoring.
University of Chicago Medicine, USA
Sherwin Morgan completed his respiratory care training from Malcolm X College of Respiratory Care in Chicago, IL. He is an advanced respiratory care practitioner with the National Board for Respiratory Care in the United States. He is Clinical Practice and Development /Educator/Research Coordinator for the Department of Respiratory Care Services, Section of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Chicago Medicine. He has published more than 25 peer review papers in multiple medical journals. He has designed, engineered, and collaborated with a number of research studies with the pulmonary medicine department.
The mechanics of flu related respiratory illness is not completely implicit as it includes; influenza, zoonotic and non-influenza pathogens. Precise diagnosis is difficult as it often mimics asthma out of control which has perplexed researchers for decades. This has led to treatment confusion and an underestimation that the primary cause of breathing difficulties is related to bronchiolitis-bronchiectasis. A microbiology respiratory viral panel (RVP) test via polymerase chain reaction (PCR) can identify whether there is a co-existing viral lung infection that may worsen the lung function. Viral flu-related respiratory infections are highly transmittable and may increase morbidity and mortality in patients with premorbid pulmonary disease and weakened immune systems. The symptoms of flu include dyspnea and coughing; after usual treatment with steroids and asthma medications, continue to have worsening symptoms causing re-hospitalization. Chest radiography for patients with respiratory distress due to flu are notable for; bronchial wall thickening, bronchiectasis and sub-segmental atelectasis, related air-flow obstruction. Rhinoviruses (RV) – enterovirus (EV) for example is under recognized as the leading cause of hospitalization for viral outbreaks. Respiratory Enterovirus is responsible for 10 to 15 million hospitalizations annually. Enterovirus (D-68) was attributed to 14 deaths in 2014 in the United States (USA) and 70 deaths in the 2011 Philippines D68 outbreak. Ever since the 2014 D68 outbreak, there has been a drastic increase in the number of patients hospitalized and re-hospitalized for flu symptoms associated with severe acute respiratory distress on the pediatric and oncology wards. Zoonotic agents such as coronavirus (HCoV) are passed bi-directionally between animals and humans and capable of joining with other viral agents. All this has created undefined burden on global clinical resources. More research is needed to understand the pathogenesis of viral bronchiolitis and bronchiectasis related respiratory illness to assist clinicians with recognition and treatment of this highly morbid disease.
World Health Organization, Switzerland
Christopher Chadwick is a Technical Officer in the Global Action Plan for Influenza Vaccines Secretariat at World Health Organization. Previously, he was a Global Health Officer in the office of Global Affairs at the US Department of Health and Human Services. He received a Master of Science degree in Public Health with a concentration in microbiology and emerging infectious diseases from Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University and a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from Louisiana State University.
Purpose: The World Health Organization’s Global Action Plan for Influenza Vaccine (GAP) was a 10-year initiative dedicated to reducing the global shortage and inequitable access to influenza vaccines in the event of an influenza pandemic. The overarching goal of the GAP was to develop the capacity to produce enough vaccines to immunize 70% of the global population with two doses of vaccines. The GAP aimed to achieve this goal by increasing evidence based seasonal influenza vaccine use; developing influenza vaccine production and regulatory capacity in 14 low and middle income countries (LMICs) and; encouraging the development of improved influenza vaccines.
Methods: Between 2006 and 2016, the WHO collaborated with member states and key stakeholders to address the global shortage of and increase equitable access to pandemic influenza vaccines in the event of an outbreak.
Results: The outcomes of the GAP include: A dramatic increase in countries with a seasonal influenza policy in place (115 member states by 2014 from a baseline of 74 in 2006); the development of 8 licensed pandemic influenza vaccines and 3 licensed seasonal influenza vaccines in 6 LMICs and; A global expansion of pandemic vaccine production capacity, especially in LMICs (potential global capacity of 6.4 billion doses estimated in 2015).
Discussion: Following the conclusion of the GAP in 2016, priorities for influenza vaccine preparedness moving forward are to sustain the production capacity of influenza manufacturers in LMICs, promote and stimulate innovative influenza vaccine research and development, identify root causes of influenza vaccine hesitancy, generate more evidence on vaccine effectiveness in specific risk groups, and identify innovative ways of addressing global pandemic influenza preparedness.