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Genomics-Driven Solutions: Harnessing the Power of Genomic Science for Controlling Antimicrobial Resistance and Infectious Diseases in Applied Engineering and Architecture
September 26 @ 10:00 - 11:00
On Tuesday, September 26th, from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM, a seminar titled “Genomics-Driven Solutions: Harnessing the Power of Genomic Science for Controlling Antimicrobial Resistance and Infectious Diseases in Applied Engineering and Architecture” will be held in Aula Magna (Building 1 – Piazza Leonardo da Vinci, 32 – Milan). The seminar will be conducted by Dr. Elita Jauneikaite from the Imperial College of London, UK.
After the presentation the final discussion will be moderated by three Politecnico di Milano researchers: Dr. Beatrice Cantoni (DICA), Dr. Marco Gola (DABC) and Dr. Nina Bono (DCMC).
This seminar is the result of a collaboration among the four researchers that originated within the European Talent Academy (ETA). This initiative is aimed at supporting the talent development of researchers in their early career stages to enhance their network and career path. The ETA initiative is jointly promoted by the Research Office of Politecnico di Milano, the Technical University of Munich, and the Imperial College London.
It will also be possible to attend the seminar online.
Nearly a century after the discovery of penicillin heralded the beginning of the antibiotic era, which has been associated with unparalleled improvements in human health and reductions in mortality associated with infection, the dwindling pipeline for new antibiotic classes coupled with the inevitable spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) pose a major global challenge. Historically, surveillance of AMR bacteria typically relied on phenotypic analysis of isolates taken from infected individuals, which provides only a low-resolution view of the epidemiology behind an individual infection or wider outbreak. Recent years have seen increasing adoption of powerful new genomic technologies that have the potential to revolutionise AMR surveillance by provide a high-resolution picture of AMR profile of the bacteria causing infections and provide real-time actionable information for treating and preventing infections. With current DNA sequencing technologies and turnaround times, outbreak investigation and providing support for IPC is the best use of genomics for AMR surveillance in healthcare facilities.
I will share examples of my work on applying bacterial genomics to better understand disease-causing bacterial infections and antimicrobial resistance patterns by analysing large-scale datasets and how application of DNA sequencing technologies to investigate hospital clusters of bacterial isolates with unusual antimicrobial activity transforms our epidemiological understanding of such hospital clusters and provides novel insights into resistance vectors.
Dr Elita Jauneikaite is an Advanced Research Fellow in Bacterial Genomics and Epidemiology at the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at Imperial College London. She completed her PhD at the University of Southampton and the Genome Institute of Singapore before moving to Imperial College as a postdoctoral researcher and then a Research Fellow. Currently, Dr Jauneikaite is the Research Lead for the Priority Pathogens theme at the National Institute of Health Research Health Protection Research Unit in Healthcare Associated Infection and Antimicrobial Resistance at Imperial College London.
Elita’s research focuses on evolution, transmission and antimicrobial resistance of vaccine preventable, and healthcare associated bacterial infections. As her major research programme, Elita is investigating the disease-causing Group B Streptococcus (GBS) using large-scale genomic epidemiology in both high- and low-income country settings, bioinformatic analyses and molecular biology techniques to inform on evolution, mother-to-baby transmission, and emergence of antimicrobial resistance patterns of this pathogen. As Research Lead for Priority Pathogens, Elita leads genomics work investigating healthcare associated infections, as well as outbreaks and pathogenicity of a range of bacterial pathogens including E. coli, K. pneumoniae, carbapenemase-producing Enterobacterales, staphylococcal and streptococcal species.
Elita co-led the recent Surveillance and Epidemiology of Drug Resistant Infections (SEDRIC) genomic surveillance of AMR working group and is an active member of the JPIAMR B2B2B-AMRdx network. In 2022, Elita was recognised as an Emerging Leader in International Infectious Diseases by International Society for Infectious Diseases (ISID) and selected as a participant in the European Talent Academy 2023.