Keynote Speakers

Dr. Gilmore Dr. Gotz Dr. O'Riordan Dr. Sonenshein Dr. Tuomanen
Dr. Gilmore Prof. Götz Dr. O’Riordan Dr. Sonenshein Dr. Tuomanen
Michael S. Gilmore, PhD
Dr. Gilmore is currently the Sir William Osler Professor of Ophthalmology (Microbiology and Immunobiology), Harvard Medical School. He serves on the steering committees of the Harvard Microbial Sciences Initiative, and the Infectious Disease Initiative of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. As Principal Investigator of the Harvard-wide Program on Antibiotic Resistance, his research focuses on the evolution and development of multidrug resistant strains of enterococci and staphylococci, and the development of new therapeutic approaches. He is immediate past chair of the NIH Bacterial Pathogenesis Study Section, the Gordon Conference on Microbial Adhesion and Signal Transduction, and ASM Division D. He is founder and organizer of the international ASM Conference on Enterococci series, and Editor in Chief of the ASM Press book The Enterococci. Mike started his academic career in 1984 at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, where he rose through the ranks to Vice President for Research. He also held the MG McCool professorship and the George Lynn Cross chair. In 2004 he moved to Harvard Medical School to become the CL Schepens Professor of Ophthalmology, President and CEO of the Schepens Eye Research Institute, and Ankeny Director of Research. In 2010, he moved his laboratories to their current location on the MGH campus, in the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. He continues to serve on numerous advisory boards and committees for public and private organizations, mainly focused on drug discovery, antibiotic resistance, and bacterial pathogenesis.
Dr. Gotz Friedrich Götz, PhD
Dr. Gotz is Head and Professor of Department of Microbial Genetics at the University of Tubingen in Germany. He studied Biology and Chemistry at the University Munich and completed his postdoc (1979-1981) at the University Uppsala, Biomedical Center (Sweden). In 1985 he became docent at the Technical University Munich. From 1987 to now he is appointed professor for the chair "Microbial Genetics" at the University Tubingen. Dr. Gotz has a broad interest in molecular analysis of virulence and physiology in staphylococci. They showed that lantibiotics (the term was coined in Tubingen), such as epidermin, are ribosomally synthesized as prepeptides and post-translationally converted into the mature peptide; they also unraveled the biosynthetic pathway. The molecular basis of biofilm formation is until now a major research focus. The concept of two-step biofilm formation (adherence followed by intercellular aggregation) goes back to the first description of genes involved in primary adhesion (major autolysin, atl) and PIA (polysaccharide intercellular adhesion, ica) biosynthesis. Both genes play a crucial role in chronic and implant-associated infections. In recent years they started to investigate stimulation and response to innate immunity. They demonstrated that in Staphylococcus aureus lipoproteins (Lpp) and teichoic acids play a major role in activating innate immunity. At the same time they have shown that this pathogen is well armed against the defense system and could unravel some resistance mechanisms. Finally, they are studying cell separation, which is in staphylococci catalyzed by the major autolysin (Atl). Further information can be found at Microbial Genetics, University of Tubingen website.
Dr. O'Riordan Mary O’Riordan, PhD
Dr. Mary O’Riordan is an Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Michigan. Her laboratory explores the interaction of intracellular bacterial pathogens with their host cells. Primarily, the lab studies the Gram-positive bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, a facultative intracytosolic pathogen, investigating mechanisms of adaptation to the host cell environment, including defining bacterial factors that facilitate rapid intracellular replication of the bacterium. In addition, they use L. monocytogenes as a model pathogen with which to explore host mechanisms that regulate infection and innate immune signaling by characterizing host transporters that modulate bacterial entry into the host cytosol and elucidating molecular mechanisms that govern induction of proinflammatory cytokines in response to cytosolic bacteria.
Dr. Sonenshein Abraham L. Sonenshein, PhD
Dr. Sonenshein is Professor of Molecular Biology and Microbiology at Tufts University School of Medicine, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1972. He holds degrees from Princeton University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition to teaching medical and dental students, he has trained 20 Ph.D. graduates and 36 postdoctoral fellows. Dr. Sonenshein’s current research focuses on mechanisms of gene regulation in Bacillus, Clostridium, Listeria, and Staphylococcus; control of virulence genes; and use of bacterial spores as vaccine delivery systems. His research has been funded continuously since 1972 by the National Institutes of Health, with additional support from the National Science Foundation and the Gates Foundation.
Dr. Tuomanen Elaine Tuomanen, MD
Elaine Tuomanen, MD, is Chair of the Department of Infectious Disease at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN. She obtained her MD degree from McGill University and subsequently completed post-doctoral training with Dr. Alexander Tomasz at Rockefeller University. She served as Head of the Laboratory of Molecular Infectious Disease at Rockefeller for several years before accepting her current position at St. Jude. She has authored over 150 manuscripts, has been funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease for over 20 years, and has been the recipient of research awards from the American Lung Association, the Infectious Disease Society of America, the Pediatric Infectious Disease Society, and the American Society of Microbiology. Her primary research focus has been on the pathogenesis of pneumococcal infection with a specific emphasis on surface-associated properties and their role in the disease process. She is currently funded through numerous grants from NIAID as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.