JAN 31, 2017 09:00 AM PST

WEBINAR: Networks of exchanging antibiotic resistance across human commensal, environmental, and pathogenic bacteria

SPONSORED BY: Zymo Research, Zymo Research
C.E. CREDITS: P.A.C.E. CE | Florida CE
  • Associate Professor, Washington University School of Medicine
      Gautam Dantas, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Department of Pathology & Immunology, the Department of Biomedical Engineering, the Department of Molecular Microbiology, and the Center for Genome Sciences & Systems Biology, at Washington University School of Medicine. He received his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Washington under the guidance of Dr. David Baker, and post-doctoral training in microbial genomics from Harvard Medical School under the guidance of Dr. George Church. Dr. Dantas's research interests and training lie at the interface of microbial genomics, synthetic biology, systems biology, and computational biology. His current research focuses on understanding the evolution and exchange of antibiotic resistance amongst diverse microbial communities, on engineering improved probiotics to treat gastrointestinal disorders, and on engineering microbial catalysts to produce value chemicals such as biofuels. He is a recipient of the AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize, the Harvard University Certificate for Distinction in Teaching, the NIH Director's New Innovator Award, the Kenneth Rainin Foundation Breakthrough Award, the Edward Mallinckrodt Jr. Foundation Scholar Award, and the Academy of Science - St Louis Innovator Award. More information about the Dantas Lab can be found at http://www.dantaslab.org
    • Scientist, Zymo Research Corp.
        Dr. Shuiquan Tang is currently a research scientist at Zymo Research. He received his Ph.D. in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry from the University of Toronto. Dr. Tang joined Zymo Research in 2014, and has since been instrumental in the research and development of Zymo's microbiomics and metagenomics programs. His past experiences include work in the fields of environmental microbiology and biological process engineering, with an emphasis on bioinformatics, metagenomics and anaerobic cultivation. Most recently, Dr. Tang has been involved in the development of Zymo Research's microbiomics portfolio. He has multiple publications in different journals, including Frontiers in Microbiology, Applied & Environmental Microbiology and Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B, Biological Science.


      DATE: January 31, 2017
      TIME: 9:00AM PT, 12:00PM ET


      Gautam Dantas - While the most acute effects of increasing antibiotic resistance in pathogens are observed in clinical settings, it is becoming increasingly clear that the evolution and transmission dynamics of resistance gene dissemination is an ecological problem. Indeed, steady use and abuse of antibiotics over the past century in food animals, humans, and the environment has provided substantial selective pressure for enrichment of resistance genotypes in each of their associated microbiomes. An over-reliance on culture-based methods, the standard in the study of clinical resistance, has vastly underestimated these reservoirs of resistance genes (or ‘resistomes’). To address this issue, we have recently developed high-throughput metagenomic functional selections, aided by next-generation sequencing, to characterize resistomes encoded by the microbiota of healthy human adults and children as well as diverse soils. By combining these analyses with 16S amplicon sequencing and deep shotgun sequencing, we model the impact of various anthropogenic perturbations on the transmission and evolutionary dynamics of microbial communities and their resistomes across time and habitats. Hundreds of resistance genes we identify from specific taxa in these different microbial communities are identical to resistance genes found in major human pathogens, indicating recent genetic exchange between these microbes. We also find thousands of functionally validated resistance genes which are genetically novel, but flanked by genes involved in horizontal gene transfer, including transposases and integrases. Together, these findings highlight the substantial antibiotic resistome encoded by microbes from diverse environments, which is available for exchange with pathogens, with the potential to severely exacerbate the problems with clinical resistance.


      Shuiquan Tang - The rapid growth of Microbiomics and Metagenomics Studies has increased the demand for standard methods to improve the reproducibility and quality of the data being generated.   Therefore, there is a need for standard reference materials for the development, evaluation, calibration, and validation of complex microbiomics workflows encompassing sample collection, sample preparation, and analyses. To address these fundamental challenges, the scientists at Zymo Research have created reference materials for the development of the most accurate and unbiased workflows from sample collection to analyses. In this seminar, we will show how these reference materials improve the quality of data generated from Microbiomic studies.

      Learning Objective 1: Attendees will learn about networks of exchanging antibiotics resistance across human commensal, environmental, and pathogenic bacteria.

      Learning Objective 2: Attendees will learn how individual steps in their microbiomics workflow can be standardized to greatly improve the quality and reproducibility of the data generated.

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