Prof. Dennis Kyle

Dennis-Kyle_square _web

Organisation: Department of Global Health at the University of South Florida

What are you talking about at ICTMM 2016?
“The current paradigm is resistance to malaria drugs that target the mitochondrion arise de novo in a patient during treatment. In contrast we’ve discovered remarkable heterogeneity in the mitochondrial genome and that resistance arises from selection of pre-existing cryptic copies of mutant mitochondrial DNA in Plasmodium falciparum.” 

 

Have you been to Australia before? If yes, what is your favourite thing about Australia? If not, what would you like to do whilst in Australia?
“I’m fortunate to have visited Australia many times and to have lived in Brisbane for several years. My favorites are the people, Queensland weather, Mooloolaba, and Brisbane Lions footy.”

 

What inspired you to become involved in Tropical Medicine?
” In freshman biology my professor showed us parasitic worms crawling across the eye and I’ve been hooked on parasitology ever since.”

 

What did you want to be when you were a child?
” I wanted to become the next Johnny Bench (all time great professional baseball catcher).”

 

Who are you excited to see present at ICTMM 2016?
“I am excited about the depth and breadth of topics to be covered.”

 

 

Previous Speakers of the Week:

 

JScott  Dr John Scott

What are you talking about at ICTMM 2016?

“I’ll be speaking about how telehealth and telemedicine can be used in remote and underserved areas to improve access and care of infectious diseases. One example will be our partnership with the CDC and the Namibia Ministry of Health, where we recently launched an interactive case conference model to tackle the problem of HIV prevention, diagnosis and treatment.”

Have you been to Australia before? If yes, what is your favourite thing about Australia? If not, what would you like to do whilst in Australia?

“Yes! I love Australia! My family and I spent 4 months in Brisbane in 2012-3, while I was on sabbatical at the University of Queensland Centre for Online Health and Princess Alexandria Hospital. I was fortunate to work with Dr.David Looke during that time. I also was in Melbourne in 2013 for a conference. Growing up in California, I loved the sunshine and beaches, something that is now in short supply where I live in Seattle, so I loved going diving and hitting the beaches in Queensland. I’m definitely going surfing on the Gold Coast whilst in Australia this time. Aussies are wonderful people, fun loving with a wicked sense of humor!”

What inspired you to become involved in Tropical Medicine?

“It’s so disheartening to see how rarer tropical diseases not get the kind of research and development in therapy that is necessary. My wife and I spent 2 months in the country of Niger in 1998, where we saw the devastating effects of malaria, TB, parasitic diseases and HIV. I hope that telemedicine can help reach those afflicted by malaria and tropical diseases, improving timely access, diagnosis and treatment.”

What did you want to be when you were a child?

“My mother and sister are both teachers and my dad was an accountant, so I leaned in those directions early on. However, starting around 10 years old, I really got interested in medicine and that was my goal from then on.”

Who are you excited to see present at ICTMM 2016?

“I’m excited to hear my countryman, Dr Peter Hotez, speak about the hookworm vaccine. Vaccines are such a cost-effective intervention. I hope he wears his natty bow ties!”

 Amalia_Berna

Dr Amalia Berna

What are you talking about at ICTMM 2016?

“I will be speaking about the distinctive chemicals we found in the breath of patients infected with malaria. Our team in collaboration with QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute looked at the breath of volunteers, who had been given a controlled malaria infection as part of a study to develop new treatments. We found that the levels of some normally almost undetectable chemicals increased markedly in the breath of the volunteers during the malaria infection and after treatment. I will talk about how this research work could lead to developing a simple, painless and cheap breath test to help identify people who have malaria but don’t know.”

Have you been to Australia before? If yes, what is your favourite thing about Australia? If not, what would you like to do whilst in Australia?

“I have been living in Australia for 10 years and my favourite things about Australia are the beautiful beaches, crazy animals and lovely wines!”

What inspired you to become involved in Tropical Medicine?

“I was born in Peru, a country where tropical diseases and malaria is still a huge health issue. Malaria makes hundreds of millions of people sick and kills up to half a million each year. Our breath test for malaria would make a difference and save lives, it could be a game changer with wide applications to diagnose other important tropical diseases as well.”

What did you want to be when you were a child?

“I wanted to be a biologist. I had a huge interest in human cells. I spent hours looking at pictures of cells in books and looking at human cells under the microscope, I just wanted to know more and more about it! Today I am still interested in biology and human biomarkers in particular.”

Who are you excited to see present at ICTMM 2016?

“I am thrilled to hear Dr Sophie Allauzen speak about innovative malaria diagnosis tools.”

 

O-Chosidow

 Prof. Olivier Chosidow

 

Organisation: Department of Dermatology at the University Paris-est Creteil Val de Marne Teaching Hospital Henri Mondor, Créteil, France

Theme: Telemedicine and Remote Medicine

What are you talking about at ICTMM 2016?
“Scabies in the poor-resource countries: burden, fact and hope” that will be an introduction to the Scabies session.”

Have you been to Australia before? If yes, what is your favourite thing about Australia? If not, what would you like to do whilst in Australia?
I was in Sydney in 1997 for the World congress of Dermatology. During that time, I felt a well-being feeling although having traveling to the opposite of the World. At that time I did not have any Australian friends which is not the case now. My friends although in the field of my professional activities are fair, helpful, showing sincere friendship and scientific enthusiasm which are not that common today !”

What inspired you to become involved in Tropical Medicine?
In fact I have always been involved in Infectious Medicine, including Tropical diseases. The fact likely that what you do may have immediate visible consequences in the health of individuals.”

What did you want to be when you were a child?
Terrible question as I would have liked to have an original answer, e.g., theater player, but sincerely I always wanted to be a doctor!”

Who are you excited to see present at ICTMM 2016?
Generally speaking see people over the world sharing the same objectives but also see my Australian scabies friends to have good time, implement our already strong collaboration, see my PhD student presently in Katja Fischer’s lab and have time to visit Brisbane.” 

Kain Kevin_small

 Dr Kevin Kain

 

Organisation: Director, SAR Laboratories, Sandra Rotman Centre; Director, Tropical Disease Unit at UHN-Toronto General Hospital; and holds a Canada Research Chair

Theme: Malaria, Dengue

What are you talking about at ICTMM 2016?
“Therapeutics to improve outcome and prevent brain injury in severe malaria.”

Have you been to Australia before? If yes, what is your favourite thing about Australia? If not, what would you like to do whilst in Australia?
“Yes, I worked on Great Palm Island (off Townsville) as a medical student, it was a fantastic experience!”

What inspired you to become involved in Tropical Medicine?
“Right after medical school I spent 3 years travelling and working around the world, and realized that most people were dying from things I have never even been taught about. This made we want to focus on more globally important and preventable causes of death.”

What did you want to be when you were a child?
“An oceanographer – I blame that on Jacques Cousteau!”

Who are you excited to see present at ICTMM 2016?
“The beauty of Brisbane as well as my colleagues and friends.”

Prof Hendrik-Jan Roest pic

 Professor Hendrik Jan-Roest

 

Organisation: Head of the department Bacteriology and Epidemiology (B&E), Central Veterinary Institute, part of Wageningen UR (CV)

What are you talking about at ICTMM 2016?
“I am talking about Q fever, The unprecedented Q fever outbreak in the Netherlands and results of research on virulence of and host susceptibility for the outbreak strain. Q fever is a zoonoses caused by the intracellular bacterium Coxiella burnetii. between 2007 and 2010 more than 4,000 human cases have been registered and probably more than 40,000 humans have probably been infected. Due to its intracellular nature C. burnetii is hard to study. We were able to do some very nice experiments resulting in interesting results. I am going to present some of these exiting results during the conference.”

Have you been to Australia before? If yes, what is your favourite thing about Australia? If not, what would you like to do whilst in Australia?
“I have never been to Australia. I would like to visit the lab of my colleague-in Q fever Stephan Graves: the Australian Rickettsial Reference Laboratory near Melbourne. Furthermore I will explore Brisbane of course!”

What inspired you to become involved in Tropical Medicine?
“I was invited to give a presentation in the zoonoses session. As a veterinary bacteriological researcher I have special interest in zoonotic bacteria; bacteria that can spread from animals to humans and also vice versa. Most often these bacteria are intracellular growing agents needing special growth conditions and experience. My group has gathered experience during the Q fever outbreak in the Netherlands with dedicated Coxiella burnetii research on genotyping, pathogenesis, immunology, molecular biology, epidemiology. At the moment we are extending our research to Chlamydia and Francisella. We do that together with medical researchers and ecologists in full compliance with the One Health approach. I am very pleased to share our latest results on our Q fever research and probably some more.”  

What did you want to be when you were a child?
“I wanted to become a veterinary practitioner specialised in farm animals. I have fulfilled my dream and I have worked as a veterinary practitioner. After a while I was looking for some more challenge and found that as a researcher and veterinary microbiologist. At the moment I am combining research in intracellular bacteria with management in the One health approach.”

Who are you excited to see present at ICTMM 2016?

“I hope to meet my honoured Q fever research colleagues from South Korea and Australia and also colleagues from China.”

J.Burrows

 Dr Jeremy Burrows

 

Organisation: Vice President, Head of Drug Discovery Research & Development, Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV)

What are you talking about at ICTMM 2016?
“It is a huge honour to be giving two talks and chairing a symposium at this major Australian meeting. Australia is an important partner for Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) because it is a generous funder and supporter of our work to discover and develop new medicines for malaria, and there is a phenomenal science base in the country with world class expertise on malaria. We have been working with Australian scientists since MMV was first established. They form a vital part of our 400-strong international partner network. My talks cover the challenges associated with discovering next-generation antimalarials and the journey MMV has taken into Open Innovation, Open Access and Open Source research. I am chairing a symposium with Prof. Susan Charman of Monash University, an insightful scientist with whom we have worked for over a decade. The Symposium is particularly exciting because it focuses on four new classes of antimalarial that will be presented from international drug discovery experts for the first time together.”

Have you been to Australia before? If yes, what is your favourite thing about Australia? If not, what would you like to do whilst in Australia?
“This is my first visit to the country and I’ll be making the most of my stay. I’ll be visiting our key partners in Brisbane (Eskitis, Griffiths University, QIMR), Sydney (University of Sydney) and Melbourne (Monash University, University of Melbourne and WEHI). I’m also taking the opportunity to visit my cousin in Adelaide!”

What inspired you to become involved in Tropical Medicine?
“I started my career as a medicinal chemist in the pharmaceutical industry because I wanted to apply my scientific training to further human health. Now that I am working at MMV on a disease that affects hundreds of millions of patients, it is a dream come true: it’s a perfect coalescence of my values and expertise. Being able to impact the lives of those living in poverty, particularly women and children is hugely motivating.”

What did you want to be when you were a child?
“We are such stuff as dreams are made on,” to quote Shakespeare. As a young kid I wanted first to be a Dalek (for those of you who know Dr Who), and then a world class cricketer! Instead, I became a medicinal chemist. As a teenager my love of chemistry came from my fascination with crystals and my excellent and enthusiastic chemistry teachers. From then on I was hooked…”

Who are you excited to see present at ICTMM 2016?
“The line-up is a veritable ‘Who’s Who’ of leaders within the field of tropical medicine. The presenters I’m eager to see would be too long to list. It promises to be a truly excellent and inspiring meeting for everyone interested in this important area.”

TimBarnett_web

 Dr Tim Barnett

 

Organisation: Senior Research Officer Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre The University of Queensland

What are you talking about at ICTMM 2016?

“I am talking about the evolution of Group A Streptococcus bacteria that cause scarlet fever, a disease that was rife in the 1800s and has re-emerged in recent years in several geographically distinct areas.”

Have you been to Australia before? If yes, what is your favourite thing about Australia? If not, what would you like to do whilst in Australia?
“I grew up in Perth and moved to Brisbane in 2010 after several years in the USA. I love Australia’s wide-open spaces and pristine coastline.”

What inspired you to become involved in Tropical Medicine?
“Group A Streptococcus instantly intrigued me when I began working on it in 2000. This pathogen, possibly more so than any other, has a very wide disease spectrum and can affect different populations in very different ways. Understanding this complexity and developing effective therapeutic interventions is both a major public health priority and a fascinating intellectual challenge.”

What did you want to be when you were a child?
“A doctor and a professional athlete.”

Who are you excited to see present at ICTMM 2016?
“There are a lot of exciting speakers scheduled for ICTMM 2016. I am particularly looking forward to the talks by other Group A Streptococcus researchers, such as Jonathan Carapetis, Michael Good and Natkunam Ketheesan.” 

 Prof. Gerd Pluschke

 

Organisation: Head Molecular Immunology Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute

What are you talking about at ICTMM 2016?

“I will talk about new approaches to improve control of a neglected tropical skin disease caused by Mycobacterium ulcer. The disease is most common in West Africa, where it is called Buruli ulcer, but it is also found in Victoria and parts of northern Australia, where it may be better known as Bairnsdale ulcer or Daintree ulcer, respectively. The causative organism was actually first isolated in Australia – in 1948 by MacCallum in the Bairnsdale region of Victoria.”

Have you been to Australia before? If yes, what is your favourite thing about Australia? If not, what would you like to do whilst in Australia?
“I have been a few times in Australia and I have ongoing collaborations with several Australian colleagues. I always found it very enjoyable to stay in Australia and to interact and work with my colleagues. Apart from that it is of course a great experience to travel in this country with its lively multicultural environment and beautiful landscapes.”

What inspired you to become involved in Tropical Medicine?
“By training I am a biochemist and I realized early in my scientific career that it is very motivating for me to work on the application of innovative scientific approaches in medicine. In particular for the many neglected tropical diseases there is still urgent need for new vaccines, drugs and diagnostics and great progress can be achieved if clinicians and natural scientist are working closely together to develop new tools for a better control of these diseases.”  

What did you want to be when you were a child?
“For quite some time I considered to become a carpenter and joiner and still today I like working with wood. The next step I took was then to move from dead wood to biology and biomedical research.”

Who are you excited to see present at ICTMM 2016?
“Even at times of internet and Skype, conferences with large geographical distances still matter and therefore I am in particular excited to learn more about what is going on down under in tropical medicine and to meet colleagues from Australia and the surrounding countries.”

 DDance_web

 Prof. David Dance

 Organisation: Lao-Oxford-Mahosot Hospital-Wellcome Trust Research Unit, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford

What are you talking about at ICTMM 2016?
“‘Melioidosis: History and current global status’. I will be reviewing some of the milestones leading up to our current understanding of melioidosis and then focusing on some exciting recent modelling work that suggests that it is a far commoner disease worldwide than is currently appreciated and causes more human deaths than diseases that are much better know, like dengue and leptospirosis.”

Have you been to Australia before? If yes, what is your favourite thing about Australia? If not, what would you like to do whilst in Australia?
“This will be my sixth visit, so you can tell I have several favourite things! But the two things that have most impressed me have been the amazingly positive attitude and patriotism of most Australians, and the wildlife (especially the bird life). “ 

What inspired you to become involved in Tropical Medicine?
” I have always been interested in infections, and to me it always seemed that the biggest and best infections were found in the tropics!”

What did you want to be when you were a child?
” An adult. Now I would quite like my childhood back again…”

Who are you excited to see present at ICTMM 2016?
“I try not to get too excited at meetings, but at the risk of being parochial there are few people I enjoy hearing more than my old friend Bart Currie, who just happens to have done some wonderful work on melioidosis, amongst many other things.”