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London Event with Colin Hill & Louise Jopling, J&J

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Science Foundation Ireland and the Irish International Business Network (IIBN) in London partnered to deliver an evening of insight into the world of bacterial viruses – the most abundant entities on earth.

Bacterial viruses, or phage, were discovered 100 years ago this year.  At first they were hailed as the solution to bacterial infection – self-replicating nano-machines which rapidly destroy their target bacteria.  However, the discovery of broad spectrum antibiotics essentially put a stop to phage as medicines, except in the eastern Europe where they continue to be used to this day.  With the advent of antibiotic resistance we are returning to phage as potential solutions for infectious disease, an ongoing scourge which claims over 10 million lives annually.

Colin Hill’s talk focused on the research performed at the APC Microbiome Institute, which is working together with Janssen Pharmaceuticals (part of the J&J group) to exploit phage to investigate and treat chronic disease.  Colin was joined by Dr Louise Jopling who leads immunology-focused collaborations at the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centre in London.  Together, they had an interactive discussion moderated by Dr Ruth Freeman, Science Foundation Ireland Director of Strategy and Communications, on the impact of this industry-academic collaboration and how it may shape future therapeutics.

The event also provided an opportunity for the audience to learn more about how companies can collaborate with research groups in Ireland.  The event took place at the Embassy of Ireland, London at 6pm on May 24th.