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How bacterial viruses can change medicine as we know it


Science Foundation Ireland and the Irish International Business Network (IIBN) are partnering together 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 East where they continue to be used to this day.  With the advent of antibiotic resistance we are turning to phage as potential solutions for infectious disease, an ongoing scourge which claims over 10 million lives annually.

Prof Colin Hill will deliver a talk focused on the research performed at the University College Cork-based SFI Research Centre – APC Microbiome Institute, which is working together with Janssen Pharmaceuticals to exploit phage to investigate and treat chronic disease.  Prof Hill will be joined by Dr Louise Jopling who leads immunology-focused collaborations at the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centre in London.  Together, they will have 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 will also provide an opportunity for the audience to learn more about how companies can collaborate with research in Ireland.  The event will take place at the Embassy of Ireland, London at 6pm on May 24th.   Registration and further details of the event entitled “IIBN London and Science Foundation Ireland:  Looking Small, Thinking Big – How Bacterial Viruses Can Change Medicine As We Know It”  can be found  here.