FUELLING THE FIGHT AGAINST
GLOBAL INNOVATIONS IN RESEARCH & DISCOVERY
HOSTED BY THE MICHAEL G. DEGROOTE INSTITUTE FOR INFECTIOUS DISEASE
RESEARCH AND THE DAVID BRALEY CENTRE FOR ANTIBIOTIC DISCOVERY
14 & 15 NOVEMBER 2019 | McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario
When Antibiotics Fail: A discussion at the 2019 Gairdner Symposium
2019 GAIRDNER SYMPOSIUM
Each year, the Gairdner Foundation invites universities, organizations and research institutes across Ontario to submit proposals to host a partnered international symposium on the frontiers of biomedicine.
This year, the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research and David Braley Centre for Antibiotic Discovery at McMaster University were honoured to have been selected to host the 2019 Gairdner event on the growing global crisis of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
Drawing on the Canada Gairdner Awards’ history of recognizing the best in biomedical science, this symposium brought together leading experts from across the world to present on the state of the international AMR challenge and to showcase recent global advances in AMR research and discovery.
DAY 1 (Thursday, November 14th)
DAY 2 (Friday, November 15th)
David Braley Health Sciences Centre
THURSDAY, 14 NOVEMBER
Day 1 of our two-day Gairdner Symposium provided our audience with a comprehensive overview of the past, current and future state of the global AMR crisis. First, an international panel of AMR experts discussed the critical findings of a new report on AMR released by the Council of Canadian Academies and the broader global context. The panel discussion followed with a series of educational lectures on AMR, and gave our audience the opportunity to engage with our speakers to learn more about the AMR crisis.
FRIDAY, 15 NOVEMBER
L.R. Wilson Hall, Main Campus
Day 2 of the Gairdner Symposium was highly solution-focused, with presentations delivered by health and science experts representing many sectors of AMR innovation. Our speakers discussed the current status and future potential of modern-day AMR strategies and solutions, specifically as they pertain to the areas of drug discovery, surveillance, and antimicrobial stewardship. Students were given the opportunity to present the research of their labs at McMaster University, shedding light on the potential of new and emerging innovations and ideas in the field.
AMR BY THE NUMBERS
Annual deaths worldwide
Associated medical costs in Canada
Additional associated deaths worldwide
Associated medical costs worldwide
*O’Neill, J. (2016) Tackling Drug-Resistance Infections Globally: Final Report and Recommendations, Wellcome Trust & HM Government.
WHAT IS ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE?
Ever since the discovery of penicillin in 1929 and its use as a drug in the early 1940s, antibiotics have saved hundreds of millions of lives. These ‘miracle drugs’ not only cure life-threatening diseases such as pneumonia and sepsis but enable physicians to perform high-risk medical procedures like hip and knee replacements and cancer chemotherapy. Without antibiotics, health practitioners would be unable to appropriately care for our most vulnerable populations such as the elderly, immune-compromised, and infants born preterm. However, the rapid emergence of drug-resistant pathogens threatens to reverse the progress that modern medicine has made.
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a rapidly growing problem of global severity. In 2016, top U.K. government advisor Lord Jim O’Neill estimated that more than 700,000 people die each year from infections related to drug resistance and that this number will exponentially rise to include an additional 50 million deaths by the year 2050 if no new solutions are found*. In addition to the devastating health consequences of AMR, associated medical costs are predicted to rise to a staggering USD 100 trillion in as little as 30 years*.
Solutions to the AMR problem include the discovery of novel therapeutics (such as new antibiotics, antibiotic adjuvants, vaccines, and drugs that block resistance) the development of improved diagnostic strategies for the rapid identification of superbugs, and the more careful management of our existing drugs. Global innovators are addressing all of these strategies in an effort to combat the AMR crisis; however, its successful mitigation requires a disciplined, strategic, and interdisciplinary approach that emphasizes understanding, innovation, and collaboration throughout all levels of our global community.
The Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research was established in 2007 through an unprecedented gift from Hamilton philanthropist Michael G. DeGroote. Over the last decade, the IIDR has attracted a unique group of experienced investigators who are engaged in life-altering work in the fields of virology, immunology, bacterial pathogenesis and population biology and epidemiology, among others.
Public Health agencies across the globe agree that antimicrobial resistance is one of the most significant global threats to public health in the 21st Century. In 2019, the David Braley Centre for Antibiotic Discovery was established with the vision of successfully addressing this crisis. DBCAD members are committed to discovering and developing new resources, treatments, diagnostics, and clinical strategies through innovation in antimicrobial resistance research and antibiotic discovery.
Home to some of the best minds and research facilities in the country, McMaster University has a well-deserved reputation as a crucible of discovery and innovation. McMaster’s core research community is comprised of individuals from around the globe: some 1,300 full-time faculty (including clinicians from the Faculty of Health Sciences), approximately 4,000 graduate students, almost 300 post-doctoral fellows and hundreds of skilled technicians and research associates.