Bridging Excellence Lecture Series

Through the Bridging Excellence Lecture series, EMBL and Stanford alternate hosting distinguished scientists from the other collaborating institute. The lecture series is open to the public and scientists from other institutes in the area. The aim of the series is to bring together members of the scientific community and to develop an interdisciplinary research network that enables knowledge exchange and collaboration.

Wednesday, 18 April 2018, 16:00 | Large Operon, EMBL Heidelberg

Opportunistic RNAs and acquisitive genomes

Andrew Fire, Professor of Pathology and Genetics, Stanford University School of Medicine

In 2006, Professor Andrew Fire was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work with Craig Mello on RNA interference in C. elegans. The discovery of this process of RNA regulation and method for controlling gene expression has become standard in modern biology. He continues his world-renowned research on gene regulation and understanding how cells and organisms respond to change. Furthermore, the Fire lab has made great advances in the use of CRISPR technology for RNA modification, thereby increasing the range of potential applications.

Friday, 27 April 2018, 13:30 (PDT) | LKSC LK120 – Stanford University

Drugs & bugs: unexplored relationships

Nassos Typas, Group Leader, Genome Biology, EMBL Heidelberg

Do drugs impact our gut residential flora, and if so is this restricted to antibacterials? Are there any general principles behind drug-drug interactions, and if so, can such principles help us identify effective drug combinations against multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacterial infections? Here I will present how systematic and quantitative approaches can give us insights into these questions. We recently established that non-antibiotic drugs have a strong and broad impact on the human gut microbiome, which opens new paths for optimizing drug efficacy and mitigating side-effects. These findings have also direct implications on the spread of antibiotic resistance. At a second level, I will present data from a large screen of ~3,000 pairwise combinations of different antibiotics, selected human-targeted drugs and food additives in 3 prominent Gram-negative pathogens. This has allowed us to draw conclusions on the conservation of drug interactions, identify mechanistic biases of synergies and antagonisms, and discover potent synergies that are effective against MDR pathogens. Finally, we have adapted thermal proteome profiling (TPP) in bacteria, which allows to allows us to probe the thermostability of proteins in vivo and in vitro in a proteome-wide fashion. TPP can be used for antimicrobial target deconvolution and for mapping antibiotic resistance mechanisms, but in addition provides unique insights into cellular physiology, including protein complex architecture and metabolic pathway activity.