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An Interview with Swaine Chen, Genome Institute of Singapore and Further Group Discounts for the 2nd Annual Microbiology & Infectious Diseases Asia Congress
After the success of our inaugural event, Oxford Global Conferences are proud to announce the 2nd Annual Microbiology & Infectious Diseases Asia Congress will be taking place on the 23rd & 24th June 2015 in Singapore.
Consisting of over 40 presentations across four interactive streams, the event is a unique opportunity for over 175 experts working in molecular diagnostics, microbiology, genome sequencing technologies and infectious diseases to come together to discuss the latest developments and research results that shape the current landscape of the industry.
Streams across the two days include:
Cutting Edge Detection Technologies and Molecular Diagnostics
Novel Insights into Clinical Microbiology
Advances in Microbial Genomics and Genome Sequencing
Recent Breakthroughs in Infectious Diseases
With less than two months to go until the 2nd Annual Microbiology & Infectious Diseases Asia Congress, Oxford Global Conferences interviewed Swaine Chen, Singapore NRF Fellow from the National University of Singapore and Genome Institute of Singapore. In his research, Swaine is taking an evolutionary approach to integrate high throughput sequencing technologies into the daily life of microbiologists. As a model, he is using urinary tract infection caused by Escherichia coli. Swaine will be presenting 'Understanding Sequence Variation and Function of fimS, a Crucial Regulatory Element of UPEC Virulence, Through Mutagenesis and Next-Generation Sequencing’ at the 2nd Annual Microbiology & Infectious Diseases Asia Congress.
When asked what he believed to be the importance of researching fimS, Swaine commented:
FimS is important because it controls the regulation of the fim operon. The fim operon is basically the most important thing we currently know that enables E. coli to cause urinary tract infection; it’s the major virulence factor. Urinary tract infection, in turn, is responsible for a lot of antibiotic prescriptions worldwide, so it’s contributing a lot to antibiotic resistance as well – it’s got both public health implications as well as causing suffering for the individual patients. So of course we want to understand how the fim operon, which is so important for UTI, is regulated so we can figure out how to treat the disease. That’s why understanding the fimS genetic element, which is responsible for fim regulation, is so important.
With Swaine currently taking an evolutionary approach to help microbiologists integrate high throughput sequencing technologies into their research, when asked why he thinks this sequencing technology is so important for microbiology research, he stated:
Sequencing technology I think is very important for all aspects of biology at this point. I don’t think that it is particularly more important for microbiology, but I do think about sequencing technology as something that currently benefits microbiology perhaps slightly more than it does other fields. Sequencing technology is currently scaled very well for us - our genome sizes are smaller; we can get hundreds of genomes in single labs, which is out of reach if you wanted to do that with cancer genomes or human genomes. Therefore, almost all microbiology labs are able to have an awful lot of genomic information, and that increases the number of people we have with access to data and the freedom to think about the best way to use the sequencing technology and draw insights into what’s going on with the disease. The other thing is that for microbiology we can have truly complete full genome information. Especially with PacBio machines, we get not only complete, full assemblies, but we can also get epigenetic information genome-wide; this is still very difficult to do for a full human genome or cancer genome. So we still have a little bit of scaling to do for those diseases. That will happen of course, and the impact of sequencing will then be just as great on those fields. But if there is any argument that sequencing technology is helping microbiology more than other fields, I think this would be it.
To read the full interview with Swaine, along with our interview with Suresh Mahalingam, Professor of Virology, NHMRC Senior Fellow, Griffith University on infectious diseases in the Asia Pacific region,