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June 14, 2022 – Phages as an Alternative Technology to Combat the Global Antibiotic Resistance Crisis (Register Now)

Event: Phages as an Alternative Technology to Combat the Global Antibiotic Resistance Crisis

About the Webinar:By 2050 antibiotic resistant infections are expected to kill 10 million people globally each year – far more than the 3.6 million deaths caused by COVID-19 during 2021. Misuse of antibiotics in livestock, food crops and people has accelerated development of antibiotic resistance worldwide. To compound the problem further, no new classes of antibiotics have been introduced in over 30 years due to both technical and economic hurdles. Thus, antibiotic alternatives are urgently needed, especially in Africa and Asia where roughly 90% of the deaths from antibiotic resistance are expected to occur.

Before antibiotics were discovered, bacteriophages (AKA phages) were utilized as antibacterial agents. Phages are viruses that exist in the environment and our bodies, and they can selectively kill both antibiotic-resistant and antibiotic-sensitive bacteria while leaving helpful bacteria and human cells unharmed. Importantly, phage-based drugs can be designed to minimize the development of future resistance or even to re-sensitize bacteria to antibiotics. Phages are also well-suited for applications in developing countries since they can be easily isolated from local contaminated environments using equipment that is readily available to scientists there.

Phages are now regaining popularity in the US and Europe with ongoing clinical trials and hundreds of patients being treated in emergency situations when antibiotics no longer worked. However, few researchers in Africa and Asia have any knowledge about phages. We are filling that gap by teaching developing world scientists how to isolate phages in their countries, then partnering with them to develop phage products locally. By empowering these scientists, our goal is to enable them to develop antibiotic alternatives for their own populations, rather than rely solely on receiving drugs from industrialized countries.

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Tue. Jun. 14, 2022 12-1pm


Before launching Phages for Global Health, Tobi spent 15 years in the pharmaceutical industry co-developing drugs that have been tested in >80 clinical trials worldwide. She was selected as a Moonshot Fellow of the Kravis Lab for Social Impact, a Fulbright Specialist roster member, and an Ad Hoc Reviewer for the US National Institute of Health’s Special Panel on Bacteriophage Therapy. She previously served as an Advisor to Phages for Human Applications Group Europe and a Scientific Consultant for Global Strategies as well as CRDF Global. She is a founding Editorial Board member of the scientific journal PHAGE and an Advisory Board member for both the Phagebiotics Research Foundation and PhagePro, a company developing cholera phages. Tobi did a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the American Hospital in Turkey in collaboration with UCSF and Baylor College of Medicine. She completed a PhD in Medical Engineering at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology and a BS in Chemical Engineering at Stanford University.