Research, Antimicrobial Resistance

ISGlobal Organises the First Workshop “Biofilms: Past, Present and Future”

80 researchers from 13 different countries come together to update knowledge on bacterial biofilms

24.11.2016

The capacity of certain bacteria to resist the effects of antibiotics –the only wayto combat them– makes antimicrobial resistance a serious threat to global health. One resistance mechanism frequently employed by bacteria is to develop biofilms that protect them against antibiotic action. The NoMorFilm project, led by ISGlobal with European Comission funding through the Horizon 2020 programe, aims to understand this mechanism and find new molecules with antimicrobial and antibiofilm activity, as well as to communicate, share and put in common this knowledge. With this in mind, ISGlobal organised the first “Biofilms: Past, Present and Future” workshop, focused on the clinical, environmental and industrial application of research on biofilms.

60 assistants and 19 invited speakers attending the workshop have qualified this first edition, linked to the project, as a success. Sara Soto, coordinator of the NoMorFilm project, considered that the meeting went beyond the mere educational purpose as “it brings both young researchers and senior researchers together, to find new strategies in biofilm research”.

The Esther Koplowitz Centre was more than a meeting point during the three-day workshop (16th, 17th and 18th of November). “It’s pretty important to put together all of our knowledge if we want to be able to fight against these infections” [related with bacterial biofilms], said José Luis of the Pozo, director of the Area of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology of the University of Navarra. “We need to come together to develop new projects, joining all our knowledge and our efforts,” he added. Accordingly, Niels Høiby, teacher of Medical Microbiology at the University of Copenhagen, affirms that “there is always somebody with new ideas and new results which kick starts your brain and can inspire your own research”.

Besides the conferences, the participants had the opportunity to present in situ their own studies or preliminary results during the oral sessions. Nine of them took advantage of their ten minutes to talk about studies such as the application of nanotechnology and chemistry in the inhibition of biofilm development, or the role of elongation factors in biofilm development in Salmonella.

Luanne Hall Stoodley, teacher of the department of Microbiological Infection and Immunity of The Ohio State University, reminded the new generation of researchers that when she was a post doc there were not so many conferences and workshops like this, and considered that the increase in these events was positive and necessary, given the increasing number of people doing research.