Presentation title: Mining Microbiomes for Antimicrobial Pharmabiotics – Bacteriocins, Phage and their Lysins
Paul Ross is the Director of APC Microbiome Ireland since 2019 and Professor of Microbiology at University College Cork. He is also a Principal Investigator at the Centre in the APC’s Microbes to Molecules Research Theme. He was awarded a D.Sc. in 2009 and elected a member of the Royal Irish Academy (RIA), both in recognition of academic achievement. His main areas of research are in antimicrobials and anti-infectives (applied and fundamental aspects), gut microbes and gut health, bacteriophage and human, animal and gut pathogens.
Microbiome research is revolutionizing how we look at many disciplines including microbiology, human nutrition and medicine (particularly infection). Many health conditions are associated with changes in the microbiome ranging from infection, obesity and diabetes to cancer and even depression. Indeed, it is now apparent that the relationship between diet and the intestinal microbiota impacts upon host metabolic activity and can influence many disease states and the efficacy of therapies. Consequently, there is an increasing need to develop non-antibiotic approaches whereby the microbiome can be modified in a positive manner from a compositional perspective. At APC Microbiome Ireland, we are adopting a number of strategies to influence the microbiome towards improved health outcomes. These include a range of novel antimicrobial strategies utilizing bacteriocins (bacterial antimicrobial peptides) and bacterial viruses (bacteriophages). We believe that the development of such pharmabiotics will allow the sculpting of the microbiome composition in a precise way to deliver functionality for improved health outcomes. Moreover, such antimicrobials will provide valuable alternatives to antibiotics in some instances.