Young Investigator Awardees 2008

Sylvain Brisse born 1968 in Sète (Hérault), France; PhD, Research scientist at the Unit for Biodiversity of Emerging Bacterial Pathogens at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, in recognition of his outstanding achievements in the field microbial phylogenomics, population genetics and epidemiological typing. His work, which involves a large number of different bacterial pathogens, but also Chikungunya viruses, most successfully combines field with molecular bench work.

Research Interests
Sylvain Brisse’s research focuses on the phylogenetic diversity and population structure of microbial pathogens, with the aim of understanding evolution of important traits such as virulence or antimicrobial resistance. His work is diverse, including fundamental aspects of pathogen evolution (such as rates of mutation and recombination), practical applications in taxonomy, molecular identification and strain tracking. Innovative methods derived from the field of genomics, such as multiple gene sequencing and DNA arrays, are developed and applied to a wide range of pathogenic agents including bacteria, parasites, viruses and fungi. His main current models are Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella enterica, pathogens of the genus Klebsiella, and Chikungunya virus. On a wider phylogenetic scale, Sylvain Brisse also investigates the biodiversity of Enterobacteriaceae, with the aim to understand the evolution of this heterogeneous family, to renovate species definition and taxonomy, and to develop universal sequence-based strain typing methods.

William Hope born 1969 in Alice Springs, Australia; MBBS, FRACP, FRCPA, PhD, Senior Research Fellow in  the Department of Medicine at the University of Manchester, in recognition of his outstanding achievements in the field of pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of fungal infections. He most successfully combines basic and clinical research and covers a large range of topics including genetic sequencing, molecular diagnostics, animal models and therapeutic management of fungal infection, applying a range of pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic modelling techniques.

Research Interests

William Hope's research has focused on identifying antifungal dosages and schedules which are associated with optimal therapeutic outcomes in humans.  Antifungal PK-PD is a relatively young field, which explores the relationship between drug exposure and the antifungal effect. PK-PD is increasingly used in the development of new antimicrobial agents. Concentration-effect relationships are often best defined in experimental systems, in which the interaction between antifungal compounds, immunological effectors and clinically relevant biomarkers can be studied. The clinical implications of the experimental data can be explored using population pharmacokinetics and Monte Carlo simulation techniques. This paradigm can be used to identify antifungal dosages and schedules which are likely to be associated with optimal efficacy in humans, thereby facilitating the design of clinical trials likely to yield informative results and maximizing the use of limited resources.