Antimicrobials 2019
Symposium Speakers

Sam Abraham
Murdoch University, Perth

In 2006 Dr Sam Abraham received his BSc, in Zoology from Mahatma Gandhi University in India. Shortly after, he moved to Australia in pursuit of higher education and joined the University of Wollongong to undertake a Masters in Biotechnology. Subsequently, he completed a PhD in Microbiology and Molecular Biology from the University of Wollongong (2012) undertaking his research at the Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Research Institute, New South Wales Department of Primary Industries. In 2012, he moved to the University of Adelaide, to undertake a post-doctoral research fellowship in Antimicrobial Resistance with A/Prof. Darren Trott. Alongside with A/Prof. Trott, he established the First National Network on Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance in Australian Animals. In 2015, Dr Abraham joined Murdoch University as an academic lecturer in veterinary and medical infectious diseases.

David Andresen
St Vincent's Hospital, Sydney

A/Prof. David Andresen is a Senior Staff Specialist in Infectious Diseases and Microbiology at St Vincent’s Public Hospital, Sydney, and a Visiting Medical Officer at St Vincent’s Private Hospital. He co-chairs the NSW Clinical Excellence Commission Antimicrobial Stewardship Expert Advisory Group. David has interests in evidence-based Infection Control and antimicrobial use, and a busy clinical practice in device-associated infections, principally infected joint replacements and orthopaedic fixation devices.

Andrew Burke
The Prince Charles Hospital, Brisbane

Andrew is an infectious diseases and thoracic physician at The Prince Charles Hospital in Brisbane. He has a research interest in the treatment of tuberculosis and non-tuberculosis mycobacteria. Andrew is involved in TB and NTM guideline development in Queensland and Australia and is undertaking a PhD through the University of Queensland, studying the pharmacokinetics of mycobacterial drugs in cystic fibrosis as well as quinolone prophylaxis for MDR-TB. He is a primary investigator in clinical studies of novel inhaled therapies for treatment failure pulmonary NTM infection.

Sharon Chen
CIDMLS Westmead Hospital, Sydney

Sharon Chen is the Director, Centre for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Laboratory Services (CIDMLS) at Westmead Hospital, Sydney, which incorporates reference laboratories in Bacteriology, Mycology, Virology and public health. She also heads the Infectious Diseases service for organ transplantation, for renal medicine, and the Clinical Mycology service and through the cystic fibrosis service at Westmead has links with the major Sydney lung transplantation service.

Her Mycological commitments outside the hospital include an executive member of the Australia and New Zealand Mycoses Interest Group (ANZMIG), and a member of the National Antimicrobial Committee of Australia. She currently serves on the management committee for US Mycoses Study Group (MSG) studies, a site CI for the ISHAM European fungal PCR Initiative. The CIDMLS laboratory is recognised by the European Confederation of Medical Mycology as a Centre for Excellence in Mycology. She is on Faculty of Mycology Masterclasses in Australia and in India (since 2007). 

Dr Chen has an active research interest in the surveillance and tracking of fungal and transplant-related infections, infection prevention in immunocompromised hosts, cystic fibrosis, modern and novel laboratory methods and technologies, new antifungal agents and resistance to antifungal agents.

Elaine Cheong
Concord and Canterbury Hospitals, Sydney

Elaine is a Senior Staff Specialist in Infectious Diseases and Microbiology at Concord and Canterbury Hospitals in Sydney and Clinical Lecturer for the Sydney Medical School.

Geoffrey Coombs
Murdoch University, Perth

Geoffrey Coombs is the Chair of Public Health at the School of Veterinary and Life Sciences, Murdoch University and the Senior Clinical Scientist for PathWest Laboratory Medicine - WA, Fiona Stanley Hospital. He is a member of the Commonwealth's Australian Strategic and Technical Advisory Group on Antimicrobial Resistance, Secretary General of the International Society for Chemotherapy, and President-Elect of the Australian Society for Antimicrobials. Professor Coombs is also a long-term member of the AGAR Executive and has been the AGAR Chair since 2015. Geoff has established an extensive research network, which has resulted in many national and international collaborations. He currently supervises five PhD candidates and his major research interests include the evolution, antimicrobial resistance, and molecular epidemiology of healthcare-, community- and livestock-associated MRSA, CC17 E. faecium and Neisseria gonorrhoea.

Josh Davis

John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle; Menzies School of Health Research, Darwin

A/Prof Josh Davis is an infectious diseases physician at John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle, and a principal research fellow at the Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin. He has research interests in clinical trials, Staphylococcal bacteraemia, bone and joint infection and severe sepsis. Josh is the current President of ASID.

Jessica Gibney
Therapeutic Guidelines Limited, Melbourne

Jessica Gibney is a pharmacist and senior editor at Therapeutic Guidelines Limited (TGL), where she has worked on the two most recent editions of Therapeutic Guidelines: Antibiotic. In 2018, Therapeutic Guidelines Limited marked 40 years of the Antibiotic Guidelines. Jessica’s work involves collaborating with a diverse group of Australian healthcare professionals—including specialists and generalists, pharmacists and trainee doctors—to understand their information needs and to address these needs with evidence-based, expert-interpreted guidance. 

Tim Gray
Concord Hospital, Sydney

Dr Timothy Gray is an Infectious Disease Physician and Microbiologist working at Concord Hospital in Sydney where he provides a clinical and diagnostic service. He has an appointment with the University of Sydney as a Clinical Senior Lecturer. He embraces new technology and has an interest in utilising emerging technology to improve antimicrobial stewardship programs.

Amanda Gwee
Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne

Dr Amanda Gwee is paediatric infectious diseases physician, clinical pharmacologist and general paedatrician at the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne. She is an academic senior lecturer in the Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne. Her research interests include dose optimisation of anti-infective drugs in children using pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic modelling. She is an editor for the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health and an expert reviewer for the therapeutic guidelines developing country program. 

Ben Howden
The Doherty Institute, Melbourne

Professor Ben Howden is a medical microbiologist, infectious diseases physician and molecular biologist. He is Director of the Microbiological Diagnostic Unit Public Health Laboratory (MDU PHL), Medical Director of the Doherty Centre for Applied Microbial Genomics and Head of the Howden Research Group. In his roles, Ben is responsible for the provision of public health laboratory services, the translation of microbial genomics into public health and clinical microbiology, and research investigating antimicrobial resistance and bacterial pathogenesis, evolution and host-pathogen interactions. 

Ben completed training in medical microbiology and infectious diseases in 2004, and was awarded a PhD from Monash University in 2009. In 2014, Ben was appointed as Director of the MDU PHL and Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology. Ben has been the recipient of numerous research awards including a commendation in the Victorian Premier's Prize for Medical Research (2010), the American Society for Microbiology ICAAC Young Investigator Award (2011), the Australian Society for Microbiology Frank Fenner Award (2014) and the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases Frank Fenner Award (2015). Ben is currently Deputy Chair of the Public Health Laboratory Network Australia, President of the Australian Society for Antimicrobials (2016 - 2020) and an Executive Member of the Australian Group on Antibiotic Resistance.

Jon Iredell
Westmead Hospital and The University of Sydney, Sydney

Jon is a physician and microbiologist based at Westmead Hospital and the University of Sydney, recent past-president of the Australian Society of Microbiology and chair of the Gram-negative Antimicrobial Surveillance Committee for AGAR. His work into sepsis and antimicrobial resistance has been continuously funded by the NHMRC since 2006 and his main current interests are in the recognition and proactive management of risk from infection in the critically ill.

Pam Konecny
St George Hospital, Sydney

Dr Pam Konecny is an Infectious Diseases physician at St George Hospital, Sydney. She is the antimicrobial stewardship clinical lead at St George Hospital since implementation of their AMS program in 2008 and is a member of the AMS advisory team for GuidanceMS management across South Eastern Sydney and the Illawarra-Shoalhaven Health Districts. She co-chairs the NSW CEC AMS Advisory Group. Her research interest is in evaluation of AMS and sepsis programs. 

Tony Korman
Monash Health, Melbourne

Tony is the Director of Infectious Diseases and Director of Microbiology at Monash Health, Victoria's largest health service, and Infection theme leader, Centre for Inflammatory Diseases, and Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, School of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University. 
Nathan Ledeboer
Froedtert Hospital; Wisconsin Diagnostic Laboratories, USA

Nathan A. Ledeboer, Ph.D., D(ABMM), F(AAM), received his Ph.D. Degree in Microbiology from the University of Iowa in 2005. Following two years of fellowship training in clinical and public health microbiology at Washington University School of Medicine in Saint Louis, MO, he joined the faculty of the Department of Pathology at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, WI. He is currently a Professor and Vice Chair of Pathology and Medical Director of Microbiology, Molecular Diagnostics, reference services, and laboratory client services at Froedtert Hospital and Wisconsin Diagnostic Laboratories in Milwaukee, WI. His research endeavours, particularly in the area developing diagnostic tools for infectious diseases, have led to numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals and more than 100 funded research projects. Dr. Ledeboer is also a senior editor for the Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 

Patrick Murray
BD Diagnostics, USA

Dr Patrick Murray received his Ph.D. degree in Microbiology at UCLA, postraduate training in Clinical Microbiology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN, and was director of the Clinical Microbiology Laboratories at Barnes Hospital and Professor of Medicine and Pathology at Washington University from 1976-1999. In 1999, he joined the faculty of the University of Maryland School of Medicine and in 2001 he accepted the position of Senior Scientist and Chief of Microbiology at the National Institutes of Health. In July 2011, he retired from the NIH and accepted his current position at BD Diagnostics as Vice President, Worldwide Scientific Affairs. He has authored more than 275 research articles and 20 books and has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions globally.

Jacqui Norris

The University of Sydney, Sydney

Jacqui is an Associate Professor of Veterinary Microbiology and Animal Disease, and Associate Head of Research at the Sydney School of Veterinary Science, The University of Sydney. She is a registered practising veterinarian and is passionate about practical education programs and research projects for veterinary professionals, animal breeders and animal owners. Her main research areas are in 1) Companion animal viral diseases; 2) Q fever; 3) Multidrug resistant (MDR) Staphylococcus species; 4) Infection prevention and control in veterinary practices; and 5) Chronic renal disease in domestic and zoo felids.

Jason Roberts
The University of Queensland and Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital, Brisbane

Jason is a National Health and Medical Research Council Practitioner Fellow at The University of Queensland and Consultant Clinical Pharmacist at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital. He is Director of Centre of Research Excellent REDUCE within the University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research and is Director of the Centre for Translational Anti-infective Pharmacodynamics in the School of Pharmacy where he is also Chair of the Research Strategies Committee. Professor Roberts is a clinician-scientist with a strong interest in research and his principal research theme is optimisation of antibiotic dosing in the critically ill. He has been invited to present his results at major international conferences in critical care, infectious diseases, pharmacy, nephrology, transplantation and safety. He has published over 350 papers and book chapters and has > $25 million in grant funding for his research topics. 

Indy Sandaradura
Westmead Hospital, Sydney

Indy Sandaradura graduated from The University of Auckland in 2003. After completing his basic physician training in Melbourne and his advanced training in Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology in Sydney, he is now a staff specialist at the Centre for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology (CIDM), Westmead Hospital. He is also a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney School of Medicine. Indy is currently completing a PhD in the area of antimicrobial pharmacology and has particular interests in therapeutic drug monitoring and dose individualisation of antimicrobials.

Fred Tenover
Cepheid; Stanford University School of Medicine; Emory University; University of Dayton, USA

Dr Tenover is Vice President of Scientific Affairs at Cepheid, Consulting Professor of Pathology at Stanford University School of Medicine, Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology in the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, and Consulting Professor of Biology at the University of Dayton. He joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta in 1990 and served for 18 years as Associate Director of Laboratory Science in the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion and then as Director of the Office of Antimicrobial Resistance for CDC. He joined Cepheid in California in 2008, where he focused his research studies on carbapenem resistance and the epidemiology of Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridiodes difficile. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Medical Microbiology and a Fellow of both the American Academy of Microbiology and the Infectious Disease Society of America. He has authored over 350 peer-reviewed journal articles and has written or edited 11 books.

Jason Trubiano
Austin Health, Melbourne

Jason is an Infectious Diseases Physician and Director of Antimicrobial Stewardship and Antibiotic Allergy at Austin Health, Melbourne, Australia. He also coordinates the Antibiotic Allergy Service at Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Dr Trubiano is a current NHMRC Early Careers Fellow and Postdoctoral Fellow for the National Centre for Infections in Cancer, exploring antibiotic allergy health services and novel diagnostics. His infectious diseases physician training was undertaken in Melbourne and he undertook a PhD at the University of Melbourne entitled 'The Impact of Antibiotic Allergy Testing on Antimicrobial Stewardship'
In collaboration with Murdoch University (Perth) and Vanderbilt University Medical Centre (Nashville, USA), he is developing ex vivo T cell diagnostics that aid the assigning of drug causality in cases of antibiotic-associated severe cutaneous adverse drug reactions. His clinical and health services research centres on developing multidisciplinary antimicrobial stewardship-led antibiotic allergy testing programs.

Andrew Udy
The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne

Andrew is a full-time intensive care clinician and researcher at The Alfred Hospital ICU, Melbourne. He completed his undergraduate medical education at the University of Auckland, followed by ICU training in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Australia. After award of Fellowship, Andrew worked as a consultant for many years in Queensland, while also completing a PhD in antibiotic pharmacokinetics. His major academic interests include optimised drug prescribing in the critically ill, haemodynamic management in severe sepsis, acute kidney injury and renal replacement therapy, management of SAH and TBI, and critical care nutrition. 
Andrew is involved in critical care research internationally as the Victorian representative on the ANZICS Clinical Trials Group (CTG) Committee. He is also a keen educator; instructing on BASIC, ALS, ECMO and EMST courses, and is Chair of the Victorian Regional Committee (VRC) and Neurocritical Care Special Interest Group, College of Intensive Care Medicine. Andrew is Co-Deputy Director of the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care - Research Centre, Monash University. 

Alex van Belkum
bioMérieux, France

Professor Alex van Belkum, PhD PhD, fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, born 1959, father of three daughters, grandfather to four, has been primarily involved in research on molecular epidemiology, molecular and culture-based diagnostics and antimicrobial resistance testing in the domain of clinical microbiology. A scientific director of microbiology research at bioMérieux, a diagnostics company based in the South of France, he is also the editor-in-chief of European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, which 2016 impact factor is 2.7. He is the author of more than 540 PubMed-cited papers, with an H index of about 90. 
He has worked at the Universities of Leiden and Rotterdam, both in The Netherlands, and at the latter institute he still holds a honorary professorship in molecular microbiology. He moved to industry 7 years ago where he is a microbiologist in the Data Analytics Unit with a prime interest in next generation sequencing and the use of other data-rich technologies in clinical microbiology. He published five books and is one of the editors of “Molecular Microbiology: diagnostic principles and practice” published by ASM Press, American Society of Microbiology, Washington.

Deborah Williamson
The Doherty Institute, Melbourne

Associate Professor Deborah Williamson is Deputy Director of the Microbiological Diagnostic Unit Public Health Laboratory at the Doherty Institute, University of Melbourne. She holds a PhD from the University of Auckland, and is an NHMRC Early Career Fellow and Laboratory Head in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne. Her research focus is on the application of microbial genomics to public health, with a particular focus on antimicrobial-resistant organisms.