BBS Seminar Series - Virtual - Dr. Amy Lee - Why are babies at risk for sepsis? A systems biology approach to understanding neonatal sepsis


Start 8 November, 2022, 11 30 AM

End 12 30 PM

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via. zoom

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Tracy Stojanovic


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Speaker: Dr. Amy Lee, Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Simon Fraser University
Host: Dr. Brian Coombes
Abstract:  The association between pathogens and their hosts is complex. Locked in molecular warfare, the host immune system attempts to actively detect and eliminate pathogens, while the pathogens utilize sophisticated strategies to evade host immune detection and attack. This interplay between host and pathogen leads to a phenotypic response in both players culminating in the activation of numerous signaling cascades, alteration of protein activities and changes to cellular metabolism. In this seminar, I will demonstrate how we use systems biology approaches to address the complexity of this host-pathogen interface in the critical area of neonatal sepsis. Our multi-omics approach has provided some insights to: (1) immune baseline differences between sepsis versus healthy neonates; (2) transcriptomic response differences to gram-positive versus gram-negative infections; as well as (3) potential bacterial pathogen virulence factors that contribute to neonatal sepsis outcomes. Ultimately, our goal is to understand why newborns are highly susceptible to infections during their first week of life, and what are potential strategies to identify and treat those infants most at risk

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