Young people and AMR: A global summit! A video game!

Dear All,

Today we have two hopeful signs from our younger colleagues about the future of AMR!

First Global AMR Youth Summit
The World Health Students’ Alliance (WHSA) has announced a 3-day virtual event (20-22 Nov 2020, see details below) where “youth around the world come together to discuss, learn, and get empowered about various AMR-related topics and challenges.” WHSA is a combination of the International Association of Dental Students (IADS), the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA), the International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF), the International Veterinary Students’ Association (IVSA), and the International Agricultural Student’s Association (IAAS).

 

There is no agenda posted but the core concept is that of engaging with “:…high-level experts and stakeholders during our discussions to bring direction to our goals and initiate plans to build our calls to action.”

Deliberately timed to be part of the World Antimicrobial Awareness Week (18-24 November, link), the virtual summit runs 20-22 Nov 2020 at 13:00-18:00 GMT. Go here to register!


AMR in video games: An AMR-focused island in Animal Crossing!
In parallel with the note about the AMR Youth Summit, I recently received a delightful email from a high-school student who is likewise eager to bring AMR awareness to her generation. Inspired by having seen a serious infection in a relative, she has created an AMR-focused activity in a video game! For those not familiar with it (and that included me … I have collaborated with a Millennial colleague for the explanation that follows), Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a recently released Nintendo video game in which the theme is collaborative creation and exploration of a gentle and colorful world defined by player-created islands. 

To spread the word about AMR, my high-school correspondent has created an island called AntibiotiX that features multiple large displays about AMR. As I am told that players can spend hours if not days putting together their islands, this was no small effort on her part! She writes, “I hope that when people of all ages visit my island, they easily can learn more about the antibiotic resistance crisis and start to do something to make a change. Simple steps such as stop overusing antibiotics, stop buying food prepared with antibiotics, and practicing good hygiene will help reduce the number of deaths that will arise from AMR.”

My Millennial colleague was kind enough to take me on a tour of AntibiotiX and below is a souvenir screenshot of my avatar’s visit: very charming and inspiring! To visit AntibiotiX within the game, go to Dream Address DA-9607-6724-6247.


It is beyond marvelous to see such enthusiasm from so many young people! Their passion for addressing the challenges of AMR gives us all tremendous hope for the future!

All best wishes, –jr

John H. Rex, MD | Chief Medical Officer, F2G Ltd. | Operating Partner, Advent Life Sciences. Follow me on Twitter: @JohnRex_NewAbx. See past newsletters and subscribe for the future: https://amr.solutions/blog/. All opinions are my own.

Current funding opportunities (most current list is here):

  • The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Applicant Assistance Program (AAP) opens on October 22, 2020. This program provides no cost support for companies planning to apply for a Phase II, Fast Track, or Direct-to-Phase II SBIR or STTR Award. Go here for details.
  • Novo REPAIR Impact Fund closed its most recent round on 31 Jul 2020. Go here for current details.
  • 2020 funding rounds for CARB-X have not been announced.
  • The Global AMR R&D Hub’s dynamic dashboard (link) summarizes funders and projects by geography, stage, and more.
  • It’s not a funder, but AiCuris’ AiCubator offers incubator support to very early stage projects. Read more about it here.
  • ARLG (Antibiotic Resistance Leadership Group, link) is currently open for applications for its 2-year ARLG Fellowship program. The application deadline is 1 Dec 2020; full details are here.
  • Finally, you might also be interested in the most current lists of R&D incentives (link) and priority pathogens (link)


Upcoming meetings of interest to the AMR community (most current list is here):

  • In case you missed it, the 24 Sep 2020 Bootcamp #1 (“Moving from preclinical to clinical-stage: Challenges & opportunities”) is now available for replay: Get it here. The video for the 8 Oct 2020 Bootcamp #2 (“Exploring safety issues in antimicrobial drug development”) will follow shortly — check back at the current meetings webpage (link) to find it.
  • 16 Nov 2020 (online, 9.30a-4.00p EST): FDA workshop entitled “Potential Approach for Ranking of Antimicrobial Drugs According to Their Importance in Human Medicine: A Risk Management Tool for Antimicrobial New Animal Drugs.” Go here for the FR notice and here for extended details, including registration.
  • 17 Nov 2020 (online, 17:00-18:30 CET): GARDP-sponsored webinar entitled “Discovery of new antibacterials using artificial intelligence (computational chemoinformatics)” moderated by Laura Piddock. Go here to register.
  • [NEW] 18 Nov 2020 (online, 14:30-15:30 CET): GARDP-sponsored webinar entitled “Drugs don’t work: What can be done to fight the threat of antibiotic resistance for effective cancer treatments?” moderated by Ingrid Stenstadvold Ross (CEO, Norwegian Cancer Society). Go here to register.
  • 18-24 Nov 2020 (everywhere): World Antimicrobial Awareness Week. For resources, go here for WHO’s home page for the week. The focus will be on two messages: “Antimicrobials: handle with care” and “United to preserve antimicrobials.”
  • 19 Nov 2020 (online, 9-10.30am EST) webinar chaired by Jeremy Knox entitled “Responding to difficult-to-treat infections: Role and responsibilities of governments, researchers, clinicians, industry and patients”, the final webinar in a 4-part series sponsored by Wellcome Trust entitled “AMR in the Light of COVID-19 Webinar Series; From hypothetical to reality: How COVID-19 foretells a world without antibiotics.” Go here to register.
  • [NEW] 20-22 Nov 2020 (online, 13:00-18:00 GMT: Global AMR Youth Summit sponsored by the World Health Students’ Alliance (WHSA). Go here to register.
  • [NEW] 20 Nov 2020 (online, 10:30a-noon CET): GARDP-sponsored webinar entitled “Saving childrens’ lives – treating neonatal sepsis” moderated by Peter Beyer (Senior Advisor on AMR, WHO). Go here to register.
  • 26-28 Jan 2021 (online, runs ~7.30a-5.00p Central each day): 4th Annual Texas Medical Center Antimicrobial Resistance and Stewardship Conference. Sponsored by McGovern Medical School, ARLG, and the Gulf Coast Consortia, the agenda includes both poster sessions and keynotes. The call for abstracts closes 18 Dec 2020. Go here for more details.
  • [NEW] 10-12 Mar 2021 (Stellenbosch, South Africa): The University of Cape Town’s H3D Research Centre will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a symposium covering the Centre’s research on Malaria, TB, Neglected Tropical Diseases, and AMR. Go here to register; abstract deadline is 15 Nov 2020.
  • 9-12 Jul 2021 (Vienna): Annual ECCMID meeting (#31)
  • 18-21 May 2021 (Albuquerque, New Mexico): Biannual meeting of the MSGERC (Mycoses Study Group Education and Research Consortium). Save-the-date announcement is here, details to follow.
  • 20-24 June 2021 (Toronto): International Symposium on Pneumococci and Pneumococcal Diseases (ISPPD-12). Go here for details.
  • 3-7 Jun 2021 (Anaheim), ASM Microbe 2021. Go here for details.
  • 27 Jun-2 Jul 2021 (Ventura, CA): Gordon Research Conference entitled “Antimicrobial Peptides”. Go here for details, go here for the linked 26-27 Jun Gordon Research Seminar that precedes it.
  • 5-21 Aug 2021 (Marine Biology Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA): Residential course entitled “Molecular Mycology: Current Approaches to Fungal Pathogenesis.” This 2-week intensive training program has run annually for many years and gets outstanding reviews. Go here for details.
  • 8-11 Oct 2021 (Aberdeen, Scotland): 10th Trends in Medical Mycology. Go here for details.
  • [Webinar streaming link posted] 16-24 Oct 2021 (Annecy, France): Interdisciplinary Course on Antibiotics and Resistance (ICARe). This is a soup-to-nuts residential course on antibiotics, antibiotic resistance, and antibiotic R&D. The course is very intense, very detailed, and gets rave reviews. Registration is here and is limited to 40 students. Bonus feature: For obvious reasons, the course didn’t happen in 2020! But as a celebration of the course’s 5th year, a webinar version was held on 29 Oct 2020: go here to stream it. 
  • 6-11 Mar 2022 (Il Ciocco, Tuscany): Gordon Research Conference entitled “New Antibacterial Discovery and Development”. Go here for details, go here for the linked 5-6 Mar Gordon Research Seminar that precedes it.

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