Watch: Advanced Therapeutics webinar - When a Virus is the Cure – phage therapy & mini lungs

16 August 2021
Webinar Series

Watch the video of this webinar to hear from two experts in the fields of their respective fields of paediatric infectious diseases and stem cell biology investigating novel therapeutic options for patients with cystic fibrosis as well as other difficult-to-treat infections.

Bacteriophages, or “phages” are viruses that selectively infect and replicate in bacteria. They are found in our day-to-day living environment and are the original “natural cure” for bacterial infections, including multi-resistant infections. Phage therapy offers an exciting new treatment option to target difficult-to-treat infections, including infections in patients with cystic fibrosis. Airway organoids created from individual patients’ stem cells provide a model for that individual’s disease. They can be used for disease modelling and personalised medicine.

Watch the video of this webinar to learn about:

  • Phage therapy – what is it and how are we using it to help patients at Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network
  • Airway organoids - what are they and how do we use them in conditions such as Cystic Fibrosis
Dr Ameneh Khatami
Ameneh is a paediatric infectious diseases specialist and clinical academic in infectious diseases and microbiology at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead/The University of Sydney. In October 2019, Dr Khatami was part of a team who were able to access phage therapy to treat a patient with a long-standing and highly antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This was the first use of phages to treat a child in Australia and demonstrated phage therapy to be safe and feasible for paediatric patients. Ameneh is a deputy director of Phage Australia, which will focus on the rapid translation of phage therapeutics into clinical practice and explore how phage therapy can be ‘supercharged’ using cutting edge technology after receiving 3 million dollars in funding from NSW, Federal government as well as industry partners.
Dr Shafagh Waters
Shafagh is Head of the Molecular and Integrative Cystic Fibrosis (miCF) research centre’s laboratory. She leads an NHMRC funded translational research program that focusses primarily on adult-stem cell biology and aims to transform CF treatment, by advancing genotype-specific precision interventions. Her team established Australia’s first CF airway and gut organoid bioresource (>200 cell models) with clinical data and implemented a multi-analytical platform of in silico molecular dynamics simulations, in vitro organoid-based CFTR functional assays and an array of ‘omics technologies’. Her current research has a strong translational focus in three key areas of (i) stem cell biology involving disease modelling (ii) prognostic and diagnostic exosomal biomarker discovery for CF related diabetes, and (iii) CFTR restoring therapeutics in patient derived organoids using a variety of delivery approaches.


Host & panelists (speakers joined by):

  • Professor Chris Cowell

Director of Research, Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network

  • Professor Craig Munns

Endocrinologist and Advanced Therapeutics Lead at Children’s Hospital at Westmead

  • Dr Laura Fawcett

Respiratory Consultant and Advanced Therapeutics Lead at Sydney Children’s Hospital, Randwick


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