Speakers at ICG-13

Speakers at ICG-13

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Biography

Xiao obtained her doctoral degree from the University of Hong Kong where she undertook research on the molecular mechanisms and physiological significance of bacterial gene regulation under environmental stresses to elaborate the delicate and intricate relationship between microorganisms and their living environment. Later, she became a post-doctoral fellow at the Synthetic Biology Engineering Research Center of the Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology (SIAT) of Chinese Academy of Sciences. During this period, Xiao worked on several projects: she successfully switched the host range of a bacteriophage to inhibit clinically isolated multidrug-resistant bacteria, and this method had the potential to promote phage therapy as a supplement or alternative therapy for antibiotic treatment of bacterial infection; she also studied on the metagenomics of anxious mouse models in collaboration with the Institute of Brain Science of SIAT, and it was found for the first time that there was a correlation between anxiety tolerance and specific bacterial species in the intestine; she conducted research on the intestinal flora of aquatic animals, combining biochemical analysis with advanced metagenomics to guide precise probiotics formulation, which broke through the traditional empirical design of probiotic formulation. Xiao joined BGI Research in late February 2017 and is committed to the research on coupling genomics and synthetic biology to intervene with microbial induced infections.  

 

Up until now, Xiao had four papers published, two papers submitted, and three patents pending. In addition, she has received “PhD Start-up Fund of Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province”, and “SIAT Excellent Youth Innovation Fund”. Xiao is certified as the overseas high-level talents in the “Peacock Plan” of Shenzhen, and the “Phoenix Tree Talent” of Yantian District.


Abstract

Phage Genomics and Therapeutics in the War against Superbugs  

Minfeng Xiao 1,2, Ziqing Deng1,2, Li Cheng1,2,6, Wenchen Song1,2, Yun Wang1,2, Haixi Sun1,2, Carolyn Zhang3, Lingchong You3,4,5, Yue Shen1,2, Junhua Li1,2

1BGI-Shenzhen, Shenzhen, 518083, China

 2China National Genebank, BGI-Shenzhen, Shenzhen, 518120, China

3Department of Biomedical Engineering, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, 27708, USA

4Center for Genomic and Computational Biology, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, 27708, USA

5Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, North Carolina, 27708, USA

6School of Bioscience and Biotechnology, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, 510006, China

Phage therapy has been embraced in parts of Eastern Europe for almost a century and recently began to storm back in the rest of the world due to the global rise of multi-drug resistant superbugs. However, conventional phage therapy relies on natural phages isolated from environmental or clinical specimen, and the practice of using phages to treat bacterial infections has usually been empirical. In virtue of the state-of-the-art sequencing and synthesis capacity of BGI, together with the China National GeneBank we are building the very first large-scale and pluralistic phage bank in China. Beyond naturally-occurring phages collected within China and abroad, the repertoire of phages in our bank are expanded to bio-engineered ones. We design and synthesize phages with higher safety standards and more efficacious treating outcome than their wild type counterparts. Each natural and synthetic phage within our bank is analyzed following an integrative pipeline of bioinformatics and experiments developed by us, upon which a database is being built providing quantitative foundation for future clinical applications.

References

1. Salmond G.P.C., and Fineran P.C. A century of the phage: past, present and future. Nature Reviews Microbiology. 201513777-786.

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