SUSTech hosts first international conference on bacteria and global health


The School of Life Sciences at the Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) recently hosted the 2024 International Conference on Bacteria and Global Health.

The event, being held for the first time, was co-organized by the School of Medicine, School of Public Health and Emergency Management, College of Engineering, Second Affiliated Hospital of SUSTech (Shenzhen Third People’s Hospital), Shenzhen Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

It bought together experts and scholars from eight countries and regions, including Mingjie ZHANG, Dean of the School of Life Sciences at SUSTech, Songling WANG, Dean of the School of Medicine, John Mekalanos, Professor of the Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology at Harvard Medical School, Matthew Waldor, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Jun (Jay) Zhu, Professor of Microbiology at the University of Pennsylvania, Hongzhou LU, Director of the National Clinical Research Center for Infectious Diseases, and Qinghua HU, Deputy Director of the Shenzhen Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Highlighting that the International Conference on Bacteria and Global Health was a historic milestone in SUSTech’s microbiology development, Tao DONG, Vice Dean of the School of Life Sciences and Chairman of the Conference, encouraged young scientists and students to take this opportunity to hold exchanges with distinguished experts about bacteria and global health.

Mingjie ZHANG noted that the School of Life Sciences has gathered a group of outstanding scholars from around the world and looked forward to the emergence of fresh insights and innovative ideas during the conference.

The conference concentrated on four key topics: Vibrio Pathogenicity and Evolution, Clinical Challenges and Strategies for Treating Drug Resistance, Protein Secretion Systems and Molecular Machines, and One Health and Emerging Technologies in Synthetic Biology.

A total of 32 speakers shared their scientific research progress in the field of microbiology, addressing the diverse impacts of bacteria on global health. Topics ranged from the global cholera pandemic & antibiotic resistance to the impact of environmental Vibrio on marine life, corals, ecosystems, and aquatic products through various transmission methods such as foodborne, waterborne, and airborne.

In the keynote session, John Mekalanos presented a report titled “Understanding the signals that trigger cellular anti-viral responses in the pandemic pathogen Vibrio cholerae”, showcasing his team’s 40-year accumulated knowledge and latest discoveries in the pathogenic and evolutionary mechanisms of Vibrio cholerae.

The conference also featured the presentation of Outstanding Poster Awards, with each winner receiving a certificate signed by John Mekalanos.

The inaugural International Conference on Bacteria and Global Health serves as a platform for domestic and international experts and scholars in the field of microbiology to foster exchanges and collaboration, promoting academic interdisciplinary research, and SUSTech’s academic excellence in Shenzhen and the Greater Bay Area.