Please join CSIRO's AAHL for the 2019 Snowdon Oration, to be delivered by Professor Marnie Peterson, Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy.

Reimagining Antimicrobials and Anti-infective Development Strategies

According to the World Health Organization, infectious diseases remain the second most common cause of death. Historically, antibiotics have been derived from nature and then chemically manipulated to produce next-generation classes of molecules. These agents are systemically administered to animals or humans and can be accompanied by toxicity, development of antibiotic resistance, and changes to the microflora of the gut. The cost of anti-infective development is prohibitively expensive, and the average time from discovery to completion of the preclinical research phase (in vitro and animal testing) is approximately 6 years. Moreover, even if the anti-infective reaches Phase I clinical trial stage the likelihood of FDA approval is only 19%.

Recent technological and computational advances are accelerating the pace of antimicrobial research. However, we need to characterize host-pathogen interactions to ensure that antimicrobial products tested in vitro will perform as well in vivo and under clinical conditions; this would minimize the chances of failure following the preclinical phase, as well as between phases I and II. Preclinical models that incorporate the host response to pathogens are necessary to create alternative antimicrobial strategies (e.g., suppression of pathogenic potential rather than direct killing of pathogens). Ideally, these models would also accelerate the research and development process.

This presentation will describe new antimicrobials and anti-infective development strategies, such as ex vivo tissue from humans and animals, organoids, and coculture systems. These models more closely reflect host conditions than traditional in vitro experiments, and they can be used to characterize antimicrobial agents that prevent infectious diseases either by suppressing pathogenesis, directly killing microorganisms, or inhibiting host targets.


  • Free

Event date: 26Jun 2019

Wednesday 26 Jun 2019


  • 6.00pm - 8.00pm

5 Portarlington Road East Geelong VIC Australia
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Dr. Marnie L. Peterson

Dr. Marnie L. Peterson

Dr Marnie L. Peterson is an expert in antibiotic resistance, antimicrobial stewardship, experimental therapeutics, and microbial pathogenesis with over 20 years of experience in the development of new therapeutics for infectious diseases. In 2016, she founded Extherid Biosciences to accelerate anti-infective therapeutics through the preclinical phase and increase their clinical performance. Before establishing Extherid, Dr Peterson was tenured faculty at the University of Minnesota, Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology from 2005 to 2016. At the University of Minnesota, she established a research program focused on the discovery and development of new drugs and technologies to treat and prevent infectious diseases; this program was supported by the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense, and various foundations, and industrial partners. In 2014, she was selected as a Minnesota Business Magazine 2014 Leaders in Health Care Finalist.

Dr Petersen has published numerous research manuscripts, including in Nature. She also holds a significant patent portfolio for her discoveries, one of which served as the basis for the establishment of a clinical stage start-up company, Hennepin Life Sciences. She earned a Ph.D. in Infection from the University of Birmingham Medical School (United Kingdom) and Pharm.D. and B.S. degrees from the University of Minnesota. Dr Peterson joined the University of Wyoming faculty as a Research Professor in 2016.

About the Snowdon Oration

AAHL's biennial Snowdon Oration features an international expert on particular animal health issues of interest to Australia's veterinary scientists and animal health professionals. The lecture honours Dr Bill Snowdon, AAHL's Foundation Chief.


If you are not based at AAHL please bring photo ID on the day (passport or drivers' license - CSIRO badge not sufficient) to gain access to the site. Off-site staff MUST RSVP. Admittance on the day will not be permitted to non-AAHL staff who have not sent an RSVP and brought photo ID (passport or drivers' license). Parking is available on site.

Science areas: Biological sciences and Health

Event type: Conference or seminar