Guest Speakers 2017









This Page Contains  a variety of Video Interviews created by Contagion Live

University of Nevada – Las Vegas
Thomas and Mack Center – 2nd Floor Pavilion
4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, Nevada 89119

November 8 and  9, 2017

gerdingphotoDale Gerding, MD, FACP, FIDSA – Conference Chair
Dr. Gerding, MD, FACP, FIDSA, Professor of Medicine at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine in Maywood, Illinois and Research Physician at the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital. Prior to his present position Dr. Gerding was Chief of Medicine at VA Chicago, Lakeside Division, and Professor of Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. He is an infectious diseases specialist and hospital epidemiologist, past president of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America and past chair the antibiotic resistance committee of SHEA. He is a fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and past Chair of the National and Global Public Health Committee and the Antibiotic Resistance Subcommittee of IDSA.

Dr. Gerding joins fellow world-renowned topic experts to discuss the burden of
C. difficile infections with the risk factors pertaining to current and emerging treatment options along with the importance of applying evidence-based clinical approaches
to the prevention of a C. difficile infection (CDI), one of the leading community and healthcare-associated infections.
Presentation Topic:  “Non-Toxigenic Clostridium difficile (“NTCD”) Technology For the Prevention and  Treatment of Clostridium difficile Infection.”

drpaulfeuerstadt Paul Feuerstadt, MD, FACG
Dr. Feuerstadt, MD, FACG,  is a Native of Long Island, New York.
Dr. Feuerstadt attended the University of Pennsylvania where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology, with distinction in research and graduated Summa Cum Laude. Following completion of his undergraduate training,
Dr. Feuerstadt attended the Weill Medical College of Cornell University in Manhattan, New York where he earned his Medical Doctor degree and stayed at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell medical center for his internship and residency in Internal Medicine. Following completion of his residency Dr. Feuerstadt then moved on to the Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, NY for his clinical fellowship training.His areas of interest include ischemic diseases of the gut and chronic diarrheal syndromes with a specific focus on C.diff. infections. Dr.Feuerstadt is affiliated with St. Raphael campus of Yale-New Haven Hospital, Yale-New Haven Hospital and Milford Hospital seeing outpatients in his offices in Hamden and Milford, CT
Presentation Topic: “Incidence and Burden Of a C. difficile Infection.”

Edmond A. Hooker, MD, DrPH
Dr. Hooker, MD, DrPH, received his B.S. degree from Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. He earned his M.D. degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School. He then completed his residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Louisville. As a full-time faculty member at the University of Louisville from 1991 until 1996, Dr. Hooker served as an Associate Professor and Director of Resident Research. He was very active in brain trauma and stroke research. After leaving the University of Louisville, he worked in Virginia and was on faculty at the University of Virginia. He moved to Cincinnati in 1998. Dr. Hooker works clinically in the emergency department at the University of Cincinnati Hospital, serves as Residency Research Director, and directs the Clinical Research Coordinator’s program. Dr. Hooker serves as a medical advisor to Trinity Guardion. Since 2003, Dr. Hooker has been teaching in the Department of Health Services Administration at Xavier University. In the spring of 2007, Dr. Hooker earned his Doctorate in Public Health from the University of Kentucky. In 2015, he was promoted to Professor. Dr. Hooker continues to be active in emergency medicine and public health research.
Presentation Topic: “Mattresses and Hospital Beds as a Vector For
Spreading Clostridium difficile”
Erik R. Dubberke, MD, MSPH
Dr. Dubberke, MD, MSPH is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where he has been a faculty member in the Division of Infectious Diseases since 2005. He is an Associate Hospital Epidemiologist at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, Medical Director of Infection Control at Missouri Baptist Medical Center, and is the Director of the Section of Transplant Infectious Diseases at Washington University. He attended medical school at University of Illinois at Chicago, and did his medicine and infectious diseases training at Barnes-Jewish Hospital/Washington University.  He received a Master’s of Science in Public Health from St. Louis University.   His main research interests are in the epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI). Dr. Dubberke has over 115 publications, and made the Thomson Reuters list of Highly Cited Researchers in 2015 and 2016. He was the lead author for the CDI component of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) Compendium to Prevent Healthcare Associated Infections, and is on the panel updating the SHEA/IDSA CDI clinical guidelines. He has also represented SHEA as a Key Informant for the AHRQ
Evidence-based Practice Center C. difficile review and at the Department of Health and Human Services Road Map to Eliminate HAI 2013 Action Plan Conference.
Presentation Topic:  “The Efficacy and Safety of RBX2660
for Recurrent Clostridium difficile Infection”

Vince Wacher, Ph.D.
Vince Wacher, PhD is an entrepreneurial biotechnology/pharmaceutical industry professional with over 22 years of experience successfully leading corporate strategy, partnering, research, product development, and intellectual property programs for start-ups, small companies and new business units within large companies. Prior to Synthetic Biologics Inc., Vince was CEO of Verva Pharmaceuticals Ltd., where he advanced a repurposed medicine to successful phase 2 clinical proof-of-concept testing in type 2 diabetes and discovered a new mitochondrial mode-of-action with expansion applications in NAFLD/NASH, weight loss and mitochondrial diseases. Vince has designed, implemented, and/or analyzed discovery, preclinical and clinical programs in diverse therapeutic areas, including metabolic, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, oncology, infection, immunosuppression, drug delivery and drug repurposing. He received an Eastman Business Builder Award in 2004 for his work with Eastman Chemical Company (Fortune 500) in advancing their drug delivery technologies. He received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley and was a post-doctoral scholar in pharmacokinetics and metabolism with Dr Leslie Z Benet at the University of California, San Francisco.
Presentation Topic: “SYN-010: Targeting a Microbial Cause of Symptoms in Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Constipation (IBS_C).”

Stuart B. Johnson, MD,FIDSA, DTM&H
Dr. Johnson, MD,FIDSA, DTM&H, Professor, Department of Medicine, Stritch School of Medicine, Loyola University, Chicago, IL. Dr. Stuart Johnson, MD is a Professor of Medicine at Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola University Medical Center and a Researcher at the Hines VA Hospital, Chicago, Illinois. His main research interest and focus has involved the epidemiology pathogenesis, and treatment of Clostridium difficile infection. He is actively studying variant strains of C. difficile and the role of the various toxins in the pathogenesis of C. difficile disease. His clinical experience in the treatment of patients with recurrent CDI has translated into studies helping to define optimal management of these infections, including the utility and pitfalls of alternative treatment agents. He is currently the Principal Investigator of a multi-center study with the VA Healthcare system designed to define optimal management of early
recurrences of CDI.
Presentation Topic:  “CURRENT Management of Recurrent C.difficile Infection.”



Sahil Khanna, MD
Dr. Khanna, MD is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterolgy and Hepatology at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN.  His completed Medical School at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi; followed by Post Doctoral Research at University of California, San Diego, CA; residency in Internal Medicine and Fellowship in Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN before joining the Faculty.  Dr. Khanna has completed Masters in Clinical and Translational Sciences during his fellowship. His research and clinical interests include Epidemiology, Outcomes and Emerging Therapeutics for Clostridium difficile infection, an arena in which he has had numerous publications and presentations.  He is directing the C. difficile Clinic, Fecal Microbiota Transplantation program and C. difficile related Clinical Trials at the May Clinic,
Rochester, MN.
Presentation Topic: “Updates in Fecal Microbiota Transplantation for C. difficile Infection”

Patricia J. Freda Pietrobon, Ph.D.
Dr. Pietrobon, Ph.D., is the Associate Vice President, Program Leader C.difficile Vaccine, Sanofi Pasteur, is a Biochemist and Immunochemist by training with over 30 years of experience in leadership roles in the Vaccine & Diagnostic industries. After graduating from Lehigh University (USA), Dr. Pietrobon began her career in diagnostic assay development with a focus on immunological conditions and drugs of abuse. Dr. Pietrobon has been with Sanofi Pasteur for over 25 years and has contributed to the development and licensure of several new bacterial & viral vaccines for pediatric & adult populations worldwide. Since 2006, Dr. Pietrobon has been a member of the Board of Directors for the Center for Research and Economic Development, East Stroudsburg Univ of PA.
Presentation Topic: “The Road to a Preventative Vaccine for Symptomatic C.difficile Infection.

Nicola Petrosillo, MD, FESCMID
Dr. Petrosillo, MD,FESCMID earned a degree of Doctor in Medicine and Surgery from the University “La Sapienza” in Rome, Italy in 1977; in the same University, he became specialist in Infectious Diseases (1981) and in Internal Medicine (1985). In 1981, he became hospital infectious diseases registrar and in 1999 Director of an Infectious Diseases Division at the National Institute for Infectious Diseases “Lazzaro Spallanzani” of Rome, Italy.He is fellow of the Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute and leader of the international task-force for pulmonary hypertension associated with HIV, since 2007. He is member of the Professional Affairs SubCommittee on Infectious Diseases and member of the Advisory Board of the Trainee Association of ESCMID. Additionally, he is Professor of Infectious Diseases at the Medical School of Specialization in Hygiene of the Tor Vergata University, Rome, and presently Director, Clinical & Research Department for Infectious Diseases National Institute for Infectious Diseases “Lazzaro Spallanzani”, IRCCS.
Presentation Topic: “Non Antimicrobial Options For the Treatment of C. difficile infections”

Glenn S. Tillotson, Ph.D., FRSM, FCCP,
Dr. Tillotson, Ph.D., FRSM, FCCP has 30+ years pharmaceutical experience in early pre-clinical and clinical research, commercialization, medical affairs, scientific communications including publication planning strategic drug development, life cycle management and global launch programs. Dr Tillotson has been instrumental in the development and launch of ciprofloxacin, moxifloxacin, gemifloxacin and other antibacterials. Glenn has held several key committee positions at the American College of Chest Physicians, he is on the Scientific Steering Committee for the GTCBio. Annual Summit on Anti-infective Partnering. Currently Dr. Tillotson has published >140 peer-reviewed manuscripts, presented >270 scientific posters and is on several journal Editorial Advisory Boards including the Lancet Infectious Disease, eBioMedicine and F1000.
Presentation Topic: “Development and Commercialization of New Antibiotics
For Clostridium difficile Infections.”


Norman B. Javitt, MD, Ph.D.
Dr. Norman Javitt, MD is a research doctor in New York, New York. He received his medical degree from Duke University School of Medicine and has been in practice for more than 20 years. Education and Medical Training: Mount Sinai School of Medicine ,Residency , Internal Medicine,Mount Sinai School of Medicine Residency , Internal Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine ,Internship , Transitional Year Duke University School of Medicine Medical School. Elected Member The American Society for
Clinical Investigation, 1969.
PresentationTopic:   “Ursodiol a Surrogate for Deoxycholic Acid
In the Prevention of Clostridium difficile Infection”

C. diff. Survivors
Mr. Roy Poole and Mrs. Kathy Bischoff –  C. diff. Survivors — join us to share their personal C. difficile infection journey; The signs, symptoms, treatments, with the physical, mental, and psycho-social changes endured from this life-threatening infection and how each recurrent C. difficile infection (rCDI) impacted their lives.
Presentation Topic: “A C. diff. Survivor’s Journey.”

Deborah Passey, PhD
Dr. Passey received her doctorate in Health Services Research from the University of Washington.  She has 9+ years of research experience and training.  Dr. Passey’s key interests lie in research design and research proposals, program evaluation, systematic reviews, mixed methods research, qualitative and quantitative data collection and manuscript/book chapter preparation and review.  During her PhD program, Passey worked as a Graduate Research Assistant for Health Promotion Research Center (CDC-funded Prevention Research Center) and Study Coordinator/Research Assistant for Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (NIOSH-funded Education and Research Center).  She has also participated in multiple traineeship programs to further support her passion for public health services.
Presentation Topic:  “How Incorporating No-Touch Disinfection Can Reduce C.diff Infection Rates.”

Ferric C. Fang, MD
Dr. Ferric C. Fang is a Professor of Laboratory Medicine, Microbiology and Medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine. After receiving his education at Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, he has worked for the past thirty years as an infectious diseases specialist and medical microbiologist caring for patients, teaching, and researching bacterial genetics and pathogenesis. Prof. Fang currently serves as the Director of Clinical Microbiology at Harborview Medical Center and the Deputy Editor of the IDSA journal
Clinical Infectious Diseases. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Association of American Physicians, the American Academy of Microbiology and the American Society of Clinical Investigation.
Presentation Topic: “The Latest Poop: Molecular Diagnosis of Clostridium difficile Infections.



polage_christopher190 Christopher R. Polage, MD
Dr. Polage, MD is Assistant Professor of Clinical Pathology, Director of Clinical Microbiology Laboratory, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at UC Davis Medical Center.Dr. Polage received a bachelor degree in Biology (1992) and Doctor of Medicine (2000)from the University of New Mexico. Clinical Internship in Internal Medicine at University of Colorado and residency training in anatomic and clinical pathology at the University of Utah receiving an award for research involving the identification of non-fermenting Gram negative bacteria via Amplication and dequencing of 16s rDNA. He stayed in Utah to complete a two year fellowship in Medical Microbiology at ARUP Laboratories, serving as Acting Assistant Medical Director of Mycobacteriology. Dr. Polage’s Clinical Interests are Utilization of laboratory testing for diagnosis of infectious diseases, Diagnosis of viral CNS and respiratory syndromes, Diagnosis of infection in the setting of colonizing microbial flora, Access to laboratory testing and diagnosis in resource-limited settings, Research interests in developing methods to improve the rapidity and clinical impact of infectious disease testing, application of non-culture based methods, identification of markers of pathogenicity, virulence and clinical prognosis.
Presentation Topic: “Diagnostic Testing for C. difficile infection: Making Sense Of It All.”

Richard Vickers, Ph.D.
Dr. Vickers is Chief Scientific Officer, Antimicrobials and Programme Lead for CDI, Summit Therapeutics. He joined Summit in 2003 and during his time has worked in a variety of roles involved in the development and management of various antibacterial therapeutic programs. This includes leading the discovery and development of ridinilazole, the investigational antibiotic for the treatment of a C. difficile infection. Prior to joining Summit, Dr Vickers undertook postdoctoral research studies with Professor Stephen Davies at the University of Oxford and held a Stipendiary Lectureship in organic chemistry at St. Catherine’s College in Oxford. Dr Vickers received a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Reading and a B.Sc. in chemistry from King’s College London.
Presentation Topic: ” Ridinilazole, a Microbiome Preserving Antibiotic For the Treatment Of a C. difficile Infection.”


Simon M. Cutting, Ph.D.
Professor Cutting of Molecular Microbiology at Royal Holloway, University of London is a bacterial geneticist with over 25 years of experience with Bacillus since graduating from Oxford University with a D. Phil in 1986. His D.Phil was on understanding the genetic control of spore formation in Bacillus Clostridium difficile.. His other expertise is in the use of Bacillus spores as probiotics and has a number of contracts and consultancies with European and US companies in the food and feed sectors.
Presentation Topic:  “Therapeutic Approaches To Treat C.difficile.” Infections.”

Elaine Wang, MD, FIDSA
Dr. Wang, MD, FIDSA graduated from McGill University medical school and received a MSc in Clinical Epidemiology from McMaster University.  She was a practicing pediatric infectious disease specialist at The Hospital for Sick Children reaching a rank Associate Professor in Pediatrics at the University of Toronto, an appointment that she maintains.  She subsequently joined industry to pursue the development of a RSV vaccine. She has worked at Boehringer-Ingelheim, first in clinical development in Virology and Immunology, and then in medical affairs working on their treatment for an orphan disease, idiopathic pulmonary disease.  She has joined
Seres Therapeutics to work on their proprietary microbiome-based interventions.
Presentation Topic:  “Looking to the Future:  First Phase 3 Trial of Microbiome-Based Therapy to Reduce Recurrence of CDI.”

Maureen Spencer, RN, M.Ed.
Maureen Spencer, RN, M.Ed. has been board certified in infection control (CIC) for over 30 years and is currently the Director, Clinical Implementation at Accelerate Diagnostics, providing educational and consultative services to the sales and marketing teams in the US. She was previously the Corporate Director, Infection Prevention for Universal Health Services in King of Prussia, PA, Infection Control Manager at New England Baptist Hospital, Director Infection Control Unit at Mass General Hospital and other Boston hospitals in a career that has spanned
over 40 years.
Presentation Topic: “Clostridium difficile from the Perspective of an Infection
Preventionist Strategies to Prevent and Control Transmission in Healthcare Facilities.”

Joseph Sliman, MD,MPH
Dr. Sliman, MD, MPH, is Chief Medical Officer and joined Synthetic Biologics in January 2013 as the Senior Vice President, Clinical & Regulatory Affairs. In this position, Dr. Sliman will be responsible for the design and implementation of all aspects of clinical development, including clinical trials, and will lead the Company’s regulatory initiatives. During his service in the United States Navy, Dr. Sliman led the U. S. Pacific Fleet disease surveillance programs, including influenza surveillance, preparedness, and prevention, as well as communicable disease and injury surveillance and prevention and health policy development. Dr. Sliman earned an M.D. from the Uniformed Services University, a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, and a B.S. in Molecular and Cell Biology, with Honors in Biology, from Pennsylvania State University
Presentation Topic:  “Primary Prevention of a C. diff. Infection and Antibiotic Resistance: A Potential Paradigm Shift Towards More Efficient and Effective Antibiotic Therapy.”

Cliff-McDonaldClifford McDonald, MD,,
Dr. McDonald, MD graduated from Northwestern University Medical School. He completed a medical microbiology fellowship at Duke University and is a former member of CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service. Dr. McDonald is currently the Associate Director for Science in the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion at the CDC. He has first authored or co-authored over 100 peer reviewed publications on subjects related to healthcare and infectious disease epidemiology.
Presentation Topic: “Our Ongoing Battle Against C. diff.: A Status Update, 2017.”

Richard M. Haupt ,MD, MPH
Dr. Haupt, MD holds a BS in Zoology from the University of Maryland, an MD from Harvard Medical School and an MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.  He completed his Residency and Chief Residency at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in 1987. He practiced general pediatric medicine for 15 years in a large academic pediatric practice outside Philadelphia where he also participated as an investigator in vaccine clinical trials.  Dr. Haupt is currently Vice President, Medical Development Scientific & Clinical Affairs, at Pfizer where he serves as the global franchise lead for pipeline vaccines.   In previous industry roles, he served as Head of Pediatric Medical Affairs in the Merck Vaccine Division and Section Head of Adult Vaccine Clinical Research at Merck Research Labs.
Presentation Topic:  “C. difficile Prevention: Evaluating the Role of Vaccines.”

Stephen Marcella, MD
Dr. Marcella, MD is a clinician trained in internal medicine and pediatrics.  After serving in the National Health Service for 4 years and then as a faculty member of a primary care residency, he became interested in clinical epidemiology. Having obtained an MPH from Rutgers in NJ, he spent the next 15 years doing epidemiology research, teaching medical and graduate students, supervising medicine residents, and seeing patients in a federally qualified health care clinic associated with the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. His research interests have focused largely on prevention and screening and he directed a large NIH-funded study of PSA testing and prostate cancer mortality in New Jersey. He continues to teach at the Rutgers School of Health as an adjunct professor.  For the last four years, Steve has been working as a director in outcomes research at Merck. In the last two years, he has been working on quantifying the burden of illness from CDI and recurrent CDI as well as the health economic data behind Merck’s new product that reduces the recurrence of CDI. This work incorporates elements of health economics, epidemiology, and real world evidence.
Presentation Topic: “The Health Economics and Quality Of Life Implications Of
a Clostridium difficile Infection.

Linda D. Lee, DrPH, MBA, Ph.D.
Dr. Linda D. Lee, DrPH, MBA, Ph.D.,is the Chief Science Officer with VidaShield.  Dr. Lee is a qualified public health professional with a focus on the relationship of opportunistic environmental pathogens.  She graduated with a Bachelors in Environmental Health Science from Indiana State University. She earned a Masters in Operations Management from the University of Arkansas – College of Engineering.  She completed a Doctorate of Public Health in Occupational and Environmental Health from the University of Texas Health Science Center. Finally she has an MBA with an emphasis in Healthcare Management. Dr. Lee is a certified indoor air quality manager.She has spent over 30 years in healthcare having previously worked for CH2M Hill, WM Healthcare Solutions, Inc., the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Stericycle, Inc. She is a speaker and author of numerous peer reviewed journals/publications and three books published by the American Hospital Association.  She has been a recent speaker/presenter at SHEA, AIHce, IPAC-Canada, and the C Diff Foundation.  Corresponding Member of:  ASHRAE Ultraviolet Air & Surface Treatment-T-TAC-TC02.09 & ASHRAE Roster Health Care Facilities-T-TAC-TC09.06
Presentation Topic:   “The Impact Of Aerosolized C. difficile.”

Barley Chironda,, RPN, CIC.
Barley Chironda, a Nurse, is the Social Media Manager of IPAC Canada and the Past President of IPAC- GTA. He is also the National Healthcare Sales Director and Infection Control Specialist with Clorox Canada. He is certified in Infection prevention and control (CIC™) and has worked extensively as in Infection Control. He is typically found engaged in motivating hospital staff, patients and the public on proper infection prevention practices. His roles allow great participation in quality improvement interventions related to patient and public safety. Therefore Barley has been an integral to the successful decline in Clostridium difficile infections through implementing innovative technology and quality improvement behavioural change. He takes pride in sharing information via social media and is often engaging the public on Twitter™ and LinkedIn™, partaking in resource distribution related to innovative and novel Infection prevention strategies. Barley also volunteers as the Infection Control Specialist with the C Diff Foundation.
Presentation Topic: “Lessons and Findings from Implementing New Disinfectants in Hospitals.”




The C Diff Foundation welcomed members of the Media to the

5th Annual International C. diff. Awareness Conference and Health EXPO

November 9th and 10th, 2017 at the University of Nevada – Las Vegas,

Thomas and Mack Center,  2nd Floor Pavilion,  4505 Maryland Parkway,Las Vegas, Nevada 45003

Qualifications and guidelines
Registration is complimentary for professional journalists attending the conference
to provide editorial coverage and who meet the eligibility criteria.

Please contact Denise Graham, Strategic Advisor – Media Coordinator at


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