Guest Speakers




University of Nevada – Las Vegas
Thomas and Mack Center
4505 Maryland Parkway
Las Vegas, Nevada 89154

Thursday, November 9th    AND     Friday , November 10th
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.                             8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

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gerdingphotoDale Gerding, MD, FACP, FIDSA
Dr. Gerding, is the Conference Chair
and 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”

Stuart B. Johnson, MD, FIDSA, DTM&H
Dr. Johnson, 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:  TBA

simonheadshot-001 Simon M. Cutting, PhD
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: “Thwarting the Opportunist: An Anti-adhesion
Vaccine That Prevents C.difficult Colonization.”

Joseph Sliman, MD, MPH
Dr. Sliman, Chief Medical Officer 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:  TBA

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: TBA

drpaulfeuerstadt Paul Feuerstadt, MD, FACG
Dr. Feuerstadt 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 C. difficile Infection.”

p1400894 Barley Chironda,, RPN, CIC
Barley Chironda is a Nurse, National Healthcare Sales Director and Infection Control Specialist Clorox Canada, Social Media Manager of IPAC Canada,  Member of the C Diff Global Foundation’s Infection Prevention Advocacy Program,, and the current President of IPAC- GTA.   Mr. Chironda is certified in Infection prevention and control (CIC™) and has worked extensively in Infection Control.  He is typically found engaged in motivating hospital staff, patients and the public on proper infection prevention practices.   Mr. Chironda’s 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 behavioral change.
Presentation Topic:  TBA

polage_christopher190 Christopher R. Polage, MD
Dr. Polage 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:   TBA

khanna_sahil_13ap-2Sahil Khanna, MD
Dr. Khanna 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:   TBA

Dr. Nicola Petrosillo 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 taskforce 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.
Presentation Topic:  TBA

Glenn S. 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:  TBA

MarthaClokieheadshot (2)
Martha Clokie, Ph.D.
Professor Clokie is a Professor of Microbiology at the University of Leicester, UK,  Department of Infection, Immunity, and Inflammation. Professor Cloakie’s primary research interest is in understanding the ecology and molecular biology of bacteriophages and their relationships with bacterial hosts; both in bacterial pathogens and environmentally important bacteria. Much of her work focuses on the exploitation of bacteriophages and phage-derived products as an alternative to treating antibiotic resistant bacterial infections.The system that Professor Cloakie has progressed furthest is Clostridium difficile where her research group has identified a large set of phages that effectively target this pathogen and are currently developing them as therapeutics, Other projects include determining the impact of phages on the gut microbiota.
Presentation Topic:   TBA

Edmond A. Hooker, MD, DrPH
Dr. Hooker 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”

Cliff-McDonaldClifford McDonald, MD,,
Dr. McDonald 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.”


    C. diff. Survivors
Mr. Roy Poole, Mrs. Victoria Edmund, and Mrs. Kathy Bischoff  – each guest is a C. diff. Survivor and 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.”


Richard Vickers, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, Antimicrobials and Programme Lead for CDI, Summit Therapeutics.  Dr. Vickers is Chief Scientific Officer of Antimicrobials at 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.”

davidcookteam_cook01David Cook, PhD
Dr. Cook is a scientist and entrepreneur who has held senior operating and management positions in the biotechnology industry over his 20-year career. Before joining Seres Therapeutics, he was the chief operating officer for the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, a global R&D organization whose mission is to develop a safe, globally accessible vaccine for HIV. Prior to IAVI, David was the founding CEO at Anza Therapeutics, a biotechnology start-up developing a novel microbial vaccine platform to induce cellular immune responses to fight or prevent diseases such as cancer, hepatitis C, malaria and tuberculosis. He is also a co-inventor on over twenty-five patents. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and his PhD in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr Cook is presently Executive Vice President of R&D, Chief Scientific Officer with Seres Therapeutics, Inc..
Presentation Topic:  TBA

Norman B. Javitt II, MD
Research New York, NY
Professor, Medicine, New York University School of Medicine
Dr. Norman Javitt 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”

Patricia J. Freda Pietrobon, PhD, 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:“A Vaccine Approach to the Prevention of Symptomatic CDI”.

Rosie Lyles, MD
Dr. Lyles has an extensive educational background includes the Texas Woman’s University, Denton, Texas BS, Biology, St. Matthew’s School of Medicine, Grand Cayman MD 05/04 Medicine – St. Joseph’s College, Standish, Maine MHA 05/06 Health Services Administration – University of Illinois at Chicago MSc 2014 Clinical and Translation Science. Dr. Lyles serves as the primary medical liaison in healthcare. With over a decade of investigating healthcare-associated infections with a particular focus on the epidemiology and prevention of emerging pathogens across health continuum. She has directed numerous large scale clinical studies, trials, and infection control bundled interventions with numerous peer-reviewed articles related to infectious disease epidemiology.  Her continued role as a healthcare provider offers strategic guidance and assists with the development and implementation of a plan for clinical/scientific support in the infection control community.  This includes overall responsibility for public health message development, publication planning and education, key opinion leader development and provides relevant input into the clinical path of healthcare.
PresentationTopic: “Asymptomatic Clostridium difficile Carriers: Treat ’em or Clean ’em”

Stephen 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.”


  • Please check back as we will be adding Guest Speakers to the program agenda weekly


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,  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.

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