An internationally respected University of Otago
microbiologist, Prof Gregory Cook, will receive a
distinguished speaker award from the New Zealand
Microbiological Society at its annual conference next week.
Prof Cook is a world-leading authority on the metabolism and
energetics of microbial growth.
Energetics includes the flow and transformation of energy.
Prof Cook will also give the society's distinguished speaker
address, focusing on his research into how extremophiles -
micro-organisms which thrive in extreme environments -
generate energy in such conditions.
Parts of mechanisms linked to such energy generation could
become targets for new anti-Tb drugs.
A leading Otago graduate, Associate Prof Rob Knight, of the
University of Colorado at Boulder, in the United States, will
give a public keynote address on "Microbial Genomics and the
Human Microbiome" at Otago University's St David lecture
theatre at 6.15pm on Monday.
The human microbiome involves the totality of microbes, their
genetic elements, and environmental interactions on and in
the human body.
About 100 trillion microbial cells thrive in and on a single
human body, and may outnumber a person's own cells by at
least a factor of 10.
About 200 people would converge on the university from
throughout New Zealand and overseas to attend the four-day
conference, which starts on Monday, a conference organiser,
Prof John Tagg, said.
The conference programme ranges widely, from microbiology and
food safety, to the prevention and treatment of influenza,
and the role of microorganisms in marine ecological