microLife Poster Prize: Takashige Kashimoto

We send our congratulations to Takashige Kashimoto, who won the Best Poster Prize at FEMS2023. This award is sponsored by our journal microLife.

FEMS2023: the 10th Congress of European Microbiologists took place on 9-13 July 2023 in Hamburg, Germany. We had over 1800 participants from over 70 countries join us to share all the latest developments across the broad scope of microbiology.

Read our interview with Takashige about his research below:


What is your current position, and what was your scientific journey to get there?

I am currently working as an associate professor in the laboratory of Veterinary Public Health at Kitasato University School of Veterinary Medicine in Japan, and working on the pathogenesis of the bacteria that causes Necrotizing fasciitis such as Vibrio vulnificus and Aeromonas spp.

I received my Doctor of Veterinary medicine in Kitasato University School of Veterinary Medicine, then I carried out my PhD in the Department of Bacterial Toxinology, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University. During my Ph.D., I was fascinated by the study of bacterial pathogenicity. My experience of post-doc in the lab of Dr Jorge E. Galán at the Yale University was the turning point for me which led me to get deeper into pathogenesis study.


What did you enjoy most at FEMS2023?

I enjoyed learning a wide variety of knowledge and great ideas with my friends. This motivated me a lot.

Poster Prize Winners from each of our Journal receiving their certificate at FEMS2023.


Could you describe the research your poster covered?

One of my main interests is how Vibrio vulnificus escape innate immunity in a host. Vibrio vulnificus causes a severe disease outcome for immunocompromised patients through consumption of contaminated foods, or for a healthy host through an open wound. Regardless of the route of infection, symptoms showed up in a short duration. These facts suggest that innate immunity should be the main defense for Vibrio vulnificus and this organism defeat that system. We established the new method ISLAP (Identification of Specific genes using a Library of Avirulent Phenotypes), which is modified the signature tagged transposon basis mutagenesis (STM). ISLAP identified 40 mutants out of over 3,000 mutants obtained by STM that failed to evade neutrophils in the wound infection model. For unknown genes identified by ISLAP, we focused on the potential lipoprotein transporters which genes are localizing next each other in the chromosome. The knockout of either gene was affecting the mobility of LPS in electrophoresis. These data suggest that potential new role of LPS in neutrophil evasion in Vibrio vulnificus and this finding expands our understanding of the bacterial evasion mechanisms of innate immunity.


What do you hope to focus your research on in the future?

Basically, I will continue exploring how Vibrio vulnificus escape innate immunity in a host. Our final goal is to develop a new effective treatment for Necrotizing soft tissue infection that can help or be independent of antibiotic treatment. Keep going! we have the guts!


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