TEDxManhattan Heroes: Lance Price

As TEDxManhattan 2014 approaches, we've asked this year's speakers to introduce themselves by answering a few questions. Today we feature Lance Price, Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health at the George Washington University School of Public Health.

What's the topic you'll be speaking about?

"Foodborne Urinary tract infections (FUTIs): a new paradigm for foodborne illness"

Why is this important?

Recent research now suggests that some antibiotic-resistant urinary tract infections are caused by foodborne E. coli, linking the rise in resistance back to the overuse, misuse, and frank abuse of antibiotics in food-animal production.

Millions of women get bladder infections in the US Each year. Because they're so easily treatable with antibiotics, we've come to think of them as common rather than life-threatening illnesses. However, the rise of antibiotic-resistant E. coli is changing this. More and more of these infections are resistant to our first-line antibiotics and with treatment failure comes the risk for kidney infections, blood infections, and even death. Recent research now suggests that some antibiotic-resistant urinary tract infections are caused by foodborne E. coli, linking the rise in resistance back to the overuse, misuse, and frank abuse of antibiotics in food-animal production.

Are there other projects you're also passionate about right now – either yours or someone else's?

I'm also excited about our work on Livestock-associated MRSA. In the past decade we've observed the emergence of a new type of MRSA associated with pigs on industrial farms in the US and Europe. Our work using genomics demonstrated how this new strain jumped from people to pigs as normal Staph and then became a superbug before jumping back into people.

I'm excited about Jeff Foster's work on white nosed bat syndrome — a fungal disease that's decimating bats in the eastern US. Jeff's work studying the DNA of this fungus is revealing its intriguing life history.

I'm excited about the Belcampo Meat company.

Which other 2014 TEDxManhattan speakers are you excited about hearing?

Matthew Moore and Andrew Gunther

Which talks from previous years did you particularly enjoy?

Community health impacts of factory farms: Steve Wing

Animal factories and the abuse of power: Wayne Pacelle

Good Foods Taste Great: David McInerney

Where can more information about your project be found?

Mostly in the scientific literature.

 

TEDxManhattan, "Changing the Way We Eat,," will take place March 1, 2014 at the TimesCenter in New York City. Interested in joining the day? You can apply to attend, or host or attend a viewing party. For more information, please visit http://www.tedxmanhattan.org/.

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