David Trees, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, USA

Dr. Trees is a senior microbiologist in CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP). Dr. Trees serves as a team lead for the Microbial Resistance and Genomics Laboratory located in NCHHSTP’s Division of STD Prevention. Dr. Trees has spent more than 25 years working in the field of sexually transmitted diseases. He joined CDC in 1991 and leads a team of scientists working on genetics and whole genome sequencing of antibiotic-resistant Neisseria gonorrhoeae.

Because of increasing resistance of strains of Neisseria gonorrhoeae to third generation cephalosporins, it is becoming increasingly apparent that it may become difficult to treat gonococcal infections with an effective, single-dose therapy. Both laboratory results and observations made on clinical isolates suggest that considerable potential exists for further increases in resistance to cephalosporins. Through the use of whole genome sequencing and bioinformatics they will then be able to determine the presence and prevalence of the mutated alleles responsible for increased MICs in a gonococcal population such as the Gonococcal Isolate Surveillance Project isolates and how a combination of these alleles are related to a strain’s antimicrobial resistance. The WGS data will also be used to develop molecular based assays and pipelines for the detection of the alleles associated with resistance.

Dr. Trees earned his undergraduate degree in microbiology from Iowa State University in 1982 and his PhD in microbiology from Kansas State University in 1987. In addition, he completed three years of post-doctoral work on the molecular biology of Neisseria meningitidis at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

17 JANUARY 2019