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ECCMID 2017 Highlights: Bruno François

Only 1 month to go until the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) 2017 begins! Once again this year COMBACTE will be present in the exhibition hall, and will host its 5th consecutive Investigators Meeting. The series of ECCMID Highlights continues with Dr. Bruno François, Management Board member of COMBACTE-NET, and Work Package lead of COMBACTE-NET’s SAATELLITE study. Dr. François explains why the COMBACTE project is like running an ultramarathon.

Bruno François is Specialist in Intensive Care Medicine and Anesthesiology and Head of the Clinical Investigation Center at University Hospital of Limoges.

When was your first ECCMID and how did you experience it?

“I attended ECCMID in 2014 for the first time, in Barcelona. I went there as part of COMBACTE; it was the second year that the project was participating at the congress.

It made quite an impression on me. I liked that the level of science was (and is) so broad, covering infectious diseases, microbiology, a lot of new innovations, and so on. Since then ECCMID has increased in popularity even more. The audience gets bigger by the year.”

Why is ECCMID important?

“ECCMID is covering a broad range of the infectious diseases field, not only specific things. From very basic science to specific clinical research and application. I believe that’s what makes it interesting. The networking is also extremely useful; you get to meet many specialists and exchange lots of ideas. It’s important because you get to bring back a lot of information that can help support your research.”

What do you like most about it?

“I like the different breakout sessions with different companies. I like the networking. It is a shame that there is not enough time to attend more sessions, but I always pick the ones that I’m most interested in such as innovative sessions in infectious diseases in ICU settings.”

What is your contribution to this year’s ECCMID?

“This year I have quite a busy program: I am invited to give a talk on Staphylococcus aureus at the Alternative to Antibiotics session, I will be chairing a session on new innovative drugs in infectious diseases, and I will also be presenting two abstracts from my own research. One has been accepted as a poster, and the other one as an oral presentation. I will also be attending some breakout sessions.”

You will be speaking at the COMBACTE Investigators Meeting. Why is this meeting important?

“Indeed, during the Investigators Meeting I will be giving an update on SAATELLITE study. It’s important because it creates interaction, and promotes communication within our network. It’s important that everyone is aware of what we are doing, and where we are going. It brings people together and it creates a good sense of unity, which is crucial if we want to reach our goal.”

What is the importance of ECCMID for COMBACTE?

“Since ECCMID is one of the biggest, most important microbiology and infectious diseases congresses, I would say it is really the place to be for our project. Without a doubt it also creates more visibility. Next to that, the event itself fits with the purpose of COMBACTE.”

Besides working for COMBACTE, you are also Head of the Clinical Investigation Center at CHU Limoges and Specialist in Intensive Care Medicine and Anesthesiology. What do you do to disconnect from the busy life of a clinician?

“I believe you have to be well balanced between work, family life and personal time. My family is of course very important, so a great deal of my spare time is spent with them.  Another thing I like to do once every year is ultramarathons. An ultramarathon is running 100-170 km in a span of 45-55 hours. For me this is half extreme sport, and half spiritual. It is part of me, it’s my philosophy.”

Do you have a message for our network?

“The work and the efforts we make for our projects is a quite like an ultramarathon.  Never underestimate what you have to deliver. For example you have to deliver 50 km within 10 hours, or you are out of the race. It is really like this. You have to be a finisher because you have a time-barrier. What is important is the end point. COMBACTE is an incredibly innovative project, and we have to keep focus on the end point. We have to stay realistic and not miss the chances.”

On behalf of the Management Board, see you at the COMBACTE booth in Vienna, Austria, for the 27th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID)!

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