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Microbes are all around us, from the surfaces you touch to the air you breathe in. For every human cell that makes up your body, there are 10 microorganisms who have come along for the ride. Join us for a night where we will combine all areas of microbiology; bacteria, viruses and fungi, with beers, games and pathogenic prizes.
Novel Broad-Spectrum Antiviral Materials
Dr Samuel Jones (Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw Fellow)
Antivirals currently only exist for 9 out of the 219 known human viral diseases, are virus-specific and lose efficacy upon viral mutation. A broad-spectrum antiviral, the equivalent of broad-spectrum antibiotics, is needed, especially in the fight against emerging viral outbreaks. We have developed materials that work via a newly proposed disruptive binding apprach that effectively 'pops' the virus. My talk will introduce the importance of developing new antivirals and highlight the advantages to an extracellular antiviral approach.
To understand and reduce the burden of fatal human fungal diseases
Dr Darren Thomson (Experimental Officer)
Fungal pathogens have an enormous influence on plant and animal life, impacting species extinctions, food security, and ecosystem disturbances. In contrast, the effect fungal infections have on human health is not widely recognized. At least as many, if not more, people die from invasive fungal diseases than from tuberculosis or malaria. The work of the Manchester Fungal Infection Group (MFIG) in studying how these fungal pathogens grow, overwhelm host organs and develop resistance to antifungal drugs, and state of the art live-cell imaging studies of these pathogens will be discussed.
Understanding antimicrobial resistance
Dr Joe Latimer (Lecturer in Antimicrobial Resistance)
For millions of years, we have been evolving alongside a host of microbes that live on us, in us and which help us to survive. ‘We’ interact with ‘them’ constantly but we are only just starting to figure out what these interactions are and what they might mean. Hence, we need to characterise these interactions, looking at how bacteria adapt to life on Planet Human and how we respond to these changes. By studying what happens when these interactions are disturbed through disease and antibiotic use, we might hope to eventually develop smarter ways to combat infection and antibiotic resistance.