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Bacteria are constantly developing new ways to make our drugs useless. Researchers are in an global arms race to produce new antibacterial drugs faster than the bacteria can develop this resistance. We have two excellent Cardiff scientists here to tell us about the past, present and future of bacterial resistance and how their research is battling this problem. This venue is accessible by wheelchair.
Dr Mark Toleman (Senior Lecturer, Cardiff University)
Antibiotics are real-life magic bullets that rapidly cure many bacterial diseases ranging from syphilis to chest infections. They are now an essential part of modern medicine without which surgery would be life threatening and organ transplants and cancer treatments would be impossible. In the last decade we have seen some common bacteria become resistant to all available antibiotics. It is the misuse of antibiotics that has caused our current problems. In this talk I will describe how antibiotic resistance has spread rapidly across the globe and the main factors driving this spread.
The Past and Future of Antibiotic Discovery
Dr Cerith Jones (Researcher, Cardiff University)
Antibiotics have revolutionised healthcare and improved our quality of life. The discovery of Penicillin in 1928 paved the way for the golden era of antibiotic discovery in the 1950-1960s. Since then the discovery pipeline has dried up and new antibiotics are hard to come by. Coupled with the increase in antibiotic resistance, we risk returning to the pre-antibiotic era. I will discuss the reasons behind this and describe what is being done to avoid the antibiotic crisis, including work here in Cardiff which aims to identify new antibiotics by interrogating bacterial genetic information.