Join the third episode in our Researcher Live series on 'Antibiotic & Antimicrobial Resistance' on 10th November at 10am BST / GMT, for an exclusive talk with Prof Robert Beardmore, University of Exeter. Sign up here to receive email reminders for this series!
What are we going to talk about in this episode?
We often hear it said that antibiotic resistance has the potential to cause severe problems for the future of medicine, and this is undoubtedly true but what do the data say? We looked at several open databases from government-funded agencies and the private sector to see if they were consistent, or even self-consistent. And if they were, what might they predict in terms of where resistance is heading? One dataset, called ATLAS, published openly by Pfizer is the richest dataset in terms of the available patient metadata held within it and it is only this one that can be used, in conjunction with mathematical modelling, to try and predict what resistance dynamics might look like in the near future.
However, ATLAS does have some inconsistencies that impinge on the quality of the analyses that can be done. Interestingly, the government-backed databases strip away all patient metadata and so they discard vast amounts of information that could help combat resistance; something of a shame given the importance. If there’s time we’ll also discuss some unusual properties of antibiotics, like how they can provide benefits to bacterial cells. We might also look at bacterial genomes and how they evolve inside patients during antibiotic treatment.
- 3rd October, 2.30pm BST / 1.30pm GMT - ‘Artificial intelligence approaches for antibiotic discovery’ with César de la Fuente, Presidential Assistant Professor, University of Pennsylvania
- 18th October, 10am BST / 9am GMT - ‘Biofilm communities, antimicrobials and antimicrobial resistance’ with Prof Kim Hardie, University of Nottingham
- 10th November, 10am BST / GMT - ‘Antibiotics: from databases to evolution in patients’ with Prof Robert Beardmore, University of Exeter
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10:00 am BST / GMT
Prof Robert Beardmore who has a Mathematics degree from Edinburgh University and a PhD from Bath University runs an evolutionary microbiology lab at Exeter University, having spent over 10 years in the Mathematics Department at Imperial College before that. His work currently focuses on the evolutionary processes that lead to antibiotic resistance and seeks answers to questions such as can resistance to antibiotics occur during treatment? How quickly can resistance happen? And what are the consequences of this for patients? Given his background, the lab uses a mix of techniques that span experimental evolution, evolutionary genomics, mathematical modelling and, increasingly, AI to support new technology development for probing antibiotics and the pathogens they target.
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