Birkbeck collaborates with Egyptian university to tackle global infectious diseases

The Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology has partnered with Kafrelsheikh University, Egypt to address the rising problem of antibiotic resistance.

Scanning electron micrograph of Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria, which cause tuberculosis. Credit: NIAID

The Birkbeck-UCL Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology (ISMB) is spearheading an international collaboration with Kafrelsheikh University, Egypt to progress a UK-Egypt international partnership on antimicrobial resistance in global infectious diseases.

This creates opportunities for staff and students exchanges to work across both labs to benefit from each other’s expertise and to extend Birkbeck’s collaborative international research programme. An example of this can be seen in recently published research which revealed new therapeutic leads for further antibiotic drug development; something that becomes ever more crucial with the rise of antimicrobial resistance to our best available antibiotics.

The partnership was first instigated by Dr Sanjib Bhakta who heads the Mycobacterial Research Laboratory (MRL) within the ISMB at Birkbeck. He invited a delegation from Kafrelsheikh University and the Egyptian Bureau for Cultural and Educational Affairs in the UK and Ireland to the College to meet with Professor David Latchman, Master of Birkbeck, Professor Nicholas Keep, Executive Dean of the School of Science, Professor Gabriel Waksman and Professor Elena Orlova from the ISMB. They also met PhD students and researchers in the School of Science.

Dr Bhakta said: “The missions of the ISMB, which conducts world-class research to further our understanding of human and animal diseases, and Kafrelsheikh University, which seeks to become a global leader in education and scientific research and the Egyptian Bureau for Cultural and Educational Affairs in UK and Ireland are closely aligned.

“Interdisciplinary international collaboration is vital if the world is to address key health issues which know no national borders – and antimicrobial resistance is key among these. We look forward to continued work with the team at Kafrelsheikh as we explore programmes and projects where we can work together to advance our mutual aims.” 

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