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Tackling antimicrobial drug resistance in global infectious diseases

Birkbeck biologist Professor Bhakta is working with academic and research institutes across India to share expertise on developing new potential antibiotic leads.

Close up of tuberculosis bacteria
Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria. Image credit: NIAID

Professor Sanjib Bhakta from Birkbeck’s Department of Biological Sciences is collaborating with a number of international universities and leading research institutes to tackle global infectious diseases, an international capacity building project that is partly funded by the UKRI’s Global Challenges Research Fund.

Professor Bhakta’s research primarily focuses on boosting the pipeline of new antibiotic leads with novel mechanisms of action, especially for tuberculosis; either from natural resources or through synthetic materials created in a lab. 

During his international academic visits to India he will be working with universities and leading research institutes; the VP Chest Institute in New Delhi, the Institute of Chemical Technology in Mumbai, IMTECH in Chandigarh, the Birla Institute of Technology in Mesra, the National Institute for Research in Tuberculosis in Chennai and the University of Calcutta. He will share expertise with research staff and students on antibiotic resistance. The project takes an interdisciplinary approach, bringing chemists and biologists together to address this major global health and economic challenge.

Professor Bhakta said: “We know infectious disease isn’t just a problem in the UK – it’s a problem that crosses borders. But many parts of the world where these diseases are most present are less likely to have the capacity to tackle them. It’s important that international institutions work together to find international solutions.”

In his first round-trip academic visit to India in March and April, he will meet collaborators and international project partners in New Delhi and Mumbai, deliver a keynote speech at an international conference on global infectious diseases in IMTECH, Chandigarh, and chair workshops on antimicrobial resistance in various institutes in and around Kolkata.

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