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Breaking Barriers in Science!

Venue: Birkbeck Central

Book your place

The ISMB-Mycobacteria Research Laboratory at the Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology and its collaborating research laboratories in Bloomsbury, London would like to invite you to take active part in a public awareness event on Monday 20th March 2023 between 3-5pm at Birkbeck Central on Malet Street. There will be informal presentations, science demonstrations, interactions between research scientists, school students and representing neighbouring community. 


Antibiotics have saved billions of lives since their discovery. However, disease-causing microbes have evolved and became resistant to antimicrobial drugs (AMR). More people are dying from originally curable illnesses, and if the current trend continues, AMR may cause 10 million deaths every year by 2050. It is estimated that each year, 700,000 die of drug resistant infections. This is partly due to avoidable rise in the global antibiotic consumption, predicted to grow threefold by 2030. On contrary, up to 2 billion people lack access to antimicrobials, mostly in low- and middle-income countries. Recall, the theme of the latest World Antimicrobial Awareness Week – ‘WAAW’ in November 2022 was “Preventing Antimicrobial Resistance Together.”


Tuberculosis (TB) is an infection caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis and non-tuberculous mycobacterial species. TB-causing bacterial cells are released into the air when someone with infectious TB coughs or sneezes. Pulmonary TB (in the lungs or throat) is the only form of the illness that is contagious, but TB can also cause systemic infection that may affect any part of the body including brain. While one third of the global population is carrying dormant TB bacteria in their bodies, latent TB can become active at any time, making someone ill, if their natural immune system is weakened. More than 123 countries have reported extensively drug resistant TB (XDR-TB) cases. None of the currently available antimicrobial drugs’ work against the XDR-TB cases leaving the patient with no choice of treatment. Unfortunately, only a few new antibiotics have been discovered since the 1980s.


World TB Day, falling on March 24th each year, is designed to build public awareness that tuberculosis today remains a hidden pandemic, causing the deaths of nearly one-and-a-half million people each year, mostly in developing countries. It commemorates the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch astounded the scientific community by announcing that he had discovered the cause of tuberculosis, the TB bacillus. At the time of Koch's announcement in Berlin, TB was raging through Europe and the Americas, causing the death of one out of every seven people. Koch's discovery opened the way towards diagnosing and curing TB.


We call on all sectors to encourage the prudent use of antimicrobials and to strengthen preventive measures addressing AMR and AMR in TB working together collaboratively through a ‘One Health’ approach.


P.S Refreshments will be provided!

Event is limited to 50 registrants so register fast to avoid disappointment.


Host: Members of ISMB-MRL

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