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Birkbeck academic forges international connections in the global fight against antibiotic resistance

Professors and students have taken part in a UK-India exchange initiative doing vital work to reverse the tide of antibiotic resistance.

three researchers in a lab
Researchers in ISMB-Mycobacteria Research Laboratory

A world-leading project to tackle antibiotic resistance in superbugs resistant to multiple drugs, led by Birkbeck’s Professor Sanjib Bhakta, was visited by Professor Anindya Sundar Ghosh, from the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, India.

The visit is part of an exchange funded by ASEM-DUO, an organisation that provides funding for academics to visit between Europe and countries in Asia. Joined by her PhD student, Sarmistha Biswal, Professor Anindya Sundar Ghosh, visited Birkbeck’s Mycobacteria Research Laboratory to observe and collaborate on vital research into the global fight against untreatable illnesses.

During the visit Professor Ghosh interacted with academic staff and students of the Department of Biological Sciences, attended the Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology (ISMB) symposium, and led a research seminar on drug resistance in World Health Organisation (WHO) priority bacterial pathogens.

In turn, Professor Bhakta will visit India between 11 July and 15 August to deliver lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops and mentoring sessions to undergraduate and postgraduate students and early career scientists.

This exchange is an important move in forging inter-institutional research networks. The objective is to connect leading researchers and encourage them to closely share their work, and to build better research ideas and practices towards tackling antibiotic resistance, with a specific focus on tuberculosis.

Professor Bhakta commented: “We must take immediate action against antibiotic resistance in infectious diseases before this major global health challenge goes beyond our ability to control. If the current trend continues, there will be more than 10 million preventable deaths every year by 2050. This inter-institutional collaboration between UK and India is helping to build a strong international research programme to tackle antimicrobial resistance and accelerate the development of new and effective treatment options. We are thankful to the ASEM-DUO India support. We are equally appreciative of the Newton-Bhabha, Commonwealth Split-Site and Global Challenges Research Funds to facilitate international partnerships with Birkbeck School of Science.”

Professor Bhakta and his collaborators are now looking for further funding and partners to allow a widening of the research network to continue forging a vital international research hub for tackling antibiotic resistance.

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