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Antimicrobial resistance: a global threat

Launch of interdisciplinary events series for new ExeterAMR research network

A successful virtual seminar has launched a new series of events which aims to unite researchers from all disciplines across the University of Exeter working on the subject of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

AMR is a priority research area for the University, and these events are part of a range of activities designed to develop a University-wide AMR Network, thanks to funding from the University’s Provost Fund. 

By creating strong interdisciplinary links, the Network Team (Professor Will Gaze, Professor Steve Hinchliffe, Professor Rich Smith, Dr Kelly Thornber and Dr Demelza Curnow) hopes to increase collaborative funding opportunities and widen the impact of the University’s AMR research.

Dr Thornber said “Antimicrobial resistance is a major global human and animal health threat, and one of the biggest obstacles in addressing this issue is fostering true interdisciplinary networking, where researchers from different disciplines develop and conduct research together rather than in parallel to each other.  We are trying to create an environment within the University that supports this.” 

Unlike conventional departmental seminar series, these events will be pitched to a broad audience and will assume a variety of formats, to facilitate equal opportunities for discussion, networking and collaboration between all disciplines and career levels. 

The first event was a “jargon-free seminar”, which saw three short presentations from researchers working in biophysics, law and environmental microbiology.  Professor Gaze said “It was a great first event, an interesting mixture of topics and questions.  I look forward to the next one!”

Dr Curnow noted “Attendees have commented that they enjoyed the diversity of three different disciplines centred around a common theme.  Presenters are already continuing conversations offline and investigating new cross-disciplinary opportunities, so this is a promising start towards achieving our network goals” 

Owing to the restrictions in place to mitigate COVID-19, the event was held entirely online, and this allowed researchers from all campuses and external partners to participate.  The AMR Network Team is looking at options to ensure that this cross-campus equality continues when the University re-opens. 

For further information or to join the network, please contact AMR-network@exeter.ac.uk, or visit the ExeterAMR website: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/amr/ 

Date: 5 June 2020

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