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Division of Microbiology and Infection Seminar

20 June 2014, 12pm-1pm, GLT3, Warwick Medical School Building, University of Warwick


Title: 'New antibiotics for resistant bacteria - using evolution in drug discovery'


Professor John Wain, Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia


The discovery of new antibiotics is limited by a lack of broad spectrum targets in bacterial cells, development is hindered by a lack of technologies for target identification and good stewardship by a lack of rapid diagnostics and susceptibility testing. One approach to overcome these problems is to focus on narrow spectrum, targeted, antibiotics. Many new targets are being described by genome-wide transposon insertion technology, their development is being led by the rapid identification of the mechanism of action and new sequencing technologies make rapid diagnosis and susceptibility testing a real possibility in the near future. All of these factors have encouraged the large pharmaceutical companies to return actively to antibiotic research. Is this a reason for optimism about the treatment of infection?


john wain

Professor Wain is a bacteriologist and international authority on Salmonella and other gastrointestinal pathogens with over 30 years’ experience in the molecular identification of bacterial pathogens and antibiotic resistance. Having worked as a graduate biologist in the Public Health Laboratory Service in the UK in (1981-1992) he pursued a research career in medical microbiology with a Ph.D at Birmingham University a decade at the University of Oxford Overseas Unit in Vietnam and three years postdoctoral research at Imperial College. This was followed by a faculty position in Cambridge at the Welcome Trust Sanger Institute and a senior lectureship at the University of Liverpool. In 2008 Dr Wain became the head of the UK reference service, Laboratory for Gastrointestinal Pathogens at Colindale, before moving into his current role as Professor of Medical Microbiology, in translational microbiology at the University of East Anglia. Soon after leaving Colindale he co-founded a drug discovery company Discuva Ltd for which is CSO and a director.