- New scientists to be trained to fight drug-resistant bugs, with creation of a £2.85m national PhD Training Programme, funded by the Medical Research Foundation and part-led by the University of Warwick
- Professor Chris Dowson from Warwick’s School of Life Sciences is part of the Programme Leadership Team, and has been integrally involved with the establishment of the training programme
- 18 students will be fully funded for 4 years in participating UK universities, including Warwick
New scientists will be trained to explore ways to tackle antimicrobial resistance - one of the greatest emerging threats to human health – with the creation of a £2.85m national PhD Training Programme, funded by the Medical Research Foundation and part-led by the University of Warwick.
Professor Chris Dowson from Warwick’s School of Life Sciences is part of the Programme Leadership Team, and has been integrally involved with the establishment of the training programme.
The first intake of the Antimicrobial Resistance PhD Training Programme will fully fund 18 students for four years in one of 16 participating universities across the UK, including Warwick.
“Antimicrobial resistance is rapidly becoming one of the greatest threats to human life. The PhD Training Programme provide opportunities for young scientists to develop in their field, and help to advance the scientific fight against killer bugs, which are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics,” commented Chris Dowson, Professor of Microbiology at the University of Warwick.
“I look forward to training the scientists myself at Warwick, and developing the future generation of expertise within the University’s world-class research centre in antimicrobial resistance.”
Antibiotics transformed healthcare in the 20th century and are still considered one of greatest medical achievements of the era. Today, we still rely on antibiotics to treat everything from minor cuts to life-threatening bacterial infections and to prevent infection after surgery. These drugs have drastically improved our quality of life and increased lifespan.
In the 21st Century, antibiotic overuse and misuse has led to antibiotics rapidly becoming ineffective. Antimicrobial resistance, specifically antibiotic resistance, now poses a global threat to human life. We need urgent action to halt resistance and to accelerate new treatments for bacterial infection. The MRF’s Antimicrobial Resistance PhD Training Programme has been designed in response.
“The fight against antimicrobial resistance is serious, life-threatening and global and it is a fight we must win. As academic lead for the Medical Research Foundation’s national PhD Training Programme, I look forward to leading the next generation of researchers to develop the multidisciplinary research skills required to tackle this major health problem,” says Dr Matthew Avison of the University of Bristol and academic lead for the Antimicrobial Resistance PhD Training Programme.
Working with the Medical Research Council, the MRF spotted a gap in funding for PhD studentships in antimicrobial resistance research – right now there are few emerging researchers trained in the multidisciplinary approach required to tackle the antimicrobial resistance problem. MRF’s PhD programme is designed to help build a strong, active network of new researchers to approach this global challenge in innovative ways.
The Medical Research Foundation’s Chair, Professor Nicholas Lemoine, said: “The Medical Research Foundation is delighted to fund the UK’s only national PhD Training Programme in antimicrobial resistance research. We believe the programme will help to respond to the global health challenge that is antimicrobial resistance, including antibiotic resistance and drug resistant infections and strengthen the UK’s research capacity overall.”
Image: Professor Chris Dowson, credit University of Warwick (click for high res)
Further information contact:
Luke Walton, International Press Officer
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