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Students showcase global fight against superbug threat

Students are teaming up with leading health experts to host a public event highlighting the risks posed by antibiotic resistance.

Experts will showcase the search for new diagnostic tools at the event, which will take place on Wednesday 22 February at the University’s Playfair Library.

Attendees will hear how the rise of ‘superbugs’ – microbes that are resistant to antibiotics – are a serious threat to public health worldwide.

Since penicillin was discovered in 1928 by former University of Edinburgh Rector Alexander Fleming, antibiotics have been key to modern medicine, adding an estimated 20 years to our lifespan.

The event is co-hosted by the Antimicrobial Resistance Diagnostics Challenge (AMR DxC) and Nesta, a charity focused on increasing innovation in the UK.

Antibiotic resistance is a major global threat to public health and diagnostics are urgently needed. This event highlights our commitment to thinking outside the box in our approaches to overcoming the challenges.

Dr Till BachmannReader in Personalised Medicine

Speakers at the event include the University of Edinburgh’s Vice-Principal Global Access Professor Sue Welburn and Professor Gyorgy Abel from Harvard Medical School. They will outline the need for better ways to diagnose if a patient actually needs an antibiotic.

The talks are part of a series of events linked to The Longitude Prize – a £10m open global challenge to conserve the effectiveness of antibiotics.

The event will also attract students from all over the world who are attending the week-long AMR DxC Winter School held in Edinburgh, which fosters innovative thinking to overcome global threats posed by antibiotic resistance. The Winter School is funded through the BBSRC Global Challenges Research Fund.

We are very excited to host a fantastic line-up of speakers at this event. It is a great opportunity for members of the public to join scientists and students in lively discussion about this major area of modern medicine.

Eleojo ObajePhD student, Division of Infection and Pathway Medicine

The event is free and open to the public, with tickets available here.