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The global antibiotic resistance crisis is having a dramatic impact on our ability to treat disease and to facilitate many of the procedures we enjoy in modern medicine. The history of antibiotics in the 20th century has been one of the cycles of discovery followed by the development of resistance that have been addressed with new discoveries. In the 21st century, this cycle has been broken with resistance continuing to rise and antibiotic discovery failing to keep up. While we do require new antibiotics, another strategy is to preserve the drugs we have by combatting resistance. Combinations of legacy antibiotics and molecules that enhance their activities even in the face of resistance (antibiotic adjuvants) have the potential to extend the utility of our 20th century drugs. Several examples of this strategy will be presented demonstrating the feasibility of such an approach.
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Presenter: Dr. Gerry Wright
Dr. Gerry Wright is the director of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research at McMaster University (2007 to present). He is professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biomedical Sciences and associate member of the Departments of Chemistry and Chemical Biology as well as Pathology and Molecular Medicine.
He received his bachelor of science in biochemistry in 1986 and his doctorate in chemistry in 1990 from the University of Waterloo working in the area of antifungal drugs. He followed this up with two years of postdoctoral research at Harvard Medical School in Boston where he worked on the molecular mechanism of resistance to the antibiotic vancomycin in enterococci. He joined the Department of Biochemistry at McMaster in 1993.
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