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SHOW March 2012

posted May 9, 2012, 4:32 PM by Steven Munevar   [ updated Jun 27, 2012, 8:39 AM by Steven Munevar ]
Resistance is Futile: Applying Ecological and Evolutionary Theory to the Challenge of Antibiotic Resistance
Keynote Speaker:
Margaret (Peg) Riley, Ph.D.
  • Professor-University of Massachusetts (Amherst)
  • Founder and President-Massachusetts Academy of Sciences
  • Founder and Co-Director-Institute for Drug Resistance
  • Founder and CSO-Origin Antimicrobials, LLC
March’s SHOW will focused on the growing trend in microbial drug resistance. Pathogenic bacteria resistant to many or all antibiotics already exist. Coupled with the rapid decline in microbiological research at pharmaceutical companies, the rapid rate at which resistance has evolved and spread has demanded a novel approach to addressing this critical human health issue. Dr. Riley, highlighted a new paradigm in antibiotic discovery and development, one that applies ecological and evolutionary theory to design antimicrobial drugs that are more difficult and/or more costly to resist. Specifically, Dr. Riley presented strategies invented and applied by bacteria against other bacteria for the past several billion years and the adoption of these strategies in our fight against microbial drug resistance.

Dr. Riley has received the Presidential Young Investigator’s Award for her pioneering research on antimicrobial compounds and has published over 100 articles and edited three books in her research area. In 2005 she co-founded a Massachusetts-based biopharmaceutical company, Origin Antimicrobials, LLC, involved in the design of novel antimicrobials. In 2008 she created the Massachusetts Academy of Sciences, a non-profit organization whose mission is to increase levels of civic science literacy. In 2009, she co-founded the Institute for Drug Resistance, whose mission is to facilitate novel, multidisciplinary approaches to addressing the challenges of drug resistance. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and was recently elected to the Board of Life Sciences of the National Academy of Sciences.

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