I am a researcher with a keen interest in combatting the growing Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) crisis – a global threat to human health and agriculture. During my career, I have used both chemical and biological approaches to find new molecules and methods that can help us expand the toolkit that we can use to combat antibiotic resistant bacteria.
During my undergraduate degree and PhD studies at the University of Warwick, I worked on discovering and understanding the biosynthesis of natural products – small molecules that are produced by bacteria and other organisms. These often have complicated chemistry that is difficult to replicate by synthetic methods, and importantly are often very active against other harmful bacteria. Understanding, replicating and harnessing the synthesis of natural products is therefore a great way to generate the next generation of antibiotics.
Now, as a Postdoctoral Research Associate with Prof. Chris Schofield in the Ineos Oxford Insitute (IOI), I work on developing screens to test molecules against enzymes from bacteria that confer resistance to known antibiotics. In this way, we hope to discover new drugs that prevent the action of these enzymes and protect the antibiotics from being made inactive against bacteria that are harmful to human and animal health. This will make our current therapies last longer and give them a new lease of life.
At Oxford, I have also been involved in disseminating information about the growing crisis of AMR. I have been part of the IOI team that has been developing interactive AMR workshops for Key Stage 4 students in collaboration with the Educational Outreach team in the Department of Chemistry at Oxford, and also part of the team that founded a Multidisciplinary conference to bring together early career AMR researchers.