"Tackling the Global Challenge of Antimicrobial Resistance" EMBRACE Workshop and Dragons Den Competition

"Tackling the Global Challenge of Antimicrobial Resistance" an EMBRACE Workshop and Dragons Den Competition

The EMBRACE Workshop focused on the challenges we are facing in antimicrobial resistance (AMR), and how multidisciplinary research spanning Engineering, Medicine, Physical and Natural Sciences can help solve this problem. Attendees became familiarised with some of the challenges in AMR through a series of presentations by the EMBRACE Pump Priming and Sandpit awardees. Following these presentations, we hosted a Dragons’ Den Competition where challengers pitched to a panel of experts how their research could tackle the challenge of AMR. The afternoon closed with a networking BBQ event where attendees had the opportunity to interact with our cohort of experienced multidisciplinary researchers working in the field of AMR.

Workshop The first session of the afternoon focused on the EMBRACE Pump Priming and Sandpit awarded projects and their progress to date. The following Sandpit and Pump Priming awardees were present: Promoting Immune Clearance of Bacterial Pathogens, Dr Andrew Edwards; Rapid Evaporative Ionisation Mass Spectrometry for Early Detection of Antimicrobial Resistance, Dr Simon Cameron; Antimicrobial Resistance in Gut Communities, Dr Lesley Hoyles; LIPID-MINDS: Lipid Mapping to Identify Novel Drug Solutions, Dr Gerald Larrouy-Maumus; Real-time Enhanced Antimicrobial ConTroller (REACT), Dr Pau Herrero-Viñas.

Our Dragons Den competition closed the afternoon session. We invited PhD students and early career post-doctoral researchers, either as individuals or groups, to give a 5 minute Dragons’ Den style pitch to a panel of experts as to how their research can contribute to addressing the challenge of AMR. Dr Pantelis Georgiou (Department of Engineering) chaired the competition, and our ‘Dragons’ were Professor Alison Holmes (Department of Medicine), Professor Alan Armstrong (Department of Chemistry), Professor Sivaramesh Wigneshweraraj (Department of Medicine), and Jon Wilkinson, our guest from Imperial Innovations. Seven groups were shortlisted to present at the ‘den’ to an audience of more than 60 researchers and students. Two prizes of £1000 were awarded to the winners to kick-start and support their projects, which will also receive mentorship from world experts in the field towards implementing their idea and furthering their career through potential applications for funding. The winners were Jon Otter with the project entitled "Developing “smart” antimicrobial surfaces to reduce the transmission of antibiotic-resistant hospital pathogens" and team FeedBacUK, which proposed a colour changing test for specific pathogenic bacteria that is fast, affordable and simple to use.

The aim of this workshop was to bring together researchers and students and share results of current AMR research from the EMBRACE Pump Priming and Sandpit awarded projects. The afternoon was highly successful in fulfilling its aims of engaging the next generation of scientists on how their research can be used tackle the challenge of AMR.

You can learn more about the day's programme and Dragons' Den competition here