Our research addresses two of the grand challenges facing humanity in the 21st century:

Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR)

AMR is when a disesase-causing bacterium or fungus becomes resistant to the antimicrobials we normally use to treat infections. This makes it very difficult for clinicians to cure us of infectious diseases. Antibiotics are important not just for treating life threatening infections but also for preventing infections when patients have surgery or chemotherapy. If we didn't have antibitoics, these modern medical procedures would carry a very high risk of infection and threaten the life of the patient. Our work is aimed at discovering new antibiotics to tackle drug resistant infections - so called :"superbugs". We also develop tools for others to use because many scientists around the world are focussed on the same goals and we have to work together to combat AMR.

Food Security.

Currently around 50% of crops are lost to disease and drought worldwide. As the global population increases it is essential that we increase crop yields while also reducing the use of agrichemicals like pesticides and fertilizers because they damage the soil and the wider ecosystem. Our work is aimed at develoing antibiotic-producing Streptomyces bacteria as natural, biological growth promoters in crop plants such as wheat. We have identified Streptomyces species which can double the size of wheat plants, protect against drought and salt stress and protect against fungal diseases which destroy farmer's crops. We are currently working to evelop these strains as seed coatings.

A wheat plant harvested from Church Farm in Norfolk

Updated 11th November 2019