Penicillin, the laboratory-curiosity turned life-saving drug, has saved countless lives. However, over-prescribing and over-use is decreasing its effectiveness and antibiotic-resistant diseases are on the rise.
Dr. Kapil, an associate professor with the Department of Biology, has been working in the field of antimicrobial drug discovery and resistance (AMR) for more than 20 years.
He says the field has been getting a lot of attention in recent years, but those working in it have been trying to draw awareness to the issue for the past 70 years through discussions of such issues as antibiotic resistance in epidemiology, livestock and agriculture, and poultry, as well as drug discovery approaches, the use of probiotics and nanotechnology to combat AMR and the economic and social impacts of AMR.
While many assume the problem is going to be solved by clinicians, microbiologists or drug companies, Dr. Tahlan believes the issue will require more than just experts working on antibiotic discovery, requiring everyone from MDs to basic chemists to get involved.
His research group has been working with clavulanic acid, a widely used anti-resistance drug, to see how it is made and how to make analogues of it. Previously, Dr. Tahlan worked with a drug now in clinical trials for tuberculosis that is also hard to get resistance against.
More information about this project can be found here.