A unique facility which will pioneer world-leading research in antimicrobial resistance will be launched at the University of Sheffield.
The Sheffield Centre for Antimicrobial Resistance and Biofilms (SCARAB) has been awarded a £700,000 Innovate UK grant to equip a new laboratory which will allow scientists to study how bacteria protect themselves from antibiotics.
As part of the normal infection process harmful bacteria form complex communities called biofilms. If these form in human tissues, it can lead to long-term infection with increasing levels of resistance to normal antibiotics.
Biofilm formation is very hard to treat and can lead to permanent open sores in elderly and diabetic patients.
Chronic, unhealed wounds are not only unpleasant for the patient but very expensive to treat – costing the NHS around £1 billion per year.
There is currently nowhere in the UK that has the expertise and equipment to study long-term biofilm formation in models of different tissues.
The new centre will bring leading doctors, scientists and engineers together to find new ways of fighting biofilm formation. Pharmaceutical companies and NHS researchers will be invited to contribute new ways of testing their therapies in infected tissues.
This will pave the way for the faster development of urgently needed therapies for chronic infections in the growing numbers of elderly and diabetic patients in the UK.
SCARAB will be led by directors Professor Pete Monk from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease and Dr Esther Karunakaran from the University’s Chemical and Biological Engineering.
SCARAB is led by Professor Pete Monk (Infection, Immunity and Cardiovascular Disease) and Dr Esther Karunakaran (Chemical and Biological Engineering), with Professor Sheila MacNeil and Dr Ihtesham ur Rehman (Materials Science), Dr Lynda Partridge (Molecular Biology and Biotechnology) and Professor Catherine Biggs and Dr Annette Taylor (Chemical and Biological Engineering).
The University of Sheffield
With almost 27,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.
A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.
Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.
Sheffield is the only university to feature in The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For 2017 and was voted number one university in the UK for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education in 2014. In the last decade it has won four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes in recognition of the outstanding contribution to the United Kingdom’s intellectual, economic, cultural and social life.
Sheffield has six Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.
Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.
For further information, please visit www.sheffield.ac.uk