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Non-genetic mechanisms of intrinsic antimicrobial resistance


NONANTIRES is a groundbreaking project to discover alternative ways for controlling the problem of infection treatment failures due to multidrug antimicrobial resistance. Specifically, my efforts will focus on Gram-negative bacterial opportunistic pathogens that exhibit pan-antibiotic, intrinsic resistance. My team has recently uncovered a novel resistance mechanism based on a cooperative behaviour of bacterial populations that show a heterogeneous response to antibiotics. Highly antibiotic resistant cells in low proportion within a heterogeneous population protect the majority of less resistant cells, as well as less resistant cells of other species. Protection depends on augmented production and release of bacterial molecules that diffuse to the medium and mediate increased antibiotic resistance. My team has obtained proof of principle that inhibiting the synthesis pathways for these molecules confers reduced bacterial resistance to bactericidal antibiotics. NONANTIRES's vision is to establish the molecular mechanism of protection and discover new molecules that will act as antibiotic adjuvants, ultimately providing better therapeutic solutions for combatting multidrug resistant microbes

Call for proposal

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Funding Scheme

MC-CIG - Support for training and career development of researcher (CIG)


University Road Lanyon Building
BT7 1NN Belfast
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 50 000
Administrative Contact
Colleen Spence (Mrs.)