‘The gut microbiome and antibiotic resistance’ – Professor Willem van Schaik

05 December 2017

‘The gut microbiome and antibiotic resistance’

Professor Willem van Schaik

Tuesday 5 December

–Lecture Theatre 5, Education Centre, QEHB

5pm – 7pm

Refreshments served from 4.30pm

This seminar will see Professor Willem van Schaik discussing the microbiome as a reservoir of antibiotic resistance genes. He will explain why antibiotics are crucially important for modern medicine and how the usefulness of antibiotics is threatened by rapidly spreading drug resistance.

Data will be presented that show that antibiotic resistance genes are common in the gut microbiome and will highlight the technical approaches that can be used to this reservoir of resistance genes (or ‘the gut resistome’ in short).

Lastly Willem will present a recent study on the impact of intensive antibiotic therapy (termed ‘Selective Decontamination of the Digestive tract’ or SDD in short) on the gut microbiome of critically ill patients and will weigh the risks and benefits of SDD.

Willem van Schaik is a newly appointed Professor of Microbiology and Infection at the University of Birmingham. He has published more than 60 papers in the field of molecular microbiology, the human microbiome and antibiotic resistance.

He has received major grants from:

  • The Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research
  • The Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission
  • The Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance (JPIAMR)
  • The Royal Society.

His main research interests are the characterization of the mechanisms by which commensal bacteria evolve to become multi-drug resistant opportunistic pathogens and the metagenomic analysis of the reservoir of antibiotic resistance genes (‘the resistome’) in complex microbiomes.