Global leaders in the fight against antibiotic resistance will gather in Brisbane next week (3-5 April) for the University of Queensland-hosted Solutions for Drug-Resistant Infections (SDRI) conference.
UQ Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) Centre for Superbug Solutions researcher Dr Mark Blaskovich said integrating global research efforts and expertise was critical for saving lives.
“Drug-resistant infections are one of the greatest challenges facing global human health,” he said.
“The conference will bring together multidisciplinary and expert teams driven to solve this challenge through research, innovation and collaboration.
“Coordination and collaboration can help ensure that new approaches to track, treat and prevent drug-resistant infections can be developed and applied to save lives here and abroad,” Dr Blaskovich said.
The conference opening speaker, Chief Medical Officer for England Professor Dame Sally Davies, said antimicrobial resistance was not a problem of the future. Rather, it was here now.
“Millions of people across the world are already dying from drug-resistant infections and, if we don’t act now, it will get worse,” Professor Davies said.
“Cancer treatments would be more risky and surgeries such as hip replacements and caesarean sections could become life-threateningly dangerous.
“AMR is an issue that affects every country so we must all act together.
“As part of my new role on the UN interagency coordination group on antimicrobial resistance, I will be working with governments and experts across the world, including here in Australia, to make sure we work together to avert a global catastrophe.”
UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said the conference would build on UQ’s research excellence and experience in the fight against drug-resistant infections.
“The Medical Research Future Fund has listed antimicrobial resistance as a priority issue for Australia,” Professor Høj said.
“Scientists across UQ are working to translate their discoveries into new drugs and diagnostics for an innovative and rapid response to this global challenge.
“This conference and the solutions, connections and conversations that flow from it will help create positive change in our fight against superbugs in Australia and beyond."
The conference, hosted by the UQ Institute for Molecular Bioscience and the Community for Open Antimicrobial Drug Discovery, will involve more than 250 health and medical research, policy and industry experts who will discuss solutions and an integrated ‘one health’ approach to the urgent worldwide challenge of drug-resistant infections.
It will be held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre from 3-5 April.