Undergraduates Thomas Hustle and Jasmine Eaker talk with Dr. Hans Wildschutte in the microbiology lab class.
WORLD ANTIBIOTIC AWARENESS WEEK
UNDERGRADUATES JOIN WORLDWIDE SEARCH FOR NEW ANTIBIOTICS
The work of students in biologist Dr. Hans Wildschutte's microbiology lab class has taken on a special meaning this semester. While learning hands–on microbiology lab techniques, the students are also conducting research to identify potential new antibiotics.
The class is participating in the Small World Initiative, launched in 2012 at Yale University and aimed at discovering new antibiotics to treat the increasingly antibiotic–resistant bacteria threatening health globally. Because of the reluctance on the part of major pharmaceutical companies to develop novel antibiotics due to their low profitability, combined with the emergence of antibiotic resistance among human pathogens, the initiative was created to crowdsource antibiotic discovery by enlisting undergraduates worldwide.
"Over 40,000 undergraduates have participated spanning more than 109 universities," Wildschutte said. "The students are doing important and real microbiology research."