Something wicked this way comes: new centre to confront antimicrobial resistance

Published: 20 October 2021

Multidisciplinary unit to focus on rise of ‘superbugs’ identified by WHO as a leading threat to global health, responsible for 700,000 annual deaths worldwide

October 20, 2021 (Montreal, Quebec) – Globally, Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) causes approximately 700,000 deaths annually, a number projected to reach over 10 million yearly deaths by 2050. The prevalence of AMR in Canada is projected to reach 40% by this time, a plausible scenario if no interventions successfully curb their rise.

To answer this increasingly urgent crisis, McGill University today announced the official launch of the Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Centre, which will be dedicated to advancing research and developing innovations to confront the AMR crisis. The centre will be housed within the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.

The over-arching goal of the AMR Centre is to develop innovative strategies that address the growing threats of AMR through three research axes: Diagnostics, Surveillance and Prevention, and Therapeutics. Already the Centre has attracted a diverse membership of researchers, with expertise in medicine, biomedicine, engineering, natural and social sciences, making the AMR Centre one of the most interdisciplinary research hubs at McGill.

“The issues surrounding AMR are so complex, so intertwined and so urgent that we cannot afford the luxury of allowing potentially life-saving knowledge to languish within a single silo of research,” explained Professor Dao Nguyen, Director, McGill AMR Centre. “We must work in a more coordinated and inclusive fashion if we are to solve this global problem.”

Knowledge dissemination is also a key function of the Centre, and one of the first actions to be undertaken is the running of the McGill AMR Innovation Summit: Antimicrobials in the era of AMR, which will take place November 19, 2021. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Erin Duffy, Chief of R&D at CARB-X, a non-profit global partnership focused on supporting the antibacterial innovations. Registration for the event is open to the public on the AMR Centre’s website.

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