Professor receives award for significant contribution to antimicrobial resistance research

Professor Laura Piddock

The University of Birmingham’s Professor Laura Piddock has been given a prestigious award for her work in tackling the global issue of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The World Health Organization in 2009 declared AMR one of the biggest threats to mankind and, if not addressed, by 2050 it could kill millions of people - more than from cancer or road traffic accidents.

Now the British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (BSAC) has awarded the 2019 Garrod Medal, the highest honour afforded by the Society, to Professor Laura Piddock of the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Microbiology and Infection.

The medal is awarded to individuals who are an international authority in the field of antimicrobial chemotherapy.

Speaking of the award BSAC’s President, Philip Howard said: “Prof Piddock has made significant and long lasting contributions to the field of antimicrobial chemotherapy and antibiotic drug discovery.

“She has excelled in both the research and public engagement arenas, and has been instrumental in ensuring antimicrobial resistance rose to the forefront of both scientific and political agenda through her work with Antibiotic Action and as Professor of Microbiology at the University of Birmingham.

“Prof Piddock has also been an outstanding champion for women in science and her contributions to the Society have included Chair of the Grants Committee, President and Chair in Public Engagement. It truly is a privilege to be able to recognise and honour Laura in this way.”

Prof Piddock will give the 2019 Garrod Lecture at the BSAC Spring Conference 2019, to be held 21-22 March at the International Convention Centre, Birmingham.

Of the award, Prof Piddock said: “I am honoured and delighted to receive this award from the premier society in the field of antibiotics.

“It came as a complete surprise and was entirely unexpected. To have been nominated for such a prestigious award from leading experts in the field is really special.”

The Garrod Lecture was inaugurated in 1982, in honour of L P Garrod (1896-1979), whose writing and influence on antimicrobial chemotherapy was so important in the development of the discipline and whose practical clinical approach based on meticulous laboratory work seemed to suit the ethos of the BSAC.

Council awards this honour to individuals who are an international authority in the field of antimicrobial chemotherapy. The recipient delivers a lecture of their choosing at either the Society Annual Spring Meeting or the annual conference of the Federation of Infection Societies. The recipient is endowed with Honorary Membership of the Society.

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For more information please contact Emma McKinney, Communications Manager (Health Sciences), University of Birmingham, tel: +44 (0) 121 414 6681, or contact the press office out of hours on +44 (0) 7789 921 165.

Notes to Editors

  • The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions. Its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers, teachers and more than 5,000 international students from over 150 countries.
  • The University of Birmingham has one of the biggest teams of microbiologists in the European Union, devoted to tackling the global issue of antimicrobial resistance by carrying out pioneering research to better understand how bacteria cause infection, how antibiotics work, the causes of resistance, prevention of spread of resistant bacteria and finding new ways to treat infections. The University of Birmingham’s Institute of Microbiology & Infection is tackling antibiotic resistance in three ways:
  1. Reviewing drugs that are either already in use for other conditions, or which fell by the wayside during development, but which may offer powerful treatment options for antimicrobial resistant bacteria or fungi.
  2. Working to discover new drugs that may kill or disable microbes directly, or may indirectly convert antibiotic-resistant bacteria into antibiotic-sensitive ones.
  3. Developing completely new approaches that do not rely on antibiotics for dealing with infections. These include novel vaccines and so-called ‘immune-modulatory’ approaches that aim to stimulate the body’s own immune system to eradicate infections more successfully.
  4. The British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy is an inter-professional organisation with more than 40 years of experience and achievement in antibiotic education, research and leadership. Dedicated to saving lives through the appropriate use and development of antibiotics, it supports a large global network via workshops, professional guidelines and its own high-impact international journal, The Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.