Achievements 2021

The Centre to Impact AMR continues to achieve impact across many key areas.  Learn more about the important work we do by clicking on the story links.


December

We welcome  Dr Fran Short as the newest Research Leader to join the Centre to Impact AMR. Fran is helping drive our One Health strategy towards the problem of AMR.

November

Dr  Jeremy Barr, Centre Leader, is awarded both the 'Faculty of Science Award for Research Excellence by an Early Career Researcher' and the  'Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Research Excellence by an Early Career Researcher (STEM)'.

World  Antimicrobial Awareness Week launched on November 18th.  This year's theme is 'Spread Awareness, Stop Resistance' We joined AMRInsights Global Relay to raise awareness of the AMR problem and the solutions we are working on.  Check out our video entry here.

Centre member, Dr Francesca Short, publishes important work linking a common disinfectant to mutations that lead to Superbugs.

Short, F. L., Lee, V., Mamun, R., Malmberg, R., Li, L., Espinosa, M. I., Venkatesan, K., & Paulsen, I. T. (2021). Benzalkonium chloride antagonises aminoglycoside antibiotics and promotes evolution of resistance. EBioMedicine73, [103653]. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2021.103653

October

Dr Nenad Macesic, Chair of the 'Clinical  Unmet needs in AMR working group' organised the inaugural  event, 'Clinical Problems, Scientific Solutions', cohosted by  Monash Infectious diseases Society (MIDS),  Department of Infectious Diseases, Central Clinical School, The Alfred and the Centre to Impact AMR.  There were 3 clinical cases that highlighted the challenges posed by AMR in M. genitalium infection, prosthetic joint infection caused by a carbapenemase-producing organism and resistant CMV infection in a transplant recipient. These cases raised a number of issues around novel antimicrobials and non-drug therapies, adverse reactions to antimicrobials and the role of biofilms in AMR infections.

Trevor Lithgow, Director of the Centre to Impact AMR speaks to  Dr John H Rex. Founder of AMR.solutions  and presenter of the AMR Fireside Chats. Check out the interview here and learn more about the Centre!

We are excited to welcome education expert, Dr Karen Lambert, as a new Centre Leader. Karen will help drive our education campaign to raise awareness of domestic antimicrobial stewardship issues in the public arena.  Karen is also investigating how we can educate preservice teachers to bring AMR issues into the classrooms. Welcome aboard Karen!

The Centre hosted its second roundtable for 2021 titled 'COVID-19 media contexts and antimicrobial resistance communication".  Media experts  Angela Ndalianis (Director, Centre for Transformative Media Technologies, Swinburne University of Technology), Andy Ruddock (School of Media, Film and Journalism, Monash University) and Monique Lewis ( Griffth Centre for Social and Cultural Research, Griffth University) joined us for a vigorous discussion on 'How we can and should stage messages about AMR in COVID-19 media contexts'. A recording of the presentations can be found here.

September

Centre Leader, Dr Jeremy Barr wins the  Victoria Tall Poppy Award.

August

We are excited to announce we are joining the International Network for AMR Social  Science in AMR!  The Network is made up of key organizations focused on social science research and policy on antimicrobial resistance (AMR).  It was initially created to coordinate academic input from social scientists for the Global AMR R&D Hub. INAMRSS functions as a network of networks, fostering international research collaboration by tying together research leaders from diverse regional, national, and international AMR research centers.

July. 

Victoria launches its first 'Victorian Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy 2021-2031'. The Centre is pleased to be invited to join stakeholder workshops to discuss the Strategy.

The Social Science Network in AMR delivered its first online roundtable on the topic of 'One Health communications and AMR: Policy, practice, and politics.  Over 150  people registered for this event to hear a series of talks from Dr Mihaela Ivan, Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, Dr Erik Baekkeskov, University of Melbourne, and Dr Jonathan Dartnell, NPS MedicineWise.

The Centre hosted it's second Leaders retreat. Impact AMR hosted its first Leaders retreat for 2021 - Mark Davis led session 1 speaking about 'Biosocial approaches to the prevention and mitigation of AMR'. The second session was led by Nenad Macesic, which delved into the major unmet clinical needs in AMR.

Impact AMR Awards for new PhD students are launched! More  details  here

June

The Centre continues to build capacity in it's  AMR testing facility. Joshua Nickson joins the Centre as lead technician managing pre-clinical testing models for  AMR.

May

Dr Karen Lambert writes an article for Monash Universities TeachSpace   titled "How teachers can help fight superbugs" to help raise awareness of the role teachers can play  in reducing AMR by  not using  products that contain antimicrobial  chemicals.

The Australian Department of Defense has called for organizations to contribute to the 'National Health Security Resilience assessment' survey which Impact AMR has happily provided information to address capability in the Medical Countermeasures program.

Dr Victor Cadarso, from Monash University’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the Centre to Impact AMR, engineered surfaces with smooth, 3D micro features, instead of the traditional sharp cross-sectional ones, to reduce the potential for harmful bacteria to attach on these surfaces in large numbers.  Story here and read the paper here.

Phage Australia, led by Prof Jon Iredell at Westmead Hospital is funded by MRFF and NSW Government,  to bring much-needed Phage Therapy capability to address the rise of antibiotic-resistant infections.  The Centre to Impact AMR will co-lead the Optimisation Phase of the program to deliver Phage Biobanking resources for the network. The collection of therapeutically relevant phages are being sourced from a variety of local water catchments in collaboration with Traditional Owners and stored at several locations. Impact AMR members, Jeremy Barr, Anton Peleg, Jian Li, Jiangning Song and Trevor Lithgow are coordinating the collection, storage and computational requirements for the biobank in Victoria.

Centre successfully nominates Dr Sue Nang and PhD candidate Rupinder Dhamoon to join the AMR Insights global Ambassador network.

April

The Centre hosts another successful  EMCR Colloquium, where 8 EMCR researchers talked about the impact of their research  on AMR.

The research management team at the Centre to Impact AMR (Mostly Lindus!) takes our role to contribute to consultations to help build the right dialogue that supports AMR  research and education, very seriously.

We have prepared a consultation paper, on behalf of our members, for Monash based on their call for responses to their FROM FOCUS TO IMPACT 2020-2030, which is Monash's new strategic plan.

In response to a call from The Australian National Audit Office (ANAO), The Centre has also commented on this consultation on the  MRFF processes. The objective of this audit is to assess whether the Department of Health is effectively managing the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).

March

Our  Future Leaders program is launched, aimed at supporting the development s of our EMCR and students. Offering  leadership and communication training, professional development activities,  mentoring programs and  internal research  boosters

We are excited to announce that we have launched our AMR Social Science Network, with the inaugural meeting of members held on March 29th. Led by A/Prof Mark Davis, Medical Sociologist, the team is made up of AMR communication specialists across a range of academic disciplines. The goal of this team is to better understand the types of AMR communications that work to help influence everyone that has a stake in the global problem of AMR. This includes you! Our policymakers, all publics, health-care workers. Find out more here.

John Boyce speaks to Sarah Moon @ ABC Goulburn Murray about the ongoing problem of antimicrobial soaps and antibiotics that are helping create superbugs.

Trevor Lithgow & The Centre are leading a campaign to reduce antimicrobial chemicals used in hand soaps.  They are an unnecessary additive that provide no added protection beyond just using plain soap. The Australian, Monash Lens, Sun Herald and 3AW

Feeding the superbugs: Why we need to wash our hands of antibacterial soaps

Catriona Bradshaw talks to Monash Lens and  The Conversation about a very common STI, Mycoplasma gentialium, that is getting harder to treat.

Feb

Mark Davis releases a  long awaited report on "Promoting Australian general public awareness and action on antimicrobial resistance". The results of this report will help the Centre to Impact AMR plan its approach to effectively communicate about AMR issues.

Jan

Jeremy Barr publishes in Nature Microbiology, with a strategy that can resensitize drug-resistant bacteria.  The story was well reported

Monash University leads breakthrough against antibiotic-resistance

Mike McDonald shows that "Host diversity slows bacteriophage adaptation by selecting generalists over specialists", published in Nature Ecology & Evolution