Targeting resistant bacterial 'superbugs' by innovative antibiotic combinations

Antibiotics were once 'Magic Bullets' that transformed modern medicine and saved millions of lives. However, nowadays bacterial 'superbugs' resistant to all or most antibiotics when administered as monotherapy present one of the three most serious threats to human health. This global health crisis is exacerbated by a lack of new antibiotics in the development pipeline. Consequently, we are at risk of reverting to the pre-antibiotic era where people died from common infections. Given the dire shortage of new antibiotics, mechanistically-informed, rationally optimised antibiotic combination regimens represent one way to combat the ever growing multidrug-resistant bacteria.

This project will identify and systematically optimise novel antibiotic combination dosing strategies that kill 'superbugs' and minimise the emergence of resistance. It will include an innovative combination of established and cutting-edge experimental methods to evaluate antibiotic combinations and elucidate the mechanisms of synergistic killing and resistance prevention. Our dynamic laboratory employs gold-standard dynamic in vitro infection models to simulate the time-course of antibiotic concentrations in patients. We utilise mechanism-based mathematical models to rationally translate the results from these in vitro models into safe and effective antibiotic combination dosage regimens to ultimately benefit patients.

We are part of an international research network and can offer a wide range of innovative projects utilising latest approaches to combat resistant bacterial 'superbugs' for one or multiple students.