FEMS Affiliates Letter June 2017

Also in this issue PUBLICATIONS / GRANTS CORNER / OPPORTUNITIES / DEADLINES Affiliates Letter  The official newsletter for FEMS Affiliates The hunt for new antibiotics: An interview with Professor Rolf Müller Antibiotics have been safeguarding our lives for over 70 years, but we’re now facing the harsh reality of declining new antibiotics and rising cases of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). This global issue has serious repercussions for global health, so what is being done to tackle this issue? This month we are joined by Professor Rolf Müller who has dedicated most of his career to discovering natural microbial products for the development of new antibiotics. He is one of our key speakers at the Congress this July. “ AMR is not a matter of if, but just a matter of when. Therefore, the academic and the pharmaceutical communities must continuously engage in programmes to identify new antibiotics.” Meet Prof. Rolf Müller Prof. Rolf Müller is the managing director of the Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research in Germany. His research on novel antibiotic compounds from bacteria has earned the Phoenix-Pharmacy Research Award three times (2001, 2007, 2016), the DECHEMA Award for the Natural Products Research (2002), the BioFuture Award of the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (2003), and the DECHEMA Award of the Max-Buchner Research Foundation (2010). How do bacteria become resistant to antibiotics? “Bacteria evolve fast. During this process they mutate and exchange genetic information quickly, even across phylogenetic borders (horizontal gene transfer). Under antibiotic selection pressure strains exhibiting genetic determinants favoring growth in the presence of the respective antibiotic are selected.” How real is the threat of antibiotic resistance and what impact could it have on global health? “Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is seen as one of the major health threats of the 21st century. WHO has just released a list of the 12 most difficult to treat pathogens. Resistances are on a constant rise in our hospitals.” Delftechpark 37A, 2628 XJ Delft, The Netherlands T: +31 15 302 0050 | E: fems@fems-microbiology.org june 2017