And what a conference it was! On 3 – 5 April in Brisbane, we hosted global leaders and experts in the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) space - including researchers, politicians, policymakers and advocates - for the Solutions for Drug-Resistant Infections conference (SDRI 2017).
The conference kicked off with Professor Peter Høj, Vice-Chancellor and President of The University of Queensland, and Professor Brendan Murphy, Chief Medical Officer for Australia, providing an Australian perspective on the issue. Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer for England, provided a global overview of the AMR issue during her plenary. Dame Sally gave a compelling presentation, urging more action to tackle AMR.
The message for ‘more action’ continued into the second day with Professor Ramanan Laxminarayan’s presentation on ‘The coming crisis in antibiotics’. Professor Laxminarayan highlighted the importance of uniting in the global fight to control AMR, reminding delegates that AMR made it to the world stage at the United Nations General Assembly, but now we need to put these plans into practice.
To conclude the three-day conference, a panel of AMR experts discussed what should be the top three research priorities for AMR going forward. Panel members included Sally Davies (Chief Medical Officer for England), Jennifer Leeds (Novartis), Zuoyu Xu (NIH), John Rex (CARB-X and Wellcome Trust) and scientific committee members Matthew Cooper and Liz Harry. Through live voting by the delegates, it was decided that the top three research topics that need to be prioritised are:
1. Novel antimicrobial drug discovery
2. Education, outreach and awareness of drug-resistant infections
3. New funding models
Novel antimicrobial drug discovery was identified by SDRI delegates as the most important research priority to provide a solution to drug resistant infections. With CO-ADD at the forefront of the antimicrobial drug discovery space, the initiative’s free compound screening is more crucial than ever in the fight against drug-resistant infections.
Catch the highlights and full details from the conference by reading our daily blog posts here on the Future Science Infectious Disease Hub website, or check out the SDRI 2017 storify here.
Sketch note, drawn by Sue Pillans, summarising the panel discussion topics.