Antimicrobial Resistance: Tackling one of world’s top health threats

UOW hosts virtual session with top infectious diseases experts

Antimicrobial Resistance: Tackling one of the world’s top health threats

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a serious health threat to human beings and animals, and was declared one of the top 10 global health threats by the World Health Organisation.

It is estimated the current 700,000 deaths per year caused by AMR globally would grow to an enormous 10 million deaths per year by 2050; more than caused by cancer or cardiovascular disease.

AMR occurs when microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites become resistant to medications that are used to kill them, such as antibiotics, making these life-saving drugs ineffective. 

UOW, in association with top AMR experts and industry and community partners, will host a virtual seminar to address the key steps and policies required to intervene in the war against AMR and slow down the use of antibiotics.

The University has been investing extensively in research and developing new technologies to curb antimicrobial resistance and safeguard the community.

UOW researchers in collaboration with the Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District and other partners aim to tackle the challenges caused by AMR by developing and testing interventions to stop, or at the very least slow down, rates of resistance.

Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health Professor Eileen McLaughlin will moderate the event.

“AMR is a serious threat to public health and bacteria that become resistant to antimicrobials can thwart even minor surgical procedures,” Professor McLaughlin said.

“AMR is a complex problem and a coordinated action is required such as public awareness, education and engagement programs and improved hygiene practices to minimise the spread of AMR.”

The panel members will touch upon a variety of factors that causes AMR and understanding how the community perceives risks related to infectious diseases and addressing public health policies that are designed to curb the disease.

UOW Molecular Horizons Director Distinguished Professor Antoine van Oijen is leading a team of researchers that is tackling the challenges of AMR from all angles: understanding the science behind it; developing new drugs and diagnostic equipment; determining how resistance spreads through the community and health system; and learning how changes in our behaviour could stop that process.

“We are committed to addressing the challenges caused by AMR by understanding how resistance travels within the community and what prevention measures can be taken to diminish or terminate its impact on society,” Professor van Oijen said.

“The University’s collaboration with international partners and local communities will further assist in combating AMR which is threatening our health-care system.”


  • Professor Eileen Mclaughlin (Executive Dean, Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health, UOW)
  • Associate Professor Spiros Miyakis (Interim Dean of Medicine, UOW and Head of Infectious Diseases, Services, Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District)
  • Associate Professor Judy Mullan (Academic Director, Centre for Health Research Illawarra Shoalhaven Population, UOW)
  • Dr Chris Degeling (Senior Research Fellow, Australian Centre for Health Engagement, Evidence and Values, UOW)
  • Robert Bell (Co-founder and Chief Technical Officer ProAgni)
  • Dr Kaye Rolls (Lecturer, School of Nursing, UOW)
  • Dr Peter Jansen (Executive Director Medical Services and Clinical Governance, ISLHD)

Antimicrobial Resistance: Spread awareness, stop resistance

When: Wednesday 24 November at 5pm AEST

Registration link:

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