Editorial Team

A three-day online global symposium on the burgeoning Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) crisis (February 24, 2021) by Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham’s School of Biotechnology began today. The event titled “Man v/s Microbes –The Race of the Century,” is being held in partnership with the “Collaborative to Halt Antibiotic-Resistant Microbes” (CHARM) at the University of California San Diego, the Bengaluru-based Bugworks Research, and Government of India’s Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP).

The symposium is featuring 18 noted AMR experts from the US, UK, Europe, Australia, Canada, Singapore and India. They are addressing key issues such as global needs and priorities to combat AMR and promoting investment for research and innovation.

Said Dr. Bipin Nair, Amrita School of Biotechnology, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham: “WHO has projected Antimicrobial Resistance [AMR] as the greatest challenge facing global public health.  AMR has become a global problem of immense complexity due to excessive antimicrobial usage, sluggish development of new antibiotics and poor antimicrobial stewardship. As a result, the emergence of a post antimicrobial world, where a simple infection could lead to death, is a distinct possibility. This symposium would strengthen India’s leadership in combating this global pandemic in the making. It would lead to increased awareness about AMR and encourage best practices among the masses, health workers and policy makers to contain further emergence and spread of drug-resistant infections.”

Dr. Anand Anandkumar, CEO, Bugworks Research, Bangalore said, “AMR, the slow pandemic, is one of the biggest health threats that humanity is faced with. India is at the very epicentre of this health crisis, and will be a very important region from which global solutions to AMR can come from. BIOCREST 2021 is an outstandingly timely event, which will showcase challenges, opportunities and strategies to combatting AMR, what with the outstanding collection of global expert-speakers and panellists who will grace this event”.

Dr. Victor Nizet, the faculty lead of CHARM at UC San Diego and a co-organizer of the symposium, added “AMR represents a complex global pandemic for which innovative and effective remedies will require collective action through international cooperation. Our team at UC San Diego has been fortunate to collaborate scientifically and educationally with our colleagues at Amrita School of Biotechnology on AMR solutions, and we believe this symposium can help expand our worldwide network of like-minded scientists, physicians and agencies to address this pressing problem”.

A key highlight of the Symposium would be a couple of panel discussions. The India Innovation Pavilion, to be held on February 25, 2021 at 3 pm would highlight the AMR innovation work being done by the best companies in India in the fields of drug discovery, diagnostics, and devices. Another panel discussion titled “Combatting AMR – The Road Ahead” would be held on February 26, 2021, at 4 pm. Experts from India and abroad will look at all the elements that would need to come together for India to get a good handle over the AMR situation, the key initiatives that the country needs to drive in an accelerated mode.

Experts from Dept. of Biotechnology (Govt. of India), AIIMS Bhopal, IIT – Bombay, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Jawaharlal Nehru University, DBT-BIRAC and WHO- AMR India Country Office will speak at the symposium, along with top AMR researchers from prestigious universities in Switzerland, USA, Australia, Canada and Singapore.

Across three days, sessions would be held on themes like Future of Antibiotics and Resistance; Alternatives to antibiotics for multidrug resistant infections; Abrupt Emergence of the Superbug Super-clones; Antimicrobial Resistance: Indian Scenario; and Economics of Antibiotic Stewardship or State AMR Containment Policy in India (Private Public Partnership).

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